• Starting with a clean slate each year might help to end bad habits, but it’s not a good rule of thumb for the real estate business. You can make this year even better by maximizing all of your hard work from last year.

  • Out of sight should never mean out of mind. There are several ways to stay in touch with happy clients and keep the referral momentum strong in the New Year.
  • Avoid recreating the wheel each year by reviewing what worked in 2015, and making that the focus of your 2016 plan.

With the holidays behind us and the ring of the New Year complete, it’s time to look forward to another successful year in real estate.

We all hear the typical clichés – ‘put the year behind you,’ ‘start brand new’ and ‘wipe the slate clean.’

Wait a minute– that doesn’t work when building a successful real estate business! Here are four things you can do today to leverage last year’s momentum and elevate your business in the new year:

Keep old friends to make new ones

The famous song says: “should all acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon.” Uh, I don’t think so! Clearly, a group of real estate agents did not write that line– we need our old acquaintances!

Most agents work so hard for a successful transaction, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. The transaction closes harmoniously like a beautiful symphony, and the client achieves their dreams. Then, the momentum stops.

Most agents will never follow-up with that client again, but a successful business is built on referrals. Let’s make sure you are always top-of-mind by making sure your past clients are updated in your database.

Celebrate 2015 milestones

Let’s celebrate our closed transactions by creating a house anniversary!

What date did your clients close their home in 2015? At john greene Realtor, we teach our agents to add a house anniversary to their cell phone just like a client birthday. Set it up with a calendar reminder and the client’s phone number so you remember to place that important call.

It reinforces our relationship with the client and provides that critical touch we need for generating referral business.

Make a “best of 2015” list

In 2016, let’s market smarter, and take a second to see where each client came from: an open home, postcard, floor call, your database or a referral.

Eliminate the marketing strategies that were not successful and add more emphasis on what knocked it out of the park. At john greene Realtor, we focus on building a marketing strategy around the activities that are generating the best rate of return, resulting in our new-to-the-industry agents closing six-times more volume than our leading competitor over a 24-month period.

Once you know what works, you can eliminate wasted efforts that cost time and money.

Get caught up and stay compliant

The complete transaction file should be reviewed and organized at the end of every transaction. But in reality, agents can get behind on paperwork as they get busy with the next transaction.

Whether you store electronically or via paper, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork from every transaction, and get rid of any unnecessary junk cluttering up your files. Compliance is always an issue, so make sure you check your state requirements for what you need to keep and how many years you need to keep the transaction file.

At john greene Realtor, we utilize DocuSign Transaction Room to electronically store all our information, ensuring that all pertinent information was uploaded when the transaction closed. These types of platforms keep the data backed-up and at your fingertips via an app on your cell phone, making compliance a success with every transaction.

Now, that’s wrapping up a year!

Let’s not go forward forgetting 2015, and instead celebrate the year by leveraging its lessons.

Tigi Tasso is a broker and training and development director at john greene Realtor, one of the largest brokerage firms in Chicago’s western suburbs. Tasso holds 15 years of industry experience, is a licensed instructor, and is member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.

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