Old clients, old friends, old leads — you truly never know what or who will come back to ask for your professional services. So, take the time to try things, initiate conversations and regenerate relationships. Here’s how.

Recently, I was talking with a colleague who said that he had some topsoil delivered to his house. He wanted to use it to fill in some planting beds. In the days after he mixed it in with the existing soil, seeds that had been dormant in the soil suddenly began to wake up and beautiful flowers popped up that he had never seen before. He summed it up by saying, “I guess nothing is ever really dead.”

It got me thinking about the unique industry that we’re part of, where we provide an essential service for one of life’s most fundamental needs — a place to live. A place to lay your head at night. A shelter from the literal storms — and the storms of life.

In our business, too, nothing ever really dies. That lead that you talked to two years ago? She finally got her financing sorted, and she’s ready to move forward. That couple who bought their forever home a few years ago? They’ve decided that they want to move to be closer to the grandkids.

You truly never know what or who will come back to ask a question, seek advice or ask for your professional services. Old clients, old friends, old leads — they’re all likely to show up on your radar at some point.

I’ve tested this truth again and again over the years when I send out something to my sphere of influence. It is amazing how seeing your name in their inbox will set off a lightbulb moment for friends and family, reminding them of a question they meant to send your way or some help that they need.

It reminds them to send your info to a friend they just spoke with about real estate or to get you to send them some comps for advanced planning of a home sale or purchase.

It’s time to get back to work nurturing your sphere

Dive deep back into your sphere of influence as the end of 2021 approaches. With such an active market, you have plenty of reasons to reach out. Send some information on their market and close with a strong call to action.

When done right, it can set you up with all the ingredients for a great start to the new year.

Reevaluate previous ideas, and revisit the best ones

Similarly, it’s a good idea to spend some time looking at past ideas to see if they have germinated and are ready to blossom.

Remember that marketing plan you didn’t have time or money to implement? Maybe it’s time to revisit it. That new concept for creating a more robust referral network? Pull it out and let the sunshine in.

Focus on your niche — or develop a new one

Did you give some thought to creating a more in-depth niche, then abandon your plans when the market got hot? It could be time to revisit that notion and see if it still makes sense for your business model and local market.

Implement good habits or restart previous strategies

Have you put aside some of your former good habits? Stopped writing notes to people when they’re on your mind or when you want to say thanks? Quit making time for pop-bys or catch-up phone calls?

One of the ways that I’m reaching out to my sphere this holiday season is with a gift of a pie for their dessert table. It’s an affordable and simple way to show that I am thinking of them and thankful for them, now and throughout the year.

Get social with long-lost friends and colleagues

Did COVID isolation change the way you interact with others? Have you stopped inviting friends and colleagues out for a cup of coffee or a weekly lunch date? It’s time to get back into some of the social habits we’ve let slide over the past year and a half.

Update previous planning, and find new ways to make it work

Many of us had pre-COVID plans that got sidetracked or put on hold. Dust those off, and see what still works or what changes need to be made to make them viable.

There’s so much potential in ideas from old journals or from binders created at a training event. Get them out, look through them, and find the spark of inspiration that may lead to your next big thing.

As my friend said, nothing ever really dies. It’s there just waiting for you to nurture it and grow it into something new. Maybe it won’t look just like you thought it would. Maybe it will be better. But taking the time to try things, to initiate conversations, to generate — or regenerate — something can pay big dividends in 2022.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.
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