Found this on a website and found this to be interesting for all you realtors!
Are you ready for 2008? Identify where you are now. What were your successes for 2007? What could you have improved? Now elaborate - just how successful were you in 2007? Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? How many clients did you work with? How much money did you make? How many referrals did you get? How many hours did you work?
- Where do you want to be in 2008? What are your financial goals, your work/life balance goals, your spiritual goals, your health/fitness goals, and your relationship goals? Feel free to dream - where do you see yourself in December 2008? What does your business look like? How often are you working? How many clients are you working with on average? How many days do you take off to spend time with your family? And so on.
- Identify the gaps. Now that you've documented where you are and where you want to be, where are the gaps? For instance, if you made $50,000 in 2007 and want to make $100,000 in 2008, what does that mean? First, $50,000/12 = approx $4200. If you want to double your income, you have to make twice that each month or $8400.
Now work backwards - what do you have to do to make $8400/month? If the average home in your area goes for $300,000 and you make about 1.5% commission (after everyone is paid), you've made $4500 - you'll need 2 paying clients. If the average home is $200,000, you'll make about $3000, so you'll need 3 paying clients per month.
Keep going backwards. If you need to work with 3 people, how many people must you meet for appointments with? If you close 50% of those you talk with, you'll need to schedule at least 6 appointments each month. How are you going to get those appointments? Perhaps you'll get a few from referrals - what can you do for your best referral partners and past clients so they'll want to refer business to you? Perhaps you'll get a few from advertising - where should you advertise and what should you say? Perhaps you'll get a few from mailings - who should you mail to and what should the offer be? etc. That's how you create your marketing plan.
- Define your biggest problems and obstacles. You now know where you are, where you want to be and what to do to get there. Now, ask yourself - why aren't you there yet? What's been holding you back? Make a list of all the things holding you back such as:
- I don't get any response from my ads or mailings.
- I don't have a system in place for nurturing leads.
- No one knows who I am nor do they consider me an expert.
- There are lots of competitors in my market space.
- I don't have a list of prospects or keep a contact database to market to on a consistent basis.
- I don't have a process in place for asking for referrals.
- What are potential solutions? For each problem you identify, come up with potential solutions. For instance, if your ads or mailings aren't working, decide you'll learn more about direct marketing and that you'll test different ads and offers in different newspapers, publications and mailings until you do find something that works.
If you don't have a process in place for asking for referrals, how can you create one? First, once your clients have successfully moved into their new homes, send them a thank you gift with a request for a referral. Follow up with a call each month for the first three months to check in on them and see if they're having any problems you can help out with. Invite them to client appreciation events. Send them a monthly newsletter about events happening in their neighborhood. Etc.
- Prioritize. You can't tackle all your obstacles at once, nor will you ever know "everything" about business. You will always be learning how to do things faster, better, and cheaper but until you start working through your obstacles, you will never be able to test, get feedback and make changes. As you prioritize, look at which obstacles must you overcome first so that you can solve other obstacles? For instance, if you aren't getting responses from your ads or mailings, then you probably will have a difficult time creating a list of prospects in your contact database. Work on learning more about how to improve your advertising first.
- Commit to action. Planning helps you see what you need to do so you don't become overwhelmed and frustrated, but action is what gets you to where you want to be. Commit to an action that will take you closer to your goals each day.
- Surround yourself with supportive peers. Running your own business can be extremely challenging so make sure to have a network of support - either on or offline - that you can turn to when you aren't sure which direction to take, when you need advice, or when you feel like the world is against you. It's ok to ask for advice. It's ok to hire an assistant to take some of the burden off of you. Don't think you have to go it alone.
By spending a few hours to become clear on your goals and plan how you will meet them, you'll be able to start 2008 with a bang.