The real estate business is, and always has been, about the long game — what you do today will certainly affect your business six months or even a year or more from now. Every January and February there is a flurry of advice — and alarm — to get your act together and get ready for the spring market. Well, I have a newsflash for you: the spring real estate market starts the third week of January.
So, maybe it’s too late? Not at all! The best time to get ready for the spring market may have been back in summer 2018, but the second-best time is right now. So what are you waiting for?
How to get ready for the spring market
The only way to not completely miss out on what should shape up to be another stellar real estate market is to start with a plan. By laying out a detailed plan today and then executing on and revising that plan throughout the year, you will have the best chance of remaining on track and meeting (even exceeding) your goals.
1. Create a solid business plan
A business plan can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be — but my advice is to keep it reasonable enough for you to be able to achieve it, while also being challenging enough to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
To be effective, I believe a solid plan consists of four parts.
- The elevator pitch: You have 30 seconds to tell someone who you are, what you do, why you do it and why they should work with you.
- SWOT analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A little self-analysis never hurt anyone — and you may learn a thing or two.
- Goals: Dollar amount or number of transactions or both — you decide.
- Plan: Do the math, and figure out what you have to do to achieve your goals. Map it out quarterly, and plan accordingly.
2. Organize your database
The next step to gearing up for spring is to get your house in order — house being your database. Your database is everything — who you know, why you know them, what they are interested in. Knowing everything you could possibly know about the people in your database is key for longterm success. Fill your database with information, and make it organized.
Segment out the people in your database into “A’s,” “B’s,” and “C’s.” The “A’s” are your raving fans, and they’ll always recommend you to others. The “B’s” like you, but they may not always remember you. The “C’s” are all the names and email addresses you have from when you went on that Zillow lead-buying spree back in 2010. You have no idea who they are, nor they you.
Focus on your “A’s.” Make it a goal to move some “B’s” into “A” status. Don’t throw away the “C’s,” but make it a goal to never add to that list. Make it your mission in 2019 to have 24 meaningful touches to your “A’s” and “B’s.”
This may sound easy, but it isn’t. The only way to get a “B” to and “A” is to genuinely connect with them, often through finding ways to help them. Become a connector in their lives — introduce them to new people, places and things, and they will remember you for it.
Remember, it’s not just about real estate — homes revolve around lifestyle, so focus on their lifestyles to make meaningful connections that will make you memorable and help you to gain advocates.
3. Improve yourself
The next step in getting ready for spring is to focus on improving yourself. I know you’re pretty fantastic already, but we can all stand to better ourselves in some way, and now is the perfect time to make that happen.
Instead of rushing through required continuing education classes to “just get them done,” plan out some classes that will make you a better agent.
Think back to recent times when you may have felt challenged or in over your head, and take a class to learn more about that topic. You can also study the market more in depth or tour more houses.
The fundamentals of this business never go away, and you must constantly be learning to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace. Focus on learning new skills, new technology and new ways to look at the market. Investing in yourself will pay the most dividends longterm.
Another part of improving yourself is taking care of yourself. Some of you may have just completed your best year in real estate from a number of transactions and earnings perspective. That achievement may have come at a cost either mentally or physically, or both.
Take a moment to reflect on what you can do to protect yourself from burnout this year. Focus on taking care of yourself so you can find the most success in 2019.
Over the next 30 days and beyond, challenge yourself to get organized and be more efficient, to connect more and in more meaningful ways, to improve yourself to become a more valuable agent and to protect yourself and focus on what brings you joy and satisfaction. With that, you’ll achieve results beyond your goals in 2019.
The time to start is right now. Are you ready?