Happy New Year!
Are you ready to jump in with both feet and make 2020 your best year yet? I hope so!
If you’re super-organized and already have real estate systems in place for every facet of your business, then today’s message is not for you.
If you tend to be a bit scattered – and stressed over it – it is.
What kinds of real estate systems will help you succeed in 2020?
#1 – create a system for knowing where to spend your marketing dollars.
Because it’s so easy to get lured into trying marketing programs that cost plenty of time and money but don’t produce results, the first real estate system every agent needs is one that keeps track of where your clients come from. Not leads, but actual clients – because you can get a thousand “going nowhere” leads from a variety of (expensive) places.
When you’re bombarded with offers for programs that promise big results, it’s easy to be lured into wasting a LOT of money.
Where did your actual customers and clients come from last year? What prompted them to choose you? If you don’t know, then it’s time to create a system for keeping track. It could be a spreadsheet, either in your computer or on paper.
Keeping track, of course, begins with asking them – unless they obviously came from a capture form on your website or told you when they first made contact. Back when I was a broker, that was the hardest part for my agents – they simply couldn’t remember to ask.
Remember to ask, and if the answer is “on line,” try to learn where. Is it your agent bio, your content-rich website, or your blog posts that convince prospects that you’re the one? Perhaps clients are reaching you through a capture form on your website. If so, what did you offer in return for their contact information?
If your clients came from prospecting, were you prospecting a geographic area or a specialized niche? Which prospecting messages worked best? Were you using email or postal mail? Letters or postcards? Remember that prospecting is a trust and relationship building exercise – it often takes weeks or even months to produce results.
Be sure to note the answers the same day you get them, lest that task gets swept away and forgotten while you’re busy doing other things.
If you DO know what marketing brought you the most 2019 transactions, make it a priority to do more of what worked – and eliminate what didn’t work.
Create real estate systems for maintaining consistency in marketing.
Marketing is vital to a real estate career, and yet it is all too often the task that gets pushed aside when you’re busy. That’s why so many agents experience a roller coaster income.
This year, create the systems and have the discipline to maintain consistency.
If you’re mailing or emailing prospecting letters, it’s easy to create systems that will keep working even when you’re too busy to think about it. Here’s how: https://activerain.com/blogsview/5057867/successful-prospecting-demands-consistency—so-put-it-on-autopilot
If you’re using other marketing methods, stop now and decide when you will make the time to do them consistently.
Put that time in your daily/weekly/or monthly calendar and don’t deviate unless a true urgency interferes. You CAN arrange appointments around your marketing schedule if you treat your marketing time like you would any other appointment.
If your “working time” is simply too full, you may need to get up early, stay up late, or forgo television for an evening or two – but get it done! It is no fun to wake up the morning after your last closing and find yourself with no listings and no buyers searching for a home.
Create real estate systems for keeping track of your transactions.
If you have a transaction coordinator – wonderful! If not, then it’s up to you to make sure that everything gets done – and done on time.
Back when I was an agent, we used paper forms and file folders to keep everything together. I wrote a checklist on the outside of each file folder and made notes showing when each task was completed – and any follow up necessary. I also used a Franklin day planner to make sure I didn’t forget anything.
You may do it all electronically now, but however you keep track, you should have an “at a glance” list of things to be done for each transaction, along with the dates by which they must be completed.
Keep track of your finances.
I have a friend who stuffs all of his receipts into a box throughout the year. Then in about March he starts trying to sort them to deliver to his tax preparer. He always files for an extension because he’s never ready. Part of that is because he dreads the job and puts it off.
Don’t follow him!
Keep those records current all year long, so you don’t have a dreaded hassle at tax time.
If you love bookkeeping and just naturally do it with a pencil and ledgers, then keep doing what you’re doing.
If you’re ending up like my friend, stuffing everything in a box and dreading the job at the end of the year, take the time to set up systems. If you don’t have a bookkeeping program on your computer – get one. Then use it consistently.
Set time aside at regular intervals to enter your checks and credit card charges – although programs like Quicken will automate a lot of it for you. Those programs will also tell you where you’re spending your money, so you can create budgets and maintain control.
It’s good to review everything at year’s end, just to make sure nothing was mis-filed. Once that’s done it sure is nice to push a button and have a print-out ready for your tax preparer.
Set up your real estate systems now..
Each of the real estate systems you set up and use will free your time for the most important task: Being in front of buyers and/or sellers.
So just do it – and let this be the year that you don’t feel stressed from going seventeen directions at once.
Roller coaster Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net