Our industry is shifting, and as we approach a new decade, I know that the agents who are savvy and willing to be dynamic will come out on top. Here’s what you need to check off the list before the new year rolls around.

Another list? That’s right, but before you roll your eyes, I challenge you to take a look at this one and tack it on to your business plan for 2020. Our industry is shifting, and as we approach a new decade, I know that the agents who are savvy and willing to be dynamic will come out on top.

Here’s what you need to check off the list before New Year’s Eve rolls around.

1. Stop whining

Repeat after me: “I am in charge of my business and my personal success. I will not let outside factors sour my outlook on life and poison my joy for helping my clients. The internet is not out to get me.”

2. Save

Budget, and minimize expenses. Get lean and mean with your finances. Create an emergency savings account and a realistic budget for living. Commit to not riding the commission roller coaster in 2020.

3. Buy an umbrella

That’s right a nice oversized embarrassing one that your kids will not steal. One large enough for your clients to jump underneath with you in a pinch. Also, buy an umbrella insurance policy for your business. Now you are storm ready.

4. Make a list of people in your life who you really need to show appreciation for

This includes clients and people who make your personal life a little brighter. Write them a lovely card, and tuck a little gift card in it.

This could be your broker for picking up the phone in a crisis, the title agent who stayed late to close a nightmare deal or even the school nurse who sees your hypochondriac kiddo multiple times a week and assures him everything is going to be OK.

Show gratitude for the people who go out of their way to offer you small acts of kindness.

5. Take more naps

You will thank me later. Tell people you are getting your oil changed or you are at the dentist. Make more rest a priority.

6. Go to that office meeting your broker has been begging you to attend

Your leaders are trying to get your attention. They probably have important information you need to know. Sometimes there are cookies. Make time to connect with your team.

7. Secure your email

Wire fraud is rampant. Use a professional and secure email method.  Make sure your tech devices, (and your assistant’s tech devices) are secure and virus free.

8. Get your car serviced

Spring for the new tires, fluids, etc.

9. Get organized for tax season

Don’t wait until the last minute. Use a certified public accountant (CPA).

10. Participate in charitable activity

Volunteer in person whenever you can. It’s way more rewarding than just writing a check.

11. Treat yourself

Get a massage, a spa treatment or whatever. It’s been a crazy year, and you need some maintenance too.

12. Minimize social media

It’s a time-suck and can make you feel like garbage. Schedule a real-life interaction with your friends. Susan from high school never talked to you then, and she will never talk to you now. Why are you letting her take up valuable space? Replace that fluff by spending face-to-face quality time with people who matter to you.

13. Do not let toxic/negative people siphon your positive vibes

Call them out on their bad juju, and let them know that you just don’t have time for it.

14. Ditch the phone at night

Give your cell phone a bedtime, and leave it in another room when you go to bed.

15. Hire great help, pay them well — and treat them well

Stop trying to do everything yourself. Can’t afford a full-time assistant? Ask a partner if he or she would be willing to split the burden. Can you really put a price on improving the quality of your life and reducing stress?

16. Focus on relationships

Commit to spending more time on working to improve relationships with clients and less time looking for solutions to “manage them” without speaking to them.

17. Put a little fun on your schedule

Go right now to your calendar, and schedule something fun to look forward to each month that has absolutely nothing to do with business. Take a friend, significant other or spouse with you. Remind them how fun you are.

18. Make a commitment to spend more time at home

Cook, do laundry, organize a closet — your home should be your sanctuary. If you work from home, make sure that there is a clear off time.

19. Quit putting friends and family off

Take that someone who you have been meaning to go to lunch with, out to lunch. Sometimes all our friends and family want from us is a little undivided attention.

20. Celebrate what has gone right this year

Often we focus so much on improving for 2020, that we forget to really appreciate how far we came in 2019. Savor your success. Give yourself a pat on the back. Reflect on how you have grown in your career. Be present.

Every year has its ups and downs and its lessons. I think we all have moments where we park in the driveway, and we can’t remember the drive home.

Time is constantly driving us to a new destination whether we are ready or not. We are in the unique business of helping people find a place to call home. With it comes many responsibilities, and to be honest, a little wear and tear on our vehicles.

However you decide to make your business plan this year, remember to leave a little extra room for kindness and compassion. Apply it generously and often. Cheers to a positive and vibrant 2020!

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging.  Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite 

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