Another year is winding down, and it’s time for a fresh start.
Time for new goals. And of course, New Year’s resolutions.
We all have goals. (“I’m going sell plenty in 2020!”). But resolutions? Maybe resolutions aren’t really your thing.
I love Cape Cod Realtor Katie Clancy’s take on New Year’s resolutions. “I don’t make resolutions.” says Katie @theCapeHouse. “I just employ steady pressure to my goals all the time in the form of habits.”
So let’s start there. Call these “declarations”. Or maybe “affirmations”.
Whatever you call ‘em, their purpose is to provide inspiration to crush your goals for 2020:
1. I am constantly increasing my production through the power of habit.
When you got out of bed this morning, what did you do first? Jump in the shower? Check your email? Grab a doughnut?
When you arrived at your desk today, what did you do first? Call a prospect? Chat with a colleague? Check the new MLS listings?
The choices we make each day may seem inconsequential. But over time, the way we organize our thoughts and our work routines have tremendous impact on our productivity and our happiness.
The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
“A resolution is an abstract idea. A habit is an action, albeit small, taken in the direction of awesomeness.”–Katie Clancy
Turns out there’s a science to why habits exist and how they can be changed. Want to learn more? Check out Charles Duhigg’s excellent book “The Power of Habit”.
2. Success comes to me daily through consistent follow-up.
Speaking of habits, here’s one many experts agree is critical for success in real estate sales.
Loida Velasquez, Southern California Realtor and YouTuber says “consistent follow-up takes you from being an average agent to the best agent. It’s your job to do as much follow up as possible, reaching out every month or every few weeks so you always stay on top of mind.”
Any lead can take up to 12 follow up calls before they convert. How many times are you reaching out, before you give up?
3. I choose not to waste my time…or anyone else’s
Time management is essential. If you’re not intentional about your time usage, you’ll find that distractions and day-to-day problems can easily prevent you from taking the actions needed to achieve your goals.
Top-performing Las Vegas Realtor Debbie Drummond shares some solid recommendations:
- Get in the habit of allocating time for phone calls and emails in the morning and as needed throughout the day.
- Spend at least one hour a day prospecting.
- Be careful that social media doesn’t become a distraction or time waster. Limit how frequently you check social media accounts to avoid wasting time that could be used for prospecting.
4. I commit myself to gaining wisdom; it’s the reward that comes while I listen when I’d rather be talking.
If you’ve been in real estate a day or two, you know all about “the grind”.
Real Estate coaches rate your ability to “grind” as the critical success factor. They encourage you to “work your face off!”, to “embrace the grind!”.
“Out work everyone else, and you’ll outperform everyone else”.
But doesn’t take the wisdom of Solomon to realize that hard work alone is no guarantee of success. Smart work is just as important.
Just because you “nailed it” in 2019 doesn’t mean you’ve arrived.
Just when you think you have a handle on things, the market shifts, or technology disrupts, or mortgage rates flip, or buyer and seller attitudes change, or new competition springs forth.
Constant change creates constant challenges. Constant challenges require constant growth.
“Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”–Jim Rohn
In 2020, make getting wisdom the principal thing. And though it may cost you, get understanding. Learn how to work smart.
5. I choose to run my real estate business with the mindset of a CEO
Realtors are a funny group. They help clients make the biggest financial decision of their lives, and do so with ease and grace. But when it comes to their own money matters, well… they can get overwhelmed.
They solely focus on top line sales, but lose track of bottom line profit and cash flow. As if life begins and ends with sales.
It does not.
That’s why it’s important to put together a business plan–and follow it.
Debbie Drummond: “Determine how much money you need to spend on office expenses, transportation, marketing each month to produce the income you need to succeed. Stick to the plan and be cautious about wasting money on the latest lead gen pitch.”
For example, Debbie recommends saving 20% of your income to invest in marketing.
I’d like to add one other thought on expenses. Diligently set aside 25-30% of your commission checks for income taxes. Like any CEO, sit down with a tax accountant quarterly to discuss strategies to increase your profit and cash flow and reduce your tax liability.
And don’t forget to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS.
You’ll sell with more confidence, and work with real estate clients more effectively, when you know you’re handling your own finances responsibly.
So there’s Five New Year’s Resolutions Every Realtor Should Make for 2020.
But wait. Santa tells me you’ve been good boys and girls this year, so here’s one extra. Consider it a stocking stuffer!
6. I am constantly developing my special niche in the real estate marketplace
“Very few real estate professionals can–or want to–do everything for everybody” says James Kimmons, a New Mexico broker and author of The Real Estate Agents Desk Reference.
“The most successful agents have found a niche for themselves, and they’ve stuck with it.”
A niche can involve catering to
- a certain type of client (flippers, home builders, first-time buyers)
- a certain neighborhood or market area (uptown, downtown, suburban neighborhood, beachfront area)
- a certain property type (luxury homes, vacation homes, commercial buildings, condos)
Some areas of specialization are more common than others, and some have been highly successful for agents.
It never hurts to specialize in something that you enjoy doing.
It doesn’t mean you turn your back on opportunities outside your ‘niche’. You’re free to work with anyone anywhere and anytime you may choose.
But it does help develop your “brand”, allows you to more quickly acquire specialized expertise, and oft-times generates a more free flow of referrals as you become known as the “go-to” expert in your chosen niche.
That’s it for this time; hope 2020 will be your best year yet, and see you next time.
Jim Flauaus, EA
About the author: Jim Flauaus, EA is a leading expert in pro-active tax strategies for Realtors. An Enrolled Agent, he is authorized by the US Treasury to practice before the IRS in all 50 states, and works with agents and brokers across the US. Learn more at RealEstateTaxCoach.com
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