There will always be winners and losers in real estate, Jimmy Burgess writes this week. The winners in today’s market will take steps to increase sales now, while setting the stage for more business in the future.

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You should always be more excited about your future than your past. But when markets become challenging, we find ourselves reminiscing about how good things were. Often forgetting that it’s not a matter of if — but when — a strong real estate market will return.

There will always be winners and losers in real estate. The winners in today’s market will take steps to increase sales now, while setting the stage for more business in the future. Here’s how to ensure that your business will be stronger tomorrow than it is today.

Step 1: Figure out where you want to go, where you’ve been, where you are now, and how you got here

Charting a path to a brighter future begins with understanding what you want your business to look like in the future, what your business was like in the past, where you are in your business now and how did your business get here.

You must start by identifying exactly what you want your business to look like in the future.

  • How many transactions do you want to close?
  • Will you grow a team or stay a single agent?
  • What is it that your dream business of the future would look like?

The clearer you are about what you want, the easier it will be to identify the activities needed to achieve your goal.

Next, we need to understand what your business looked like when you had your best year.

  • How much market share did you control?
  • Was the workload you carried during that time sustainable, or should you consider adjusting by adding an assistant or an additional team member?

Identifying the strengths and weaknesses in your current business helps you understand how to design a business that is scalable in the future.

Next, understand where your business is today in relation to market share in the past.

Is the current pullback in your business in line with the overall market pullback, or is your business’s decline outpacing the market? This will give us a better understanding of whether wholesale changes need to be made or simply fine-tuning your current operation makes more sense.

The last part of Step 1 is to realize how you got where you are. Start by making a list of all the transactions you’ve had over the past four to five years. Out to the side of each transaction, write out how each of these clients first came into your business.

Did they first come through a referral, an open house, geographical farming, an online lead, or any other prospecting method that may have originally generated them as a lead?

Total the number of transactions generated by each lead source, and calculate them as a percentage of the total transactions you’ve had. These percentages will give you an understanding of the prospecting methods you should focus on to achieve your future goals — and which prospecting methods you should eliminate due to a lack of generating results.

Step 2: Focus on the leading indicators

The activities you do today are the precursors to the listings and closings you will have in the future. Understanding this should lead you to focus on daily activities that will generate your desired results in the future. We call these activities leading indicators because if we do these activities, we can reasonably expect positive results in the future.

Industry averages tell us that 50 real estate-related conversations generate one transaction. This helps you formulate a baseline number of conversations needed daily to reach your annual transaction goals.

Conversations should be the main leading indicator you focus on, but there are other leading indicator activities you can do to ensure future success as well.

Every individual is different, and that is why Step 1 focuses on identifying the strategies that have yielded results for you in the past. The future is coming either way, so now is the time to focus on activities that will help your business thrive now and into the future.

The following is a breakdown of leading indicator activities, utilizing the acronym coming, that can help you build the future business you desire.

  • C – Content: Producing content helps you deepen relationships and broaden your audience. Whether it’s social media posts or video content on YouTube, consistent content creation that is educational and entertaining will grow your business in the future.
  • O – Overstudy your market: The most competent agent in your marketplace who shares his or her expertise through content creation will expand their audience and influence in their local market. Become the local expert by knowing your market better than anyone else.
  • M – Make friends: People do business with people they like. The wider your relational reach, the more opportunity your business has for growth. Focus on expanding your network through adding new relationships.
  • I – Improve yourself: Become the best version of yourself physically, mentally and relationally. The better you are — in all areas of your life — the better you can serve your clients and the more equipped you will be for business growth.
  • N – Notice people: Most agents have a sphere of influence large enough to grow their business, but they forget to notice and stay connected with the people that would love to support them. Don’t miss the opportunity to notice the people who you have an established relationship with.
  • G – Give without expectation: The second you begin to serve everyone around you — without an expectation of reciprocity — your future success is secured. Focus on serving, and you will be served.

Step 3: Do at least 3 leading indicators per day

Consistency is the key to future success. The previous exercises have given you a better understanding of what works in your business and the areas of focus that will build the future business of your dreams. Now comes the execution.

At a minimum, do three leading indicator activities per day. They all revolve around conversations, but how you generate those conversations is up to you. Should you create more video content, host more open houses, focus on geographical farming (to M – make friends), or invite past clients or members of your sphere of influence to meet for coffee or lunch?

The daily activities are up to you, but executing a minimum of three of them is needed to make sure you build momentum for your future business. When you increase your consistency, you can expect expansion.

Step 4: Build systems

For your business to grow in the future, you must have systems in place to handle that growth. Evaluate the processes and systems you have in place. Are there some that could use an update? Are there areas where you need to develop systems?

Everything you do in your business more than twice should have a process or system in place.

Many of these processes will involve checklists to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. No matter how many flights a pilot makes, every flight starts with a preflight checklist. This ensures the pilot doesn’t miss anything needed for a successful flight.

Your business should be run the same way. Not only does it make sure you execute everything properly, but it also gives you the opportunity to plug someone else into the process that can help you succeed by simply following the checklist or system.

You should have a new listing checklist that outlines each activity that needs to be completed once the listing agreement is signed. A marketing checklist for new listings. A contract-to-close checklist. An after-the-sale process. All of these activities will give you the ability to scale your business in the future.

Step 5: Win today

Long-term success is about controlling what you can control. You can’t rewrite your past or control whether you have headwinds in the future. But you can control whether you win today or not.

At the end of each day, you should know whether you won or lost that day by whether or not you executed on the leading indicators affecting your future business’s success or failure. Keep a scorecard. Did you move the ball forward today, or did you lose ground?

By winning today, then winning the next day, and winning the next day, your future success is imminent.

Faith is defined as believing in things yet unseen. Assurance is a confidence or certainty in one’s own ability. Begin to have faith that your future is brighter than your past. Become assured, confident and certain that you have everything you need to grow your business to new levels of success.

Lastly, buy sunglasses — if you follow the steps above, your future will be so bright that you are going to need them.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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