If you want to level up in 2022, first, slow down. Think carefully about the past year — what worked, what didn’t, what could’ve used a little improvement — and then start carving your path to growth one step at a time.

When planning for growth in 2022, a quote from Napoleon comes to mind: “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry.” I apply this philosophy to many avenues in my life — but especially to my real estate business.

Agents are always quick to move from one task to the next and from one deal to the other. But it’s important that, as real estate agents, we take our time in planning for the year ahead and laying out the roadmap to success, step by step. Here are five tactics I’ll use when planning for growth in 2022.

1. Step back in time

I’m always evaluating my business to see what’s working and what’s not so I can tailor my actions accordingly.

When planning for a new year, I like to take a step back and really dive into both the personal and professional areas where I have some room for improvement and note what avenues I’m taking where I’m seeing the most success. From there, I typically see what I need to do to be able to move forward and grow.

Each agent will find they have something completely different to work on — be it creating more work-life balance, streamlining operations, upping their marketing techniques or enhancing their digital and online strategy.

Whatever it is, take the time to identify what you need to work on. This will be the key in planning for your growth in 2022.

2. Set your goals

One sure-fire way of growing professionally and personally in the new year ahead is to document your goals and keep referring back to them to note benchmarks to your success. Once you have them down on paper, they become a reality.

Next, hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to reach those goals. I will say, you have to be realistic when setting goals and be kind to yourself in the process, too.

For example, if you set a goal of wanting to list five more homes this year than you did last year, and you only make it to four, that’s a huge achievement and by no means a failure. You will always be winning if you set realistic goals and be kind to yourself in the process.

3. Lay the foundation

Once you have identified areas for improvement, it’s time to put a plan of action in place to achieve your goal. For instance, if you need to reevaluate your work-life balance and feel like your job is consuming too much of your time, it may be time to start growing your team.

Need to enhance your marketing presence? It’s all about growing your knowledge and expertise, and then ultimately your business will follow. Look for online courses or training that your brokerage may offer. Not to mention, there are so many great articles to read online that delve into best practices and new trends. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

4. Think outside the box

As real estate agents, we consider most of our growth successes in terms of hard dollar figures or number of transactions. But I implore you to think beyond that in 2022 and to focus on another area of the business that is equally as important — your brand identity.

The real estate industry is one that’s driven by relationships and trust. It is important to set yourself apart from the crowd, to always be deliver white-glove service to your clients and present innovative solutions to achieve their buying or selling goals.

Make sure you’re constantly growing your creative approach to the job. This will be well-rewarded in those hard dollars and transaction numbers I mentioned above.

5. Keep yourself accountable

Keeping your eye on the prize and holding yourself accountable is sometimes one of the hardest factors we face when we’re looking to grow.

It is easy to get distracted by the day-to-day tasks and not set aside time to focus on the big-picture items that will truly take your career to the next level. If you make the effort to really work on those goals ever day and show up for yourself, you’ll eventually grow and succeed.

If you want to level up your business in 2022, I recommend that you first evaluate the previous year and learn from both your mistakes and triumphs. Take what you know, and create new goals to keep propelling yourself forward.

If you think outside the box and hold yourself accountable, I have no doubt that success will follow. Make sure to take your time in planning and creating a thoughtful and achievable path for success.

When I find myself hurrying along and racing to check the box, I recall Napoleon’s quote, take a deep breath and take a step back. Success is built with a strong foundation, carefully laying one brick at a time.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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