Your vanity metrics are trying to tell you something important about the way you’re spending time and money in your business. As part of going back to basics, Laura Monroe takes you through a simple analysis to find out what’s working, what’s not and what’s next for your business.

This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.

It’s Back to Basics Month here at Inman, and it’s a great time to “check yourself before you wreck yourself” as the great IceCube song goes. With concerns around the economy and inflation, your financial awareness, real estate lead acquisition costs and business expenses are starting to rise. Inventory is and will stay low. Now is the time to optimize your business and get back to basics.

Sometimes, finding out what to do next starts with look back at what’s been working, along with what hasn’t. To take that inventory, let’s do a mini SWOT analysis right now. It’s a great “back to basics” exercise to help you focus strategically on the right things: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)

S = Strengths: What are your strongest sources of business? Sphere? Referrals? Social Media leads? What activities have you been doing that brought you business?

Make sure you’re doubling down on tasks that brought you business this year. Any transaction you closed had a source (where they came from) and includes multiple relationships. Now is the time to go back, thank and nurture those relationships to stay top of mind and top of heart. 


  • Make some notes in your CRM, with a reminder to reach out again in a month. 
  • Send a handwritten note, or another “thinking of you” gift and stay connected. 
  • This could include the other agents you worked with, the brokerage, your team and of course your clients. 
  • Use any success story you had recently with clients and add content to your website, reviews to your Google My Business, and repurpose the advisory relationship you had with your clients. Content is king and works 24/7 to help build your brand. 

W = Weaknesses: What bad habits should you watch out for?

We all have bad habits. Most of it is comparing ourselves to other agents, or brokers. Doing things that others are doing because we THINK it’s making others successful.

Vanity metrics and “performative success” is what you focus on to look good to others, yet they have nothing to do with helping you understand your own performance in a way that informs business strategies. An example of a vanity metric is striving for more and more views on Reels, when those Reels are not bringing you business. 


  • Understand performative success and vanity metrics and see where they’re impacting your perceptions.
  • Take a hard look at what drains your time and keeps you away from listing or buyer appointments. 
  • Determine what daily habits you should create that would help to supercharge your business.
  • Don’t just chase views, comments, likes if those aren’t bringing you business.
  • Keep imposter syndrome in check! 

O = Opportunities

Now that you’ve looked at your strengths and weaknesses focus on new opportunities. Ask yourself: What are other sources of business for you? 

Stay aware of new ways to add value to your business. Don’t forget to cross-check it with your S and W above. 

T = Threats

Life and work have changed, for all of us. With a changing world are risks and threats to any business owner; it’s important to take time for risk assessment and put that time on your calendar. What are potential threats? Can you add your own here? 

Take some time to check yourself and your business. Now is the best time to refocus on what matters — even if that means taking care of the best version of yourself and your business.

Email Laura Monroe or connect with her on Facebook.

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