Real estate sales tend to slow down around the holidays, but if your goal is to increase your brokerage’s profitability in 2014, the end of the year is vital to your team’s success. Set the scene for a prosperous 2014 by encouraging your agents to incorporate the tips below into their year-end business goals.
1. Resist hibernation: As we enter the month of December, real estate agents often go into hibernation, says Christopher Fox, the director of agent growth at RE/MAX First. Avoid this! This goes back to the basics of sales – every real estate agent needs a sales funnel of clients either looking to buy or sell their home. Focus on prospecting clients to refill your funnel to start 2014 on a high note.
2. Build a reliable network: Make it a goal to create at least six new business relationships in different industries (for example, mortgage broker, professional stager, professional mover, real estate attorney) to give and receive referrals, says Kristine Wyatt, a broker associate with Smart Click Realty. Surrounding yourself with a strong network will drastically improve your reach, and will also allow you to pay it forward.
3. Master the art of time-blocking: Regardless of the stage of your career, time-blocking is essential to grow your business. Fox advises to allocate a certain time of day – every day – to complete the tasks that are key to growing your business, like prospecting, returning calls or building your social media networks.
4. Nurture past client relationships: You work so hard to build relationships with clients, but how do you keep in touch after the sale? Employ unique ways to stay in touch post-closing, like signing your clients up for a city-specific magazine so they will think of you when it is delivered every month, or help them turn their house into a home with a gift certificate to a local nursery. Fox says asking for referral business after completing the transaction is a vital part of achieving success. Thank everyone who refers you business by taking them out to dinner or sending them a handwritten note with a Starbucks card.
5. Audit your business: In order to measurably improve your business, it’s important to understand the metrics behind your success. Doris LaBeau, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Masters, Inc., advises that you evaluate your year-to-date business results. How much are you making per transaction? Where are your clients coming from? How much do you need to make next year? What tasks, projects, enhancements, skills and credentials can improve in the next month that will set you up for a successful 2014?
6. Set 2014 year-end goals: Use the data you gathered from your audit to set measurable 2014 year-end goals, making sure they are greater than what you achieved in 2013. This is a trademark of a top producer, says Amy Mizner, the principal of Benoit Mizner Simon & Co.
7. Complete your 2014 marketing plan: Create a marketing plan that focuses on meeting your 2014 year-end goals, Mizner says. This might include an increased advertising and branding budget, or an assistant to help you implement your marketing so you can focus on selling. Successful real estate brokers look at where their business is coming from to ensure they reach everyone in that corner of the market.
8. Stay focused on trends: Study trends, read extensively and attend seminars, webinars and conferences to have a pulse on what is on in the industry, says Bruce Ailion, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. Once you are familiar with industry and local trends (new construction sales, short sales, an influx of investors, international sales, etc.), equip yourself with the tools, training and techniques to specialize in those trends.
Chris Kiel is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at HomeFinder.com, where she is responsible for establishing and growing relationships with top brokerages, national franchises and MLSs across the country.
An industry veteran, Chris has been a licensed real estate broker and in the digital real estate space since 1993.