It’s time to shake things up. Do things a little differently. According to real estate coach Darryl Davis, it’s also a good time to lean into these best practices and smart strategies for a successful year.

Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.

We’re all looking to experience abundance and a real estate business filled with opportunity and potential. After all, if you’re a new agent, that’s what you got into the business to experience. If you’re a veteran agent, you’re always looking to reach that next professional goal.

That means it’s time to shake things up. Do things a little differently. Lean into the best practices and smart strategies that can not only fuel your success, but also ensure that you have way more to smile about this year. 

If you’re ready to start hitting real estate home runs and fueling the kind of momentum that will create exponential growth, here’s where to start.

Top 10 things to focus on in 2022 to help you get to your next level 

Nurturing client relationships

The bottom line is that this is a people business. Six- and seven-figure earners don’t focus on the dollars — they focus on their clients and on serving at the highest possible level. That means communicating on a regular basis and staying top of mind.

Really staying top of mind. Not like, “Darryl, I just sent a Christmas card, I can check that client off the list!” Really nurturing those relationships like remembering birthdays and home anniversaries (think system, not memory).

Making the time to stop by for a face-to-face visit a few times a year with a small token or gift. (We call those “Smile Stops.”) I recommend quarterly phone calls, biannual visits and monthly (newsletter) or quarterly mailings.

Make prospecting a priority

I get it. Prospecting is daunting for a lot of you. That whole picking up the phone thing is scary. The truth is, though, it doesn’t have to be.

A lot of that fear dissipates when you remember two things:  One, it’s not about selling, it’s about serving and helping and just having conversations with other human beings to learn how you can help them.

Two, practice makes everything easier. Once you get in the habit of making daily calls, picking up the phone can begin to be one of the best parts of your day.

Ask yourself, “Who can I meet? Who can I help?” From for sale by owner (FSBOs) to expireds to neighbors and niche markets — your job is to start connecting and building new relationships so you can move them from prospects into your sphere and hopefully create new clients for life.

Mastering the listing conversation

One of the most important things for you to learn to do as an agent is to master your listing conversation skills. That doesn’t mean memorizing a canned speech or learning to “find a pain point and close hard.”

It means learning how to have real and meaningful conversations with sellers about why hiring you is the best thing they can do to help ensure they have a high rate of return on their investment, avoid legal pitfalls and sell their home with the least amount of stress possible. The best way to have these conversations is to first get clear on what you bring to the table as a professional.

You have resources, training and tools that give you the ability and authority to help sellers get more for their home. Find your favorites — those things you are most passionate about offering, and then learn and practice stories, metaphors and analogies to convey those tools and methods with sellers and articulate how you can help them achieve their goal of selling their home. 

Building listing inventory and validating Realtors

Last year was a tough one for inventory, there’s no doubt, and it sent a lot of agents scrambling to work with buyers only. The problem with focusing solely on working with buyers is that you’re not in control.

What you need and what our industry needs right now is more inventory. The more listings on the market, the more service we can provide, the more we can validate our value as professionals.

I often teach agents to build their “shoe store” — meaning their listing inventory. If you only have one listing, it’s like having just one pair of shoes to sell — once you’ve sold it, you’re out of business.

But if you have a shoe store stocked with shoes, then not only do you stay in business, but other agents bring their clients to your store to buy shoes. 

Getting a buyer’s agency agreement every time

The time has come to stop letting buyer prospects dictate your time and energy without an agreement that protects your relationship, your commission and the best interests of both you and your buyer. The difference between a prospect and a client is a working agreement that spells out the terms of your relationship and spotlights your value so that they don’t make an offer on the first FSBO they come across.

Meet with your buyer leads early, let them know that an agreement will allow you to protect their interests, negotiate on their behalf, find them the best properties on the market and help ensure they get the best possible price for their property. It allows them protection under insurances when visiting and viewing potential homes and creates a legal safety net they can count on.

The more confident and effectively communicative you are about the benefits of a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the less push back you’ll get and the easier it will be to get buyer loyalty.

Building a solid database of leads and clients

Earlier in the article, I talked about nurturing relationships, creating touch-points for special dates like birthdays and anniversaries, and staying top of mind consistently. To do this, you need a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager).

In the history of our industry, there has never been a more important time to get your database ducks in a row because it is far too easy for things to slip through the cracks. The truth is that we can’t remember everything and we shouldn’t try.

A solid, real estate-specific CRM will allow you to track your goals, set appointments and return call reminders, stay top of mind with done-for-you content such as newsletters and drip campaigns, and never, ever have a past client wonder “what the name of their agent is”.

It’s up to us to keep our name, brand and value in their orbit. A CRM will help you do that will more ease and less hiccups. 

Improving your tech game

The pandemic certainly spotlighted a steep learning curve for a lot of agents in terms of tech. Virtual listing conversations, electronic tools for signatures and contracts, virtual tours and floorplans, and so much more took center stage as agents had to adjust to a new way of delivering their tools and services to often anxious buyers and sellers.

Determine what your tech strengths and weaknesses are early this year so that you can bookmark the time for training and adoption one tool at a time in 2022.

Staying healthy

We’ve certainly had more opportunities to learn about the importance of health and well-being in the last couple years than ever. When we get sick or run down, we lose valuable time – not just in our business, but in our lives.

This year, make a commitment to yourself to do what you can do to protect your health and cultivate the energy you need to be at the top of your game. From getting enough rest and staying hydrated to taking vitamins and exercising – we’ve got one vessel to navigate this life in. It’s time to take care of yours for your own sake as well as those who love you. 

Training and skill-building

Training is not a “should do” anymore – not that it ever really was. It is a must for anyone who wants to not only thrive in this business, but frankly, stay in this business.

Our industry and market are changing all the time and there are new detractors and disrupters all the time. Skill building and education are paramount to building your business – and decreasing your stress. The more you know, the better you will be at handling whatever comes your way.

The incredible thing is that we live in a time where technology allows us to learn on-demand 24/7 and tap into resources in ways that work for any learning style.

Think about it this way:  if you improve your skill just 10% a month that’s 120% a year! That’s like a whole new you! It’s also how you double your income…one month at a time!

Focusing on the task, not the goal

Here’s an insight for you. Sometimes those big goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year feel looming. You can get demotivated at times because they can make you focus on what you don’t have yet or that you’re not reaching them fast enough.

Plus, annual goals can be something agents set then literally forget until it’s November again and they look at their business plan in preparation for the next year.

Instead, focus on the tasks that will bring you closer to your goal every day. Tasks like an hour of prospecting, weekly coaching, skill training, client nurturing, etc. You’ll feel less stressed and more in control than you ever have if you do which will prompt you to want to stick to it! 

If you’re ready to take 2022 on for all it’s worth, then choose your focus. Dig in and dive in to the things you can do to improve your odds of creating a breakthrough in your business and life this year.

Darryl Davis is the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. Connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.

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