Giving Yourself the Gift of Perspective for the New Year
By Julia Escobar, Corporate Marketing Director
An old axiom reminds us that perspective is everything. In today’s quickly changing market, it’s easy to get caught up in survival tactics. Keeping your wits, humor and focus in check will give you the gift of perspective as you face the new year.
Amidst the whirlwind of holiday parties, meal making and family gatherings, set aside a day or two just for you to build the framework for the year ahead. A head start on the new year will give you forward momentum, a system to follow and genuine peace of mind.
Now that’s PERSPECTIVE!
1. Develop Your Plan. With paper and pencil in hand, or fingers poised over your keyboard, put your plan in place. Having this map to follow and refer to throughout the year will keep you focused and productive.
First, know what you have to make and what you want to make, then develop your budget accordingly. Be sure to include your family’s goals in determining your number. Knowing that you are working hard for a new car, family vacation or college tuition goes a long way with your family when long hours are the norm. Now, ask yourself the
- What is my required income?
- How many closings do I need to reach that goal?
- How many listings do I need for that number of closings?
- How many sales do I need to close?
- What % of my listings expire?
- What % of my contracts close?
- How many contacts are needed for an appointment?
- How many appointments are needed for a listing?
- How many people do I need to contact daily?
By calculating how much you need to make and tracking that number all the way down to daily activity, you can plot your course for the next 12 months. Make a simple graph you can fill in each day to measure your daily contacts, appointments scheduled, listings taken and closings. This visual will serve as a daily/weekly/monthly reminder of where you are in relation to your goals. Feeling ambitious? Take that calculation further and add your two-year and five-year goals.
2. Create Your Calendar. Taking the time now to calendar your activities for the coming year will create a balance for your personal and professional life. Scheduling family time, vacation time and personal time will help maintain your humor and sanity as you make your way through 2007. This way, if you know you need to make 20 contacts per day to reach your goals, you will be able to plan ahead for those days or weeks you plan to take for yourself instead of playing the stressful game of “catch up.”
As you plan out the next 12 months, include opportunities to learn new skill sets, timely techniques and market solutions that will help you stay forward of your competition. You may want to incorporate local, regional and national conventions or networking opportunities into
your calendar to ensure yourself of new opportunities and
Consider automating portions of your marketing, using systems such as our MLSmailings.com. This system automatically sends out your Just Listed and Just Sold postcards by integrating with your local MLS provider. Whether you are at work or at play, your marketing is always working for you!
3. Create an Integrity Partnership. As an independent contractor, it is often too simple to give yourself “a day off.” In completing step one, you know how many days per week, per year you need to stay on task to realize your goals. A success strategy many top producers use is an integrity partnership–a mutual relationship with another agent whom you respect and admire. It’s a wonderful way to ensure that you both stay focused and productive.
Set aside time to meet with your integrity partner each week. You can share your goal graph and weekly activity; brainstorm new ideas, strategies and objection handling techniques; and bring each other the accountability factor needed to push forward each day. The benefits of this teamwork are far reaching. In addition to higher production, most find themselves with better time management, more balance in their lives and a consistent means of strengthening the skills and techniques necessary to becoming or maintaining status as a top producer.
4. Find a New Niche. Niche marketing is not new, but developing a new avenue for your personal business may be new to you. As you build your client base, expand your horizons to become the “go to” agent in your market area for whatever specialized target market suits you best. Perhaps you would like to help local renters realize their dreams of becoming first-time homeowners. You may want to develop a referral network among small-business owners in your area or work with investors in the luxury home market. Seniors, medical professionals, educators, accountants and builders are just a few of the targeted demographics that could benefit from your particular brand of spark and skill. Experiment this year by adding at least one new market group to your client base.
5. Break Time and Breathing Room. The only successful business plans are the ones we actually implement. All work and no play not only makes for a dull life, but also is counterproductive to our life goals. The mind, body and spirit need time to rejuvenate and refresh in order to meet the pace and expectations our careers require. Be sure to build break time and breathing room into your busy days. At least one day a week, several breaks during the year and scheduling your days to include personal and family time, not just business time, will make staying on track a simpler, more palatable process.
Ours is a constantly changing industry that can and will create stressful situations throughout the year. Put a plan in place to consistently learn new systems and stay on track for your goals, and couple that plan with the right perspective. This will allow you to take each new curve in stride as you keep pace with your career goals.
For more ideas on how you can continuously impact your market area, visit www.prospectsplus.com. Request our free Master Marketing Schedule™ to guide you through 24 months of strategic marketing campaigns. If you have questions or ideas that you would like to share, call Julie at 800.287.5710.