Is your desire to grow your business this year? What are you doing right now that your competition isn’t? According to Jimmy Burgess, by focusing on optimizing the efficiencies in your business and serving others with the highest level of service possible, your continued success is inevitable.

There’s so much noise out there on how to navigate a challenging market. This April, let Inman help you cut through the clutter to make smart business decisions in real time. All month long, we’re taking it Back to Basics and finding out how real estate pros are evolving their systems and investing personally and professionally to drive growth.

This post was last updated April 1, 2023.

The real estate market has changed and top-producing agents realize they must change as well. They understand the success they’ve achieved in the past will not continue unless they adjust to the new market environment and optimize their operation.

The following are the seven power moves top-producing agents are making right now.

1. They’re evaluating expenses

With fewer transactions available real estate professionals are evaluating all of their expenses. They are deciding which expenses are yielding an acceptable return on their investment and which expenses should be reduced or eliminated.

The savings from expense reductions flow straight to the bottom line, and this practice not only increases profitability, but it also offers an opportunity to identify expenses that may need to be increased due to the positive return they render.

If you’re wondering how to evaluate the expenses in your business, start by making a list of all expenses you’ve incurred over the past 90 days. If these aren’t readily available, begin keeping an expense diary for the next 30 days.

Evaluate and quantify the value, or lack thereof, for each expense. I like to break these down into four categories:

  • Must keep: Expenses that cannot be eliminated or reduced due to their positive impact on the business.
  • Keep but reduce: Expenses that help the business but could be reduced in the short term and reevaluated when the business improves.
  • Eliminate now but reconsider later: Expenses that are unnecessary in the current market environment but they may return to viability in an improved market.
  • Eliminate immediately or as soon as possible: These are expenses with no merit now or in the foreseeable future.

Anything you inspect, you can expect to perform better. Evaluating all your business expenses is a great place to begin optimizing your business for success.

2. They’re evaluating income

Top-producing Realtors are examining where their income originates. They are identifying the areas that have been the most and least productive. Once they identify these areas, they are choosing to spend more time and effort on the activities yielding transactions while eliminating the ones that are less productive.

If you’re wondering how to evaluate your business income, start by making a list of all your transactions over the past three years. Off to the side of each transaction, identify what activity initiated that transaction. Was it 

  • a referral
  • someone you met originally at an open house
  • an internet lead
  • a lead from your geographical farming efforts
  • a customer from another activity you may have been doing

Once you have an activity identified beside each transaction, total how many transactions have come from each activity. Then divide the number of transactions that came from that activity by the total number of transactions. These percentages will clearly identify the most productive income-generating activities you have in your business.

By focusing your efforts on the activities with the best results, the efficiency in, and in turn income, of your business will increase.

3. They’re building systems

Top real estate agents are using this time to build systems in their businesses. They understand the pace with which the business moved over the past few years made it difficult to slow down enough to build systems. That is not the case today.

These top agents are using this slowdown in transactions as an opportunity to prepare their business to not only run more efficiently now, but to have the capacity to handle more business in the future.

The best way to build systems for your business is to identify repetitive activities that can be systemized via checklists or automation. Checklists for a new listing, contract-to-close activities, post-closing activities, marketing plans for a new listing, or other similar activities are a great way to make sure nothing is missed throughout the process.

Developing automated follow-up systems for online leads, drip campaigns for nurturing future clients, building marketing plans for expired listings and FSBOs, or any other plans of action that can be outlined and easily followed provides the leverage needed to expand the business.

The systems put in place today are the seeds for future business expansion. Make sure you’re utilizing this time to prepare your business for future growth.

4. They’re upgrading the talent around them

The best real estate agents are taking this time to upgrade the talent around them. They’re evaluating every person they have on their team. 

The paid employees being evaluated might include their personal assistant, their transaction coordinator, or their buyer’s agent. They’re also evaluating the people they depend on to assist their clients, including but not limited to, their preferred lender, their preferred home inspector, and the handyman they refer clients to.

They realize this is not a time to accept mediocrity in regard to any members of their team whether employed by them or someone they refer business to. They are identifying the service providers who have not only provided great service but who have also returned the favor by referring business to them. By doing so, they can identify whether the relationship has the potential to be a two-way street of growing together or not.

Now is the time to assemble the most talented team possible to serve your clients at the highest level possible. The people around you will determine how much growth your business is capable of having.

5. They’re focusing on where the puck will be instead of where it has been

This is a play on the famous quote from Hall of Fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Top agents realize there are certain activities they can focus on now that will position them for success both in the short term and for the long term. They’re spending time on areas like producing evergreen video content that will work for them while they sleep for years to come. 

They’re focusing on their Google Business Profile page with an understanding that time spent optimizing their page today provides compounding opportunities now and in the future. 

They’re building their social media presence with an understanding that the value of an engaged social media following will reap an abundant harvest in the coming years.

By focusing on these and other core activities, they are setting the stage for unprecedented growth in the future.

6. They’re having more real estate-related conversations

The best real estate agents realize the most valuable assets they have are their relationships. Top agents are utilizing this time to check-in with their past clients and their sphere of influence.

They’re also expanding their reach by engaging with as many new people as possible. 

They’re hosting more open houses to increase their ability to have conversations with new potential clients. They’re letting the neighbors know about their new listing either by door knocking or circle prospecting. They’re joining clubs, service organizations or charitable groups to expand the number of relationships they have.

They understand the number of transactions they close this year and in the future will be a direct result of the number of real estate-related conversations they have.

7. They’re getting greedy while other agents are fearful

This is a play on the famous Warren Buffett quote: “I get fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

The market today includes a lot of agents who are fearful and unsure of what to do. Top producers understand that chaos creates opportunity. While other agents are fearful, top agents are getting greedy.

They’re getting greedy about producing more content allowing them to broaden their reach and market share. They’re getting greedy by taking on more geographical farm areas while others are pulling back or leaving the business. 

They’re getting greedy by focusing on adding more value than ever before to the market with an understanding that by giving more today, they’re gaining market share even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

They understand the real estate market is cyclical, and they recognize now is the opportunity to take market share by doing the business the right way while others struggle to survive.

Is your desire to grow your business this year? What are you doing right now that your competition isn’t? By focusing on optimizing the efficiencies in your business and serving others with the highest level of service possible, your continued success is inevitable.

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