As winter comes upon us, most Realtors® are facing the slowest time of their year. In a way, it’s nice to have time to spend with family during the holidays, but for many Realtors® it’s nerve-wracking as you wonder how the bills will get paid through the end of the year. But what if you didn’t have to worry? What if you already had enough in the bank to easily weather the slow season?
As we approach a new year, it’s natural to start thinking about new goals, new approaches, and new strategies. Here are some ideas that you can use to 10X your real estate production in 2016.
Focus Ruthlessly on the 20%
The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your activities create 80% of your results. The first step to 10X your production next year is to be ruthless about focusing on that 20%. During this slow season, write down the things that really help you hit your lead gen and appointment goals. Then, brainstorm ways to outsource or delegate everything else.
This may seem unrealistic, until you realize that hiring a VA can get you the help you need very affordably. A VA can go through your email for you and only forward you the important ones, which keeps you from getting sidetracked on meaningless things. You can also block social media on your computer during the work day, and use a written schedule to block out time for your lead producing activities.
The bottom line is that every hour you lose to candy crush, cat videos, and meaningless emails is an hour of business building you can never get back. Focus ruthlessly on the 20% of valuable activities, and cut everything else out. You’ll be amazed how much your business will grow.
Use a Written Schedule
I’m as guilty as anyone of having “shiny object syndrome”. However, when you want to 10X your production, you need to stay on track. A written schedule can do that for you. Only schedule time for things that build your business, not for goofing off or non-valuable activities.
The first step to using a written schedule is to set written goals for yourself. If you 10X your production this year, how many leads does that equal? How many appointments? Then, break those numbers down into 10 months – not 12, because you want to really zero in on activity during busy months and leave space for slower times. Then, set weekly goals based on those monthly numbers.
Once you have your weekly goals, build your daily to do list with those daily goals in mind. How many contacts do you need to get your daily lead number? How will you achieve that? With a focused schedule each day, you’ll be making daily progress toward reaching your 10X production goals.
Choose a CRM and Work Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with folks in less time than calls and door knocking. By having multiple databases, you can keep up with each group in a personalized way. Automation is key here – be sure to use a system that allows automated follow-up, because typing 50 emails a day is NOT value-added.
My favorite system, as you may know if you have read many of my blog posts, is Infusionsoft. It allows amazing customization and segmentation, and I’ve gone from following up with 70% of my leads to getting 100% without fail. That has done wonders for my business, and I know it would yours as well.
If you already have another CRM, though, just use it. Make use of the tools you already have, segment your database, and follow up regularly. I suggest having three groups: sphere of influence, new leads, and other agents. Each of these groups would require a different follow-up structure – set it up to be automated, and you’ll rarely have to mess with it!
Create Systems for EVERYTHING
The last piece of advice for 10X your production next year is to create systems for everything. When you have a system, it allows you to hire help without having to lose tons of time training people in order to maintain your quality. Anything you do can be documented and made into a system. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What’s the process a new lead goes through? Regardless of source, you can make sure all of your leads get high quality service.
- What’s your process for preparing for a listing appointment?
- What’s your process for onboarding a new buyer client?
- What’s your process for onboarding a new seller client?
- What’s your process for following up after a sale?
As you sit down to do this, it may seem overwhelming because so much you do needs to be systematized. However, this is really an amazing opportunity, because every system you create helps you save time, energy, and money while growing your business. Systems are an essential key to creating any significant production growth, especially when you grow enough that you need to hire additional staff.
Deciding to 10X your production next year seems audacious, but by following these four simple steps, you can definitely achieve it. Focus ruthlessly on the essential 20%, create a written daily schedule based on your goals, work your CRM and email marketing, and create systems for everything. During the slow season, make a plan – and next year, rock that plan!
Which of these tips would mean the most in your business? Share in the comments!