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Don't Let This Challenge Derail Your 2024

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

This is a time of year that I love - many agents are feeling full of promise and inspiration toward making changes in their business! I am also very excited about what is coming up for our industry this 2024 and beyond. We have a strong year ahead of us that is full of changes that many of us have never seen before. You need to be ready!

Whatever your resolutions this year - making more money, taking time off, getting your systems up-and-running, creating a buyer package - there is one critical component that I hope you are including in your business today: education.

This year, education is going to be an important part of what separates successful agents from agents who are left behind and miss the huge opportunities that will be shaking our markets.

Agents are very skilled at putting out fires: transaction fires, urgent buyer fires, listing drama fires. While many of you provide heroic and timely service to take care of your clients, you are neglecting putting time towards your own personal improvement. It's easy to fall flat when all of your time and energy has been spent putting out fires, but this 2024 will mark a period of changes in our industry. These changes mean investing time to expand and update your expertise.

For example, here in Washington State we are seeing a big change to how single-family residential property can be used. House Bill 1110, which passed last year, is already triggering big changes to municipal comprehensive plans through-out the state, allowing townhomes, duplexes, and multi-family units to be built in certain SFR zoned areas. It's a complex issue and agents who understand how this impacts property value and transaction management have a huge opportunity ahead of them.

Another change seen here in Washington State and elsewhere are new laws like HB1337, which allow much broader placement of accessory dwelling units (ADU) to encourage density and expand available housing. This is very exciting news for agents and property owners through-out our state!

And more are on the way. Just this month the Washington State House overwhelmingly passed HB1245, which will allow property owners to split lots. There are caveats of course, including that new lots must be no smaller than 2,000 square feet and not result in changes to existing affordable housing, among other details. When it goes to the Senate floor, we hope for its passage.

How legislation like these bills are changing the landscape of the market and creating opportunities for agents is just one topic of many at my upcoming State of the Market event, next week on the 24th. If you are looking for an easy opportunity to immediately elevate your knowledge and expertise, this is the best chance you may have this year and since it is an online event, you can participate from anywhere.

"But Denise!" I hear some of you say, "I am so busy juggling business. I don't have time to take out of my day to deal with these issues. I'll figure it out when it happens."

I understand the challenges that business brings. As a top-producing agent I know these challenges all-too-well. However, I also know that becoming a market expert was one of the most important things I could have done. The time I have spent developing expertise has paid me back thousandfold.

When I first set out on my plan to become a top-producing agent I saw my plans derailed by the unpredictability of the business again and again. One month turned into six and before I knew it, half the year had slipped by and nothing had really changed. My business hadn't grown and my quality of life was worse than ever. I knew that if I wanted my business to grow, if I wanted more quality of life, I had to find the time to grow my knowledge of the market and my trade.

If I wanted my business to change, I needed to change. I needed a chance to be able to impress potential clients with my knowledge, not, "Let me get back to you on that." I needed to extend that knowledge through my marketing and connect with clients that were dealing with issues right now. And right now, there are a growing number of clients out there dealing with these issues and more.

I took a close look at how I was spending my time and made a commitment to grow my skills as an agent. After examining my tasks, I realized I was doing several things that were not bringing me closer to my goals. I was having long lunches with clients, touring properties that were too far away and that I had no buyer for, helping fellow agents market their properties. Admirable maybe, but ultimately not activity that was building my own business. I was procrastinating by filling my time doing work-tasks that made me feel like I was working, but that were not bringing in results.

Don't fall into this trap! If you are struggling to invest in your business knowledge and skills this year, look for inefficiencies in your schedule. That might be wasting time on the internet, spending time in the office with agents who aren't out working, touring buyers who haven't been prequalified, or something else. Set new rules in your business that give you the opportunity to invest in yourself!

As I mentioned, this January 24th, I'm presenting my State of the Market online. In three-hours you will learn more about what is happening in our industry, how we got here, and my predictions for where we are headed, than you will experience at any other time this year. Where are mortgage rates headed? How will that impact our market? How is legislation shaping our industry for years to come? How are evolving tenant friendly policies impacting landlords and investors? What must you know about second homes, ADUs, middle-housing, and other opportunity markets? I will be covering all of this and much more, growing your expertise and providing you with client-talking points you can use for the year to come. Don't miss it - go get registered right now!

By Denise Lones CSP, CMP, M.I.R.M.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones has over three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development and more, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (5)

Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Good information for agents lo0king to expand their business in the new year. There were over 20% of agents that left the business in 2023 for a number of reasons and more could do so this year.

Jan 19, 2024 12:12 PM
Denise Lones

With the boom of new agents between 2018 and 2023, it's hardly surprising to see some agents departing the field - we've all heard the statistic that most agents fail to make it to their fifth year. For many agents, this past year has been a challenge. Those who successfully adapted did much better. I think 2024 holds a lot of promise for agents who focus on improving their business and market knowledge. - Denise

Jan 19, 2024 01:35 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Denise,
Many changes are coming in Washington (and elsewhere) to address the shortage of available housing. I've already seen Wenatchee loosening zoning restrictions to accommodate higher-density developments.  As Newton's Third Law says: For every action, there is an opposite reaction. Only time will tell whether the positive outweighs the negative impact.

Jan 19, 2024 12:59 PM
Denise Lones

We're already seeing the effect of these changes here in Bellingham and much of Western Washington too. Although, for most cities, they don't have to have their comprehensive plan updated until 2025, many are already taking action now. Not a bad time to be a city infrastructure contractor either - a lot of improvements are going to be needed in older areas to accommodate new middle-housing. -  Denise

Jan 19, 2024 01:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Wise words, Denise. Whether you're too busy because of work or too busy because you're looking for work, you have to make the time to invest in yourself by investing your time in education. 

Jan 19, 2024 05:42 PM
Denise Lones

Thank you Kathy. Here's to all of us investing resources into improving our business and expertise. - Denise

Feb 02, 2024 09:54 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jan 20, 2024 06:40 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am glad that Kathy Streib featured your post - Good luck with your presentation on the 24th - it sounds like a great way that you are giving back to your community of agents. 

Jan 21, 2024 06:19 AM
Denise Lones

Lise Howe - We had a fantastic event this year (thanks for my fantastic team, we put on great events every year). The playback is available for anyone that missed it and we raised about $850 for our featured charities this year, Mary's Foundation and the Opportunity Council, whose efforts are directed towards prevention of homelessness. - Denise

Feb 02, 2024 09:58 AM