Fresh from the holiday season and with a new year upon us, now is a good time to take stock of your real estate career as an estate agent or agency principal, and plan for 2016.
Here are some top tips to help you prepare for success this year.
The best place to start is by taking a look down the road - make sure you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Having specific goals in mind will allow you to direct every action over the next year towards turning them into reality and hopefully, leading to your success. Put everything in a written business or career plan so you can keep yourself accountable and also track your progress.
Review your finances
Take a hard look at your earnings and expenditure last year and think positively about how you could boost the former and cut the latter. For example, if you have been spending 10% of your marketing budget on your existing client base and it is generating 50% of your business income, what would happen if you increased that spending to 20%? At the same time, get all your paperwork and bookkeeping in order so as to make it easier to prepare your financial records and tax returns when they become due. It’s important to be smart and organised when it comes to your finances, and this includes planning and saving for any capital expenses you may need to incur during the year, such as purchasing a new vehicle or new computers for your office.
Be prepared to be flexible
With the economy in flux and new technologies and marketing platforms being developed almost daily, you need to be ready to seize opportunities immediately, particularly those that will take you closer to your goals. Being flexible will allow you to adapt to any situation and make it work to your benefit.
Always be aware
The most successful agents are those who are constantly on the lookout for new trends or niche markets where a solid base can be built quickly, making it very difficult for others to gain any market share. Let go of the “tried and true” and come up with novel, value-added services just for these markets, perhaps with collaborators such as insurance companies, décor firms or local resorts. It is always worth your time, energy and money to do proper research and develop some future business pipelines.
Teach yourself to work faster
Try to focus really closely and do a bit more in each hour of work than you are used to doing. You can even add one extra task to each working day with the aim of getting everything done without working any extra time. You might not make it for the first few days but if you keep trying, you will build up speed and become a lot more efficient and productive.
Assess whether you need extra help
Every so often it’s wise to take a look at how things are working and decide whether or not it’s necessary to hire an assistant or perhaps recruit more agents. If you plan to welcome new people on board, be sure to follow the correct process: develop a clear job description, advertise the position on the appropriate platforms, select the top candidates and hold face-to-face interviews in order to identify those people who are a good fit for your business, as well as your strategic plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – taking on too much on your own can end up being your downfall.
Never neglect your health and personal development
Your health and personal growth are ultimately the foundation of your success, so make sure your programme includes time for exercise and proper relaxation, as well as short courses, seminars or workshops that will add to your skill-set or knowledge base. At the same time, try to eliminate the things (or people) that drain your energy or distract you whenever you have to deal with them – this will leave you feeling a lot less stressed.
It’s a new year and the perfect opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate, so let’s make this year the best one yet.