What Has Been Your Best Business Decision Of 2011?

Real Estate Agent with (512) 786-8300

So what has been the best decision you have made, for your real estate business in 2011? At the end of 2010, I believe many of us sat down, and wrote down goals for the coming year. In those goals, we probably made a list, an ambitious one likely, of things we wanted to do differently, or in addition to our common business practices. Among those may have been adding a new piece of technology, revamping our website, or a habit we have been meaning to incorporate for years, but failed to do so.

Sometimes Simple Works

I incorporated some new business practices this year. But the one that worked the best was the easiest and cheapest. After years of neglecting to do so, I got consistent on sending out a client newsletter. Starting a new website cost money and time, my client appreciation party was a big part of my marketing budget. And attending real estate seminars was time consuming. But punching out a newsletter didn't take very much time, or cost much. Frankly, it was much easier than I thought, and technology has made sending it out pretty convenient.

Don't get me wrong, having a good website is important for a real estate professional. Arranging a client party got a good response, and some lead activity resulted. And anytime spent learnng about the real estate business, is a good investment. But dollar for dollar, and time involved, the newsletter has been it for me.

Sometimes simple works. What business decision has paid off for you in 2011? 


Posted by

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300


Comments (161)

Chris Walters
Edisto Realty Edisto Beach,SC DiscoverEdisto.com - Edisto Beach, SC

I made a commitment to get my listings priced to sell and not allow my clients to coerce me into the dream that we may get lucky.  I also have decided to keep a closer eye on my SEO dollars.  I have been hovering around 2-5 with most of my keywords.  However I think I should be getting more and maybe for less cost. 

Oct 24, 2011 02:42 AM
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

My best business decision this year was switching my web site provider to 220 Marketing.  That, coupled with what I'm doing on ActiveRain has moved me up to the first page on the Google search engine, and my business has increased 25% from last year!

Oct 24, 2011 02:54 AM
Mike Schneider
10 YRS with Active Rain ! - Lake in the Hills, IL

I decided to:

expand/modify my website

Read more AR posts

increase networking (nationally)

expand and connect with local investors

increase contact frequency with "SOI"

define my systems..which ones work..omit those which dont

increase my tracking systems

go back to some basics..(marketing)

diversify...my interests

drink booze more frequently!

thanks.......for wonderful topic

Oct 24, 2011 03:18 AM
Rustie Reilly

Scott,  I made a commitment to pay it forward.  To help and mentor other agents when possible and to share my 22 years of knowledge in the business.  By doing so I am getting more referrals.  I also attend all training and try to implement at least one thing I got from the training.  I share my ideas and in turn I am getting allot of great ideas from other agents just like the many that left messages in this blog.  Great blog thanks.

Oct 24, 2011 04:39 AM
Denise Watkins
Samson Properties - Upper Marlboro, MD
Realtor Serving DC and MD

Calling people in my database has worked for me.  This fall I'll be scheduling home visits. 

Oct 24, 2011 08:41 AM
coletta ray

I hate to admit I didn't incorporate anything new this year.  I have been a consistent producer and I am totally blessed.  I too have enjoyed Docusign as much as anything I have paid for in a long long time.  It has been a time saver.

Oct 24, 2011 09:38 AM
Jayson Holland
Listings.com - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

I have a long to-do list (wish list) and am still trying to get the 1st thing done. Too many clients....not enough time.


Oct 24, 2011 09:41 AM
Tammy Goodman
Keller Williams Realty - Clovis, NM
Experience and Dedication

Scott,  i'm so glad to hear you say that.  I have thought of doing a newsletter for over a year now and frankly have just not done it and it's not because I never had the time, I just didn't take the time to do it.


I think overall my best career decision was to realize that you must put perimeters on your work. For instance, Sunday's are definitely not a day that I work, that is the Lord's day, my family's day and frankly my day to get caught up on house chores. Ha! Also, I turn my cell phone off at 7:00pm and turn it back on at 8:00am.  The other change that I made is to know that it is OK to tell a seller no thank you on a listing if they refuse to price it correctly and to tell a buyer who is unrealistic on offers that they are wasting your time and need to get realistic or they can find another Realtor. 

Real Estate is challenging enough  to say the least in today's markets without wasting a lot of time on things that are not beneficial to our business plus all the money in the world is not more important than the time you spend with the ones you love so you have to balance it somehow and that means taking control of your time.




Tammy Goodman


Oct 24, 2011 11:08 AM
Centerville, KS

Honestly...joining ActiveRain. It has already opened many doors and am finally starting to pick up clients. Keep blogging away. I recently just started with video!

Oct 24, 2011 11:15 AM
Simon Westfall-Kwong
Keller Williams Realty, North Central New Jersey - Chatham, NJ
The Simon Westfall-Kwong Real Estate Group

I'm with Geoff ... I made a conscious decision to call friends, prospects, past clients and affiliates every single day.  My goal is 13 per day (not dials but conversations with live people) and it's both harder and easier than I ever imagined.

It's helping me fill a pipeline with great listings and buyers!

Oct 24, 2011 03:01 PM
Brenda Van Fossen
Dawson Ford Garbee & Co., Realtors, Lynchburg VA - Lynchburg, VA

My best decision was to not use as much print advertising.  My justification in the past for this expenditure was that I developed creative mailings that helped people remember me.  I didn't see that it was working so so long!

Oct 24, 2011 05:47 PM
Linda S. Cefalu, Broker Assoc.
Coldwell Banker Homesale Realty - Hales Corners, WI
I'll Take You Home

Great Post Scott.  I too have implemented a by monthly newsletter along with my mailings and other forms of staying in touch.  But the most important thing I've done this year is try to keep from losing my mind.  Both otherwise healthy parents began to decline rapidly after my dad went to ER for a high fever and ended up contracted MRSA - the deadly staff infection.  He made it through, but due to other complications has now lost his sight.  I am their care giver and it has been especially challenging.  They have done so much for their family and always put their children first, now it's my turn since I'm the only sibling with the "flexible" schedule.

Just recently, I have come up with a schedule that I think will help alleviate some of the stress.  And Nancy Hankin, my heart goes out to you.  I think I know what you are going through.

These are challenging times, no doubt, but if we stay positive, I think that is the best thing we can do for ourselves, our clients and our business.  I once heard a quote that I have adopted as my own, "Sometimes The Circumstances Cannot Be Changed, but The Way We Respond To Them Is Always A Choice.


Thanks for the inspirational question, Scott.  I got some great ideas from this post.

Oct 25, 2011 02:25 AM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Scott ~ it took me awhile to read through all the comments, but well worth it.  So far, I am pushing to really understand and learn all the new technology.  It certainly does open up more time to do other things.  What a great post!

Oct 25, 2011 06:13 AM
Rick Lindemulder
Coldwell Banker Bain - Duvall, WA

Being more consistant in getting my snail mail newsletter out. I think it stands out more then email. Also being more selective on listing I take. Great feedback, I'll have to come back to this one.   

Oct 25, 2011 09:16 AM
Kim Carlson 480-993-9384
www.NowSellingAZHomes.com - Mesa, AZ
Valley of the Sun Realtor, Seller Specialist

Wow what a lot of good ideas. For me it's been blogging. I am very new to this world although I see the benefits already! I just became a rainmaker and have scheduled times and days to read and blog. If it's not on the schedule it doesn't exist!

Oct 28, 2011 10:57 AM
Stephanie Greenberg
Lion Real Estate - Fresno, CA
Fresno Homes For Sale

Mine was to change brokers.  It was a huge decision as I took a lower split to be with a bigger broker.  However the bigger broker had way more to offer and I have broken into the luxury market that I wanted so it was a great decision to move!

Nov 27, 2011 11:35 AM
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

What a great read! Yes, I read every response and have garnered many tips and tactics to try in the coming year. For 2011, my best business decision was to recruit a few buyer's agents and form the Best Atlanta Short Sales Team. Now, I only work with select buyers and can confidently hand the buyer leads from my listings to the wonderful agents on my team, instead of letting them slip through the cracks or referring them out.

Dec 26, 2011 09:14 AM
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Time-blocking for lead generation had the biggest impact on my business. Recently I just added sending postcards when I list and sell homes for listing prospecting.

Mar 10, 2012 11:51 PM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Great question Scott, and always good to reflect.  My best business decision in 2011 was hiring a full-time assistant.  My best decisions in 2012 have been doubling my marketing budget, and hiring a second (part-time) employee.  My best decision for the 2nd half of 2012 WILL BE committing more time to blogging, SEO, and improving my lackluster (at best) website. 

I have thought about doing an all out bash client appreciation party, like you mentioned, but will probably wait until 2013.  Right now, I do a gift post-closing, and a yearly anniversary card...as well as a few random follow-ups.  But I want too something more, as I get a ton of referral and repeat business as it is, and I think I could build on that.

Thanks for getting my mind moving this morning.

Apr 03, 2012 03:03 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

What a great post and great comments! It's now the end of 2012 and it's never to late to hear good ideas.

Oct 15, 2012 04:54 AM

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