As an agent, when it comes to increasing your business in the new year, you need an actionable plan before the year starts if you want to be intentional and strategic about achieving your goals.

New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here.

As an agent, when it comes to increasing your business in the new year, you need an actionable plan before the year starts if you want to be intentional and strategic about achieving your goals.

Whether you’re already looking at where to spend your marketing budget or currently combing through a summary of your transactions to estimate an end-of-year total transaction volume, here are five steps to taking a real look at your 2022 performance to more effectively bring your aspirations to fruition in 2023.

Reflect on your most memorable achievements

Before you get into the micro-details, think of the big picture with gratitude and curiosity. What top three memorable achievements come to mind from the last year? Consider asking a colleague of yours or teammate what they consider was your best win for the year.

Did you receive kudos on a particular big sale or handle a difficult client with patience and tact? What accomplishments made you most proud from this last year? Thinking about these achievements will put you in the right energy for drawing up your goals for the next year.

Review the numbers

Take a walk through your financial year. Pull up your CRM, spreadsheets, all your data and compare year-over-year gains, then set your financial intentions for this next year. Be realistic though, as the market today is no longer on the unprecedented upswing it was for the last two years.

Develop measurable takeaways that will help you market your results. For example, did you double your closings year-over-year? Did you break into a new market? Did you invest in your ongoing education or do a big marketing push? You are your best advocate as an agent, market your success well and forecast your goals accordingly for the new year.

Analyze your brand as an agent

How did you show up for your existing clients? How can you improve your quality, expand your network and create a stronger, solid brand for yourself as an agent? A sign of a strong agent is when every client of theirs can confidently refer them to friends and family.

While referrals provide a good base of trust for new clients, don’t forget that you still need to impress those new contacts. Is your marketing up to date? How recent was your headshot? What kind of touchpoints are you using to follow up with clients? What qualities do fellow agents and past clients say are your best assets? Remember to embody those qualities in every relationship and transaction.

Think about how you can tangibly better your brand next year.

Pick an inspirational role model

What are two or three things that an individual — whether a fellow Realtor or perhaps a successful entrepreneur — does that makes you admire them? How can you apply that same grit or finesse to your practice as a real estate agent? Does that person have an engaged social media audience?

Did a senior agent in your brokerage rise in the ranks and gain more leads because they weren’t afraid to start off making 10 calls a day? Chances are the role model makes their success look easy, but there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes. If it’s someone in your day-to-day life, invite them to coffee to learn more about how they catapulted their career.

Plot out goal milestones onto your calendar

For me, my calendar is everything. If it’s not time-blocked into my color-coded calendar, it likely won’t happen. If you weren’t meticulous about your calendar in 2022, I recommend you try it for 2023.

What goals were realistic to achieve and what might’ve been overly ambitious this past year? Keep your ambition, but remember to be practical in the time you have; work smarter, not harder.

Visualize your goals not just in your head, but by working focused time into your digital calendar to accomplish them. If you want to gain X number of new clients per month, allot time in your calendar to nurture connections, doorknock and host events.

If you want to boost your marketing efforts in a targeted market, figure out how you want to accomplish this (advertorial in the local paper? Flyers in high-end local restaurants? New business cards with a QR code on them?) and then schedule meetings to develop these assets with your marketing team.

Throughout your goal-setting process, keep an attainable action plan at the center of it all — however that looks for you and your unique business. A well-prepared agent is key to being a successful one.

Rainy Hake Austin is President of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with her on Instagram.

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