Here’s what I want you to know: History can be an extraordinary teacher.
The philosopher George Santayana, in 1906, wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And today, over 100 years later, those words hold just as much truth as they did then – especially for Agents working to grow their business.
Yes, next year is breathing down our necks. And it can be tempting to move ahead and start planning to make next year a good one. But I promise you a glance in the rearview mirror can help you build an exceptionally helpful map before you step on the gas and head into the future.
That look back can sharpen your focus and give you a much clearer picture of what you need to work on to make this year more productive and profitable – and maybe even a year for the record books!
Here are some important points you should consider to make a truly Happy New Year:
Know your numbers
Know exactly how much money you made in the past year — net, not gross; you need to know how much money you spent to make the amount you netted. Examine your expenses carefully, because guess where each dollar you save in expenses ends up? In your pocket! And avoid the mom and pop approach to accounting. Get professional software that can keep accurate financial records. (I’ve found QuickBooks to be easy to learn and use.) Also, look at how many houses you sold and the average sales price of those homes. Is that a number you feel comfortable with? If not, look to increase it for next year.
Inspect your sources of business
Look at each marketing channel closely. Which are working and which are lagging? How’s your sphere of influence? Are you staying in touch with your past clients or sphere of influence as much as you should be? How are your farming efforts? Your prospecting? How do they all compare? Was there improvement in your channels? Focus on the areas you want to refine.
Examine your daily activities
Lack of time management can land you in the poor house fast. Without planned activities, you’re adrift. How much drifting did you do? Make a promise to spend 30 minutes a day working ON your business, not IN your business. What’s the difference? Working IN your business means your daily activities — helping buyers and sellers or looking over your active listings. Working ON your business means you’re planning and giving attention to what makes your business work: developing your marketing calendar, reviewing your profit and loss statements and examining the direction of your business.
Enlist the help of others. Who was helping you achieve your goals? One common mistake I see is Agents planning by themselves. That means no accountability and no consequences. Get a group of advisors who can help you plan and hold you accountable for your goals.
Think back over the last 11 months and ask yourself this question: Did I have a healthy balance between work and my personal life? I’ve seen it often, Agents putting work before family. It can lead (and usually does) to divorce, distractions and distress. People claim they can leave their personal problems at home, but they can’t. They end up thinking about them and it affects their work. Create an ideal weekly schedule and set (and most important, keep) hours of operations. I put a lot of emphasis on balance when I work with Agents and it’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
And remember the wise words someone once said: “It pays to plan ahead; it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
It is never too late to review what you are doing, so why not do it now?
Make A Commitment: I will review my business.