With winter here it's easy to predict that most agents (at least in the northern parts of the states) are experiencing their slow down in writing, negotiating and closing deals. This allows us a couple of opportunities. First and foremost for those of us with families near and far, we can afford to spend more time with them, talking to them or planning to see them. The winter season also provides us time to catch up on what we've missed out on this past year in real estate, time to reflect and improve upon our mistakes and time to start planning for the heavy year ahead.
Tis the season to start planting your seeds for the Summer Harvest. The first thing I do when I wake up on a typical winter morning is check my pending business. Is there anything I need to tend to immediately? After taking care of the present, I reach out to the future prospective clients. I look at my spreadsheet of all the contacts I've made who have expressed that they would be ready to buy or sell in the coming year (2011). It's too early to start pestering them for contracts and with the holidays all around us...you may be unhappy with the responses that you receive. But it's an appropriate time to offer season's greetings and local real estate information for them to enjoy over the holidays.
Lastly, I look to the past. I go through my computer or my partner's "old fashioned" paper notebooks to see if there is anyone we met this year that we didn't close a deal with. Inevitably you should be prepared to have your ego stomped on when you realize how much untapped business you could have or could be missing out on. We close, on average, 5 homes a month. This doesn't make us millionaires but it does make us very good at what we do. It's amazing that even with 60 transactions a year we can feel like slouches when we look at factual data pointing to our failures in missed transactions. So we go through our Contacts List with a fine toothed comb and call everyone. This process is two-fold. First, it helps to reestablish a relationship with the prospective client. Second, you will learn very quickly in that conversation if they are still looking for help or if you can take them off your list and focus more energy on the other prospects.
Bottom line - if Real Estate is your career and you want to excel at it, you shouldn't consider winter your down time. Last year we were busy straight through the Holidays and it foreshadowed the busy season that came to pass. This year we are experiencing an even busier seed sowing season and we're looking forward to harvesting the fruits of our labor yet again! Don't wait until the New Year to start working on next year's business or you'll find yourself falling behind the pack and picking up the scraps.
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Ed Newton III, Partner of the Mathieu Group at RE/MAX First Choice