• Work smarter in 2017 by planning now.
  • Enjoy leads all year long by focusing on lead generation.
  • Take time now to review your goals.

As we head into the end of the year, it’s time slow down and take a break, right? Many real estate agents use this time of year to wind down before the holidays, but successful agents take the time to start planning the next year.

Planning helps you focus your time and energy on the activities that are essential to achieving your goals, which allows you to prioritize your day. Instead of working harder in 2017, you’re working smarter. Here’s how to start planning for a successful 2017:

1. Plan around lead generation

Generating leads is the most important activity you’ll do in your business. By planning your days around lead generation, you can be sure you always have leads in your pipeline.

Instead of relying on the seasonal cycle of your local market, you can enjoy leads all year long.

2. Pick a few potential dates to host a client party

Client parties are a fun, easy way to reconnect with your clients and thank them for their business and referrals. What’s more, they allow you to plant the seeds for future referrals.

Figure out how many client parties you’d like to host this year, and choose a few dates around the time you’d like to have them. As the time draws near, you can nail down an exact date and time.

However, having a rough idea now will allow you to start thinking about the party and prepare for it when the time comes.

3. Make time for personal growth

Many agents say they’d like to grow professionally, but they simply don’t have the time. It’s easy to forget about personal and professional growth when you’re busy; that’s why you plan for it ahead of time.

What seminars, classes or workshops are you dying to take? Find out when they are and mark them on the calendar. Begin to plan around them, even before you register and purchase your plane tickets.

Marking them on the calendar at the beginning of the year will ensure you’ll attend them when the time comes.

4. Assess your successes and areas of improvement from this year

This is the time to review your goals and think about what went right, what went wrong and how you can improve next time.

When you plan, you’re laying the groundwork to handle any challenges — similar or otherwise — that pop up. Planning helps you reflect on your goals, your progress and your overall path to success.

5. Start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2017

You don’t necessarily have to set the goals now, but it’s important to start thinking about them now. When you think about them, think about how you plan to achieve them.

For example, if you want to increase your closed transactions by 30 percent, how will you go about doing that? Will you make more calls and write more personal notes?

How many new contacts will you need to make to get the leads you need to turn your goal into reality?

If you’re giving a goal you set last year another go this year, what do you plan to do differently to achieve it?

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Planning is the preparation you do now to help ensure your success in the future. Have your best year ever by planning for it now. Make a plan, and start 2017 on the right note.

Brian Buffini is the chairman and founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini

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