Can you believe it is already mid October. Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and Thanksgiving is next month. Christmas will be here before you know it and we will be ringing in the New Year. As we quickly go through this last quarter, it's a good idea to start reviewing this past year and gearing up for the next. Smartzip.com has provided five tips to help you assess business goals, revise projections, and get ready for 2018.
1. Start with the goals you might not meet
Dust off the goals you set last winter and painstakingly analyze where you stand in terms of buyers, sellers, marketing plans, GCI, operations and more.
If you’re behind, be realistic about what is possible by the end of the year — and don’t be afraid to reset your goals so they are attainable instead of a pipe dream. While it may seem like a step back, the truth is that if your goals are so far out of your reach, you’ll be unlikely to hold yourself accountable.
2. Ahead of goals? Dig into the why
If, however, you are ahead of schedule on some goals, spend some time reviewing how that happened — and consider nixing some of your “unattainable” goals in favor of the business categories where you are succeeding.
If, for example, you started with a goal to list 6 houses and help 15 buyers, and you’ve listed 2 houses and helped 22 buyers, consider how that has affected your GCI. Are you actually ahead of your goals in some ways, because you’ve had 2 more total transactions (already!) than planned?
To close out the year strong, do you want to focus on landing four more listings and ditching potential buyer clients — which could set you up for more seller clients in 2018? Or do you want to stay comfortable, where the guaranteed income has been all year long?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but the tail end of the year can be a good time to take a risk if you’re already ahead of your commission goals.
3. Create a log of top lead and client sources
If you tend to buy (and convert) leads that get automatically loaded into your CRM, this step may be a breeze. If you work primarily from word-of-mouth referrals, in-person workshops, direct mail ads or other traditional client sources, you may need to spend some time cleaning up your records.
But this step is mission-critical if you want to close out the year strong. By analyzing where your clients come from, you can move on to step #4: Measuring the ROI of each of your client-getting efforts.
If possible, create a few main categories so you can measure general categories quickly:
- New, paid leads
- Word-of-mouth and referrals
- Brand marketing
- Past clients // repeat customers
4. Look at your spending, budget and ROI
After creating your main client sources in step three, consider the individual costs and return on investment for different tools, campaigns, lead sources and other tactics that “live” in each main business category.
As you go through this exercise, be sure to keep your newly tweaked goals in mind. If your Facebook listing ads are performing incredibly well, and your end-of-year focus is on listings, then you may want to double that budget and slow down your spending on buyer leads.
Conversely, if 41% of your business comes from paid buyer leads, but ¾ of those converted leads are coming from the least expensive source — you can easily phase out the more expensive buyer leads for the rest of the year.
5. Reward the people helping you
While it’s easy to shift your spend from one technology source to another, you also might find in steps #3 and #4 that you have a few incredible referral sources who have been the biggest impact on your business this year.
Whether they are fellow agents from other markets, past clients who loved your services and have recommended you to their friends and family, or one investor client who bought up several properties in fast fashion this spring, be sure that you are properly rewarding them appropriately!
Go beyond and above to send them quarterly gifts — movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, back-to-school survival kits, whatever you can think of. That way, they will not only feel appreciated for their past contributions, but will be more likely to go out of their way to send you new business as you close out the year.
Ready to hit the ground running?
Keep in mind that checking in on your business isn’t a time to feel ashamed or stressed. Think of it as a progress report — if you were back in elementary school, you’d still have plenty of time to turn a low grade into a respectable B+ by the end of the year.
So as you dive into the tail end of 2017, stay motivated and positive. And let us know what you find as you do a deep dive into your business! We’d love to hear how your mid-year evaluation sets you up for future success.
For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.