As the current year winds down, business and employees often start to make new year’s plans and resolutions. The real estate industry is no different, and there are plenty of ways you can plan ahead.
The key to resolutions is to stick with them for the entire year, and Realtors aren’t immune to the tendency to lose momentum over time. In fact, there’s a 92% chance you won’t keep your resolutions going for the entire year.
Instead of setting huge self-expectations like, “I’ll cold call 20 hours per week,” stick with small improvements that can in turn lead to big results.
Here are our recommendations of the best real estate New Year's resolutions for 2019.
Get comfortable with social media.
Right now, only 55% of agents are comfortable using their social media channels frequently for business. That’s a high number considering the fact that 91% of people who want to sell their homes start by browsing online. Also, 73% of people say they’re more likely to list with an agent who has video to market themselves.
Each year, your online presence becomes more and more important, and you need to be fully comfortable with that. This resolution doesn’t set any specific numbers to meet or minimum posts to publish — though you can set those if you’d like — but it does encourage you to improve your online networking skills.
Once you get into a routine of frequently using your accounts to market your listings and yourself, you could start gaining more clients from those accounts.
Post walkthrough videos of your listings, pictures from open houses, information about any events you host or attend, and keep your followers updated a few times a day. Congratulate new homeowners and successful sellers, post your listings, and keep people updated on the local housing market.
All of this simply keeps your brand image in front of followers and anyone who comes across your accounts. People naturally gravitate toward videos on social media, and you can turn any of these ideas into a video.
If people see an empty and inactive profile, how are they going to be sold on your real estate authority?
Market what separates you from other agents.
You may have to think about this for a while and pinpoint the things you do better than the average agent. It could be working in a certain niche, doing a certain thing to market a home, or hosting the best open houses. Just find something that causes you to stand out in a crowded industry.
When you’re marketing yourself, don’t overload homeowners with a vast amount of information. The homeowners just want to know what you do differently or better than the average agent.
If you’re struggling with what you can highlight about your work, reach out to past clients and ask what stood out. Or even ask your colleagues. Once you figure it out, market yourself to showcase these strengths.
If communication is your skill, headline your profile and ads with that. If your listings stand out more than others and gets loads of attention, make that the first thing people know about you as an agent.
Start or continue being responsive to your clients and leads.
We mention this so often in our blogs because it’s something that plagues so many agents and is a major stereotype of agents in general. Stick to a 24-hour rule. You have that amount of time to return all emails, texts and calls.
This is just something you have to stay mindful of. Write reminders or set them on your phone when you need to get back to someone. If you have a lot of clients at one time, you need to keep them in line.
If you can immediately respond or respond very soon, it’s the sort of thing that gets you referrals. It’s also the type of thing you can use to sell yourself to potential clients.
Try to get one lead a day (or week) or one testimonial a month.
It’s just something to shoot for, so if you don’t get a lead per day, you still haven’t failed your resolution. You know how crucial testimonials are to your business — 42% of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.
Put aside some time every other week to reach out to old clients.
If you keep your website, Zillow and social media profiles updated with at least one testimonial per month, leads will see this and know you’ve been active all year. Let your current clients know how important these are to you throughout the selling process. They’ll understand and come through when the time comes to collect them.
To get a new lead a day or week, go through different niches and try different ways of prospecting. Call expireds from the Redx or drive through neighborhoods to talk to FSBOs.
Whatever you do best, concentrate on keeping a steady stream of new leads to pursue throughout the year.
Network even when you’re not working.
Real estate networking events, or business networking events, are pretty tough places to make an impression. People meet and speak for a couple of minutes, pass around business cards, and move on. It’s hard to stand out in that short amount of time.
The best type of networking is done on your “free” time. You may be hesitant to talk real estate when you’re not on the job, but it’s more than worth it.
Network at community events, your kid’s school, holiday parties and anywhere you can think of. Just don’t be too in-your-face about it. These places offer a better chance at showing people what separates you from bad or average agents. Add people on Facebook after you’ve met them and ask for their contact info.
After you’ve formed an initial connection, give potential leads a copy of your book to seal the deal. Having a book puts you leaps and bounds above any other Realtors who may be competing for someone’s business. As a MyBooks member, you gain the license to use 14 different book titles as your own, as well as the following benefits:
Author website that ranks in Google.
Your own blog with 100+ pre-written articles.
Social media marketing templates.
Home value website for capturing leads.
Training strategies on how to use your books to get business.
The five resolutions we mentioned here are more than obtainable for any agent, regardless of how long they’ve worked or how many connections they have. Keep them now, and keep up with them throughout the year. They can become the seeds you plant that grow into a successful 2019.
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Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!