By Lee Davenport
I am a planner; so much so that I’m already planning for the New Year. But, I get it. You may not be a planner, and my admission may have made you cringe. So, just for you, I have eight questions that will help you win business in the next 12 months.
Some might call this business planning, which invokes panic attacks and procrastination—similar to tax season for many. Let’s avoid all that unpleasantness. Instead, I want you to call it “seeing the win.” Hopefully, that takes the stress out of the “p” word.
So, grab your favorite beverage, and invest the time it takes to watch a rerun of Friends in answering the applicable questions below:
As a new agent, you may not know where to begin when it comes to your strategy over the next year. Your starting point should be using what you already have to as your tools to developing your business.
1. What have you excelled in?
To answer this fully, think about when you were in school, past jobs, sports, clubs, and even volunteer activities. Write down your strengths in these situations. This is for your business growth, so don’t take short-cuts and give half-answers.
2. What are the underlying skills you displayed in each achievement?
Did you have to master working with difficult people, negotiating, or the art of persuasion? Did you have to become a wordsmith on social media, learn how to juggle multiple clients, or manage money? No matter what skills you had to use, list them all.
3. How can each of those skills be used as tools in your real estate business?
Next to your list from number two above, write how those skills can be useful in your real estate business. For example, if you have a knack for graphic design, this can translate into you creating a great website, email campaigns, social media posts, and handouts for your clients that explain the real estate process with images or graphics.
You have made money in real estate sales and you want to keep it that way. That means being willing to make some business adjustments.
4. What activities generated business for you this past year?
Think about every new client and list how you connected with each person. Are you great at drumming up business from networking events? Does your tribe (sphere of influence) send you business every time you ask? Are you a superstar at using social media? Are your ads successful in bring in leads that you can convert? Be very reflective in your answers because herein lies the key to your next several wins.
5. How can you do of those activities in the next 12 months (including hiring help)?
Often times, we “old-timers” chase the latest trend, training, and technique. This can be costly if we ignore or forget to use what we do well and what has worked. Employ your strengths and give away your weaknesses (i.e. hire, refer, or outsource).
Nothing in real estate stays the same. Anticipate changes and “level up” your future steps.
6. With what type of client do you want to specialize (i.e. first time buyers, military, relocation, luxury, etc.)?
If you are a one-person shop, you may kill yourself trying to be all things to all people. That’s not to say you turn business away if it does not fit your “ideal client,” but you need to be strategic in how you spend your time, money, and resources to acquire new leads.
7. What webinars and training opportunities on this subject can you attend this month/quarter/year?
It’s time to do some research on how to up your game with education. My great-grandmother repeatedly emphasized in her 101 years, “Be on time, be prepared, and know your subject.” Despite her being a school teacher, her advice can do wonders for real estate pros. Specifically, do you know your subject (the type of client with whom you want to transact)? A “no” answer should not discourage you. Rather, let it inspire you to learn your subject through classes and webinars. There is a wealth of information available from successful agents, brokers, trainers/coaches and REALTOR® associations—including a plethora of designation and certification.
8. How can you implement what you’ve learned?
I’m sure you have been to wonderful trainings but are still trying to get around to implementation. The secret-sauce to running with what you’ve learned is deciding in advance how to implement it. Will you spend two hours after the training to review and update your calendar with what was learned? Will you spend the weekend visiting the online resources provided by the trainer? Build this into your schedule before the training so that you’ll bring the lessons into play.
I want to close by giving a shout-out to Venngage. I was given a complimentary subscription to try out this fantastic infographic maker, which is how I created the infographic accompanying this post. Infographics are good tools to keep your home buyers, sellers and real estate investors engaged with your emails, social media posts, and handouts. I found Venngage to be easy to use with many templates that I could quickly convert to my own content. Working on a buyer’s guide or tips to selling a home? Create an infographic using Venngage’s free user account and tell me what you think.
Lee Davenport is an Atlanta-based real estate broker and business doctoral candidate who trains agents and brokerages on how to use today’s technology to work smarter. Join Lee’s free RE Tech Insider’s Club by visiting www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR.