Mistakes are never good to make, but ones that can be avoided are particularly painful. For the nearly two decades we’ve been coaching real estate agents, we’ve come to see an ugly trend that almost always happens during the last two months of the year: avoidable blunders – blunders that often cost agents dearly in the form of lost profitability, reputation and future business.

Here are four mistakes we see regularly – mistakes you can avoid so you can start 2013 off with a bang:

    1. Not setting goals or planning. Our clients have their goals and plan set by Dec. 1 for the following year. If you haven’t set your goals and written your plan, set aside some time within the next week and do it. We also recommend my clients set three different kinds of goals: A) The actual goal. Let’s say selling 20 homes. B) The stretch goal. Let’s put it at 30 homes. C) The dream goal – the goal you’d hit if your dreams come true. Let’s pick 50. Then, we coach my clients to go after that dream goal with everything they’ve got. It works. Time and time again, our clients reach their stretch goal and usually break it easily. We think of it as shooting for the stars and landing on the moon. We’re happy to send you a free goal-setting example of each of these goals. Just send us an e-mail at SuccessTeam@CorcoranCoaching.com.
    2. Not examining the current year closely enough. This step is critical to do before you sit down to write out your goals and plan for 2012. Why? Because history is one of the best teachers you’ll ever meet. How was your 2011? Did you achieve the goals you set out to reach for the year? If not, why not? Was your marketing on target? What about your referrals? Were they up or down in 2011? Spend at least three hours looking at all aspects of your 2011 business and make note of any areas that stand out as hurdles to reaching the goals you’d like to hit for 2013. It helps to share with someone else (we’re partial to coaches!) who can offer a fresh perspective on your work.
    3. Not contacting your sphere of influence and past clients. The holidays are the perfect time to share your well wishes and thanks for everyone you know, especially your sphere of influence and past clients. We tell our clients to work to be the first ones to get their holiday cards in the mail. Why? Because people remember that first card over all the rest they get. We send ours out the day after Thanksgiving and that works great.
    4. Not working. If we’ve learned anything over 20 years of coaching, it’s that real estate is a 12-month-a-year career. About 30 percent of agents take off the last two months of the year, and another 40 percent essentially quit working after Thanksgiving. That adds up to 70 percent. We know that’s one reason our clients report that they clean up during the first quarter. We work with them to make sure they’re increasing (yes, increasing) their advertising during November and December. Not only to prime the pump for that first quarter, but also because they can often find great deals on media advertising rates. Strike hard during the last two months and you’ll have the best January you’ve ever had.

We want to hear from you. Do you feel the need to rest the remainder of the year? If so, why? Have you itemized what you might lose if you don’t work those last two months? What went wrong in 2012 that you’d like to fix for 2013?

Corcoran Coaching is an international consulting and coaching company specializing in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for small business owners, including residential or commercial brokers, teams or individual agents. Learn how to create and implement cost effective operational, business and sales systems that have a proven decades-long track record of successfully driving you to your next level of sales productivity.

Isn’t it time you invested in yourself to be as successful and effective as the top producers? Success is just a phone call away. Call today at 1-800-957-8353 or email us at SuccessTeam@CorcoranCoaching.com to start the conversation and get your no cost, no obligation business consultation with one of our experienced professional success coaches.