The ball has dropped on 2017 and with it all excuses for sandbagging our preparation for the upcoming sales year.
Following the prodigious spending, eating, drinking and socializing of November and December, January also is a popular time for self-assessment. Diets and routine normalization are common, and even if those improvements don’t get a whiff of February, it’s never a bad exercise to take stock of how we spend our time and how we go about our business.
For agents, it’s doubly good. Many of us are in a weather-induced “down season,” and, as we’ve mentioned in this space before, the winter months are a good time to complete some tasks that simply don’t get done when you’re racing from one listing or showing to another.
With these concepts in mind, we present some New Year’s resolutions for our friends in the real estate business. Some of these are more tongue in cheek than others, but by now you should expect that from us. We here at Zbuyer wish you all prosperity and many happy closings in 2017!
1. Master your digital domain
Many of you have consistent, interesting and active online presences – we know, we’ve seen them! – but many more of you do not. It’s okay. Social media and web updating are not in many of our talent toolboxes, and even if they are we may not have the time or the wherewithal to hire someone to take care of it.
But it can’t be overstated just how important it is to put yourself out there in some fashion other than a photo on your team’s website. Facebook is a good place to start; chances are you already have some personal collateral there that can translate into some relationships for your real estate business. Plus, Google returns value Facebook almost as much as it does your own website.
Twitter is a wonderful place to engage in quick, easy conversations. If you’re into writing, we suggest contributing articles via Medium or Tumblr. If photos are your thing, try Instagram. If you use multiple platforms, keep your branding consistent and cross-promote. Also, once you find your stride, don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money — $100 a month is often enough – to promote on social media. It’s annoying that you usually need to do it to reach critical masses of people… but it works.
If you have a more standard website, resolve to keep it updated, even if you have to hire someone to post content once or twice a week.
2. Give back
Bert Cooper, patriarch of Mad Men’s fictional Sterling Cooper advertising firm, said: “Philanthropy is the gateway to power.” And while that may be overstating it, at least a the levels most of us can give of our time and money, there’s truth there, too. Sign up to participate with a civic organization or a nonprofit that aids a cause you care about. Volunteer. Make a donation. Chances are you’ll be asked to help out more, or even join a board. With those activities come networking opportunities that can introduce your business to a new, influential group of prospects.
And, besides, it feels good.
3. Set some attainable goals
There’s something to be said for small victories; often a series of small wins can lead to bigger things than one big fish that consumes your time and energy. Set goals by day, week and quarter, and cross them off when you reach them. Celebrate them as they fall. We think you’ll find that studied consistency can add up to a bigger year than an all-consuming quest for one particular thing.
4. Double-down on a hobby
When the meetings start looking like railroad cars in your daily planner or Outlook calendar, you’re going to need something to look forward to at the end of the day (whenever that is), and we highly suggest that hobby be something other than drinking and sleeping, no matter how tempting and necessary those activities may be.
A yoga class, workout routine or running group can help you build relationships while you destress. Coach a Little League team. Cook. Take up scrimshaw or building ships in bottles. Hell, make tiny dioramas of the homes you sell and give them away as closing gifts. Just find something that makes you happy outside of work. Your family, your clients, your boss, and most importantly YOU will thank you for it.
5. Sell a house in a neighborhood or city you’ve never sold in before
Obviously your group or firm’s territories may come into play here, but it shouldn’t take too much of an effort to step out of your comfort zone and find a listing in an uncharted part of town or metro area. Short of your very own Bravo series, a “Sold” sign is the best marketing you can do for yourself, and in hotter markets you could open up a gold mine of opportunities you didn’t know existed.
Bonus resolution: Sign up fpr zBuyer.com’s weekly lead service
. We connect you with motivated sellers for minimal investment. (Sorry for the shameless plug: Our own resolution was to market ourselves even better in 2017.)