What I have eliminated for 2015 will probably be different than what most agents will be posting about. I have gone through different advertising and mailing processes, starting and stopping them at different times. I've used different types of technology off & on in the past and I've wasted money on things that didn't pan out like I thought they would. I've paid to attend training events only to find I already knew what they were training. But just today, I eliminated something that I'm hoping will help get my business back on track.
I'm no longer working from home.
For years I had a nice office in an upscale newer area of our city. Clients were impressed with my work digs, and I was happy with the accommodations. But when the REO market hit around 2007-2008 I found that I rarely met with clients at my office and I began to change my thinking. Everything I was doing was through an online portal and I had very little interaction with actual clients except for the occasional buyer who would want to buy one of our repos. Often times I would find myself getting up in the morning and going to my home office and spending hours there before showering, dressing and driving to the main office. That became more and more prevalent and sometimes I found myself working at home all day and deciding not to even bother going in. A nice cushy office became a wasted expense and so in order to cut costs I moved my office completely to a 200+ square foot room in my home. From 2007 through just this week, I have been working completely from my home office which is totally set up with everything I need and more. Whenever I needed to meet clients, I would meet them either at the main office conference room or at a Starbucks or their home. But this past year, I noticed that I was becoming more and more complacent with business. I found myself sitting in my office working in pajamas if I didn't have appointments. In fact, if I didn't have appointments all day, I sometimes would not shower and dress until it was time to go to bed again.
I installed a flat screen tv over my computer screens and would often watch the news or some sit-com while I was "working". I was becoming more and more of a recluse and agents in my office didn't even know who I was and would often introduce themselves and say, "are you new?". I rarely went into the main office and even didn't show up for meetings despite winning awards for my production. I was a secret agent.
In November of last year, the office asked me to be on the leadership council because I was one of the top producers in our office. I almost didn't except the position mostly because of the fact that I would need to come to the office more often. I remember a conversation when they were asking me to be on the leadership council, the team leader of the office stated that he believed my production would skyrocket if I would come to the office more. He stated, "you're a top producing agent and you never come in to the office, imagine how much more production you would have if you actually worked." I laughed, however I had to agree. I have never made a cold call, and I have never door knocked. My entire business is built on the referral from my sphere of influence and past clients. The thought of spending money again on an office and actually doing lead generation activities kinda stressed me out. But being on the ALC these past 3 months brought me into the office more and more for meetings and to teach training sessions to the agents. And just this past week, I had several agents hanging around after class, asking me questions. I was teaching some stuff and was actually doing so good I should have taken notes on myself. Ha! But I realized that I had missed out on brainstorming, sharing ideas, stimulating conversation at the water cooler, etc.
So I am no longer working from home. Starting today, I'm moving into an new office at our main office.
I'm hopeful that being in the office and actually focusing on work all day along with some stimulating work related conversation, I'll be able to jumpstart my production more than ever before.
We shall see. But starting today...I'm no longer a "secret agent". Watch out!