The third quarter is winding down, but the market is still hot. If you’re willing to dig deep, hold the line and keep your foot on the gas, you can ensure your business will have a strong fourth quarter.

In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.

If you live in the northeastern United States, then you have seen that this year that there are chipmunks — like everywhere. It’s been a good year for the chipmunks to say the least. Well, actually the good year for the chipmunks started last year when there was a large crop of beechnuts, acorns and other food.

The chipmunks hoarded their nuts and got a head start on hibernation, leading to coming out of hibernation earlier, and a high survivorship of their young.

Bare with me here, we’ll get to real estate. The chipmunks saw their opportunity, took advantage of it and it’s paying off big time right now.

Be like the chipmunk. 

The third quarter is winding down, and if we want to have a year of abundance like the chipmunks did, then we better start gathering our acorns now. Realtor.com reported that the average home’s days on market was 60 in July. This means, to close deals by the end of December, you need to have your clients’ homes under contract by the end of October at the latest. The market is still strong — take advantage of it now, while preparing yourself for the fourth quarter. 

The work you put in now will be the harvest you reap come spring.

This is the time when we see the professionals separate themselves from the amateurs and take the lead. Natural selection? Perhaps, but I think you can game the system if you’re willing to dig deep, hold the line and keep your foot on the gas. Here’s how: 

1. Stop living in the past 

As the leader of your organization (or anyone leading another person in a company or on a team), you need to get out of living in the past.

If you had a slow start to the year, fine. If you absolutely crushed it and had your best year yet, fine. It doesn’t matter what happened before. What needs to happen to be prepared for the next season of business?

Start acting that way now, before the ball drops on 2020. Regardless of what happened last month or last week, focus on the activities that are necessary to hit your goals. How would a millionaire real estate agent act in the third quarter? Do that now. Don’t wait.

2. Celebrate the wins, and turn up the intensity

Our team has had the best three months since we launched about nine years ago. Did we celebrate? Hell yeah, we did! But we didn’t stop there for too long, basking in our own awesomeness.

We gave the moment and our team the acknowledgement they deserved, and then we got back to work. A big part of our success has been our commitment to consistency during this unprecedented and uncertain time.

Our consistency helped us thrive and will continue to keep us on track. But what we need to do now is turn up the intensity on the consistency we’ve built. If you’ve got your routine down, then turn up the intensity on the most important activities.

Turn up the intensity on your morning routine. Turn up the intensity on your calls and lead generation activities. Turn up the intensity when you’re working in the office. Turn up the intensity when you’re at home with family and friends.

Turn up the intensity on your client communication. Turn up the intensity on your leadership. And then, leaders, have this same conversation every day with your team. Turn it up! 

3. Build up your database and pipeline 

How’s your database looking these days? When is the last time you called everyone to check in? When’s the last time you added five new names to your database?

Have you reached out to your friends, family and your general network lately? If not, it’s not too late. Start gathering names, contact information, and appointments — and store up for winter. The work you put in now will be the harvest you reap come spring. Make it your mission to get at least 25 C buyers (clients who want to make a move in the next 90 days) into your pipeline in the next 30 days.

Make sure every agent on your team has a list of 25 C buyers as well. Then rally around this number! You will have two main focuses: closing A buyers and building your database of C buyers. 

4. Review your financials, and cut expenses 

Although this should be a monthly activity, if you haven’t reviewed your financials in a while, get out a red pen and do a thorough review of your expenses.

Now is not the time to tiptoe around line items. Be ruthless. Eliminate all expenses that are not giving you a return on your investment (or that are preventing you from using those funds toward something that could give you an even bigger return).

Saying no to one expense opens up the possibility to say yes to one that will have a bigger impact on the bottom line. Cut any expense that is not necessary to help you with the dollar-producing activities on your team.

One note of caution: Often, when business owners are evaluating their expenses, they immediately look to eliminate staff. Think twice if you have talent. Reducing staff is a short-term solution that can create a short- and long-term problem. As long as you have productive, talented team members, that should be the last expense you look to cut. 

5. Acquire talent 

As you’re squirreling (chipmunking?) away client leads in your database, don’t forget about agents! Now is the time to add some depth to your team roster.

There are going to be agents who are not prepared for the months ahead. That’s where you come in. It’s your job as a team leader to make your agents’ lives easier by being in your world, than if they were to do it themselves.

The third and fourth quarter of the year is when many agents are taking stock of their income, the available resources on their team or at their brokerage, their lifestyle, and their goals. This is when many agents decide to make a move.

Make it your mission to acquire the right people (remember, culture trumps profit!), and you will be adding tremendous value to their lives, and they will add transactional opportunities to yours. 

6. Get into coaching

Everyone can benefit from coaching. A great coach will create an individualized plan based on your specific goals to help you get where you want to go. Sometimes, the difference between a tree full of acorns and a cold, hungry winter is a great coach.

Are you prepared for the fourth quarter? This is when the pros show up. They do not let excuses, the holidays, the market, the technology or whatever derail them from their goals. The pros show up and do the work, day in and day out.

What are you going to do today and every day for the next 4.5 months to finish the year strong?   

Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s holistic approach to business here.

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