Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to increase your income? If so, tracking your numbers is one of the best ways to hit your income goals for 2005.
People who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. Even among those who have written goals, however, few agents track their numbers because they lack a system to do so. One challenge is identifying which statistics to track. Do you track days on market for your listings? What about how many listing leads it takes to obtain one signed listing? How many properties do you show buyers before they write an offer? How many prospects do you need to reach to close one transaction? Which activities generate the most leads and the most closed transactions? Once properties are under contract, what percentage do you actually close?
The next issue is how to track these statistics. The thought of tracking detailed information using an Excel spreadsheet is enough to send agents fleeing from their computers. Part of the challenge is most agents are people-oriented rather than detail-oriented. Their job is to be in front of buyers and sellers, not tracking numbers back at the office. In fact, agents are often so busy that spending several hours each week entering data into a spreadsheet is simply not feasible. So what’s the solution?
A new tool from Performitor now makes it easy to track your business without the hassle of dealing with a cumbersome spreadsheet. You begin by loading in the number of listings, sales, closed sides, volume, gross commissions and 1099 income from the last year. Next, load in the number of days you worked plus how much vacation time you took. From this, the system generates your monthly statistics for each month of the year. You can alter this chart to fit your actual closings. This allows you to establish when you are the most effective and creates a baseline for the upcoming year.
An important part of being successful is taking time for you. Most agents do this as an afterthought rather than making their self-care a priority. The second section Performitor has you complete is a “dream” section where you plan trips or other rewards as part of your business planning process. It’s much easier to have a vacation when you have budgeted for it than it is to put it on a credit card and hope you can pay for it later.
Another area that can be challenging is tracking expenses. Agents often wait until tax time to track expenses. Performitor makes this easy to track as well. Begin by entering the numbers from last year’s tax return as your basis. This initial data entry usually takes less than an hour. Once your data entry is complete, the system prints up a business plan based upon your past performance, as well as your goals for the coming year. The beauty of the system is that it also lets you plan your business at three different levels: Minimum expected income, average income, and maximum expected income.
Once you have the system in place, it takes only a few minutes each month to update your listing, selling and closing activity. You can simplify your expense reporting by placing all your business expenses on a single credit card. Thus, you simply record whatever your total charges were in the expense column.
While planning is important, tracking and reporting results are equally important. In addition to the annual tracking functions, Performitor has a simple form you to print out monthly. The form allows you to record the results of your prospecting and closing activity. At the end of the month, add up the totals and record the data on the Performitor system. Because you are tracking your activities, income, and expenses on a month-by-month basis, it’s easy to project what your outcomes will be at the end of the year. If you are falling short of your income goals, you can take immediate steps to correct the situation.
Detailed business planning and monitoring of your progress no longer has to be an onerous chore. An old adage says, “If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results.” Without business planning, tracking and reporting, your 2005 will probably be about the same as 2004. If you would like to kick-up your income, now is a great time to begin the process.
Bernice Ross is an owner of Realestatecoach.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to email@example.com.