By the time most of you will be reading this, we’ll all be stuffed from the holidays, rested and relaxed. It just happens to be the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

Are you thinking about 2012?
What is your plan?
What does your business look like in 2012?

As a fellow business owner, I know that while making plans for the New Year should be exciting and energizing, it can also be quite daunting. I put together a few ideas for your 2012 planning and strategizing session. Hopefully these tips and online tools will help you plan and make 2012 an awesome year!

Get Back To Basics – Create a Business Plan

If I’m being honest, this year is the first year that I’ve done a business plan for my 11- year-old Real Estate Virtual Assistant business.  It has always seemed so time consuming and frankly, I just never made time!

I recently found an online tool that takes you step-by-step to create your business plan and financial forecast. Unlike other templates that just give you the format to follow, this tool prompts you to answer several questions and then it pumps out the plan, all typed up and looking pretty.  The best part is that it is free (although, there is also a paid service if you want to get their logo off of your plan).  Get back to basics and create your plan now. Here is the site:

Think Proactively Rather Than Reactively – Create your Marketing Plan Now

One of the things I’ve noticed when assisting my real estate clients is that the marketing we do for them today pays off in no less than 3-6 months.  This means that those people we hit with a postcard or connect with on Facebook today probably won’t actually become a client and buy a home for at least 3-6 months. What I see happen far too often is that the agent gets busy so the marketing stops. Then, after dealing with the 2-3 immediate closings, the agent is left scratching his or her head wondering where the next closing is going to come from. As a result, we are urgently called upon to get some marketing out the door. It doesn’t have to be this way if you plan ahead and think proactively rather than reactively.

Create your marketing plan now for the entire year.

You can always add or tweak as the year goes by, but having it on paper and planned out will help you stay focused. We’ve helped many agents come up with a yearly marketing plan. We’ve even been able to put some of our clients’ plans on “auto-pilot” by adding them to a marketing drip. If you happen to work with a real estate virtual assistant, ask them to be part of your planning session, too!  They can handle the creation and implementation, making this task even easier and more enjoyable for you.

Here’s My Recommendations

  • I would start with a plan for your past clients and spending the most money and time here.
  • Next, figure out what you will be doing with your online leads. Do you have some type of drip system? If not, get one quick!
  • In addition to the obvious plans, think outside of the box with your marketing. How will you draw in the savvy buyer or seller?  How about hosting a monthly seller seminar at the local library?
  • Send out a postcard for an “online webinar” for homeowners with expired listings, letting them know you’ll teach them why their home didn’t sell all from the comfort of their homes.

In business today, we need to think on our toes and be more innovative than the next guy or gal.  This takes careful thought and planning. Make sure you’re allowing yourself – this is an important time to reflect upon what didn’t work in 2011, and what you’ll do differently in 2012.

What are you planning to do in 2012?  We should all take a moment to share a thought/idea on how you’ll stay ahead (or get ahead) in 2012.  Let us know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!!!


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