In less than two weeks it will be 2014! Wow, did this year fly by! I don’t know about you but as I wrap things up for this year, I begin to think about next year. For years I didn’t think about next year until January, but eventually I realized that if I waited until then, I would end up wasting my first month of the new year.
So I began a habit of getting ready for the next year during the final weeks of the current year. And I believe that if you’ll do what I do and take the next two weeks to get everything ready, you’ll have your best year ever in 2014. I’ll tell you why.
For the first time in our lives, we actually have the ability and the market conditions to earn as much as we want and not be at the mercy of the economy or our personal networks. I believe that for the first time ever we can build a business that is actually predictable, scalable, and even duplicatable.
However, in order to experience that kind of business, you need to have three very critical things: a detailed business plan, the right selection of tools, and a pipeline of business. If you have those three things, you will experience the most relaxing and the most profitable year of your practice in 2014. Let’s look at each of those elements.
Build Your Business Plan. Success doesn’t happen by accident. Whether that success is winning a state championship, building a house, or listing and selling real estate, it happens as a result of forming and executing a detailed plan. I’ve written extensively on how to easily do a very detailed business plan so I won’t bore you with the repetition. Here are several articles that will give you my very practical approach to business planning.
- Building Your 2011 Business Plan (Part 1)
- Building Your 2011 Business Plan (Part 2)
- A Business Plan in a Box
Assemble Your Tools. Success not only requires planning, but it requires having the right tools. You can have the best plan in the world, but if you don’t have the tools to implement it, you have a pipe dream, not a plan. Today, there are a handful of very specific tools every agent needs to be successful.
Unless you happen to be a “captive” builder representative that works out of a model home and maybe drives the builder’s golf cart for showings, you need reliable and economical transportation. Next, you need a smartphone. Resist the urge to use a “dumb phone” that doesn’t do anything but voice calls. Today’s customers prefer text and instant messages to phone calls and you need to be able to access your email and client manager on the go.
Besides your car and smartphone, you need only four other tools: A client manager to manage your pipeline of business, an awesome website, an LCM web gateway to capture internet leads, and an LCM phone gateway to capture phone leads. You really don’t need to waste money on any other tools. With those four essential tools, you will be able to generate and manage more business than you can imagine.
That’s also why my Ultimate Website happens to have exactly those essential tools — because those are the very tools I need, and my own real estate team needs, to generate and close business. Take a minute to take a tour of the Ultimate Website and I believe you will agree that it lives up to its name.
Fill Your Pipeline. Most agents today make one critical mistake and that mistake costs them probably between a third and a half of the volume they are capable of doing. What’s the mistake? They generate a lead, then they work that lead until it closes, then they start looking for the next piece of business. What a shame.
High volume agents today, generate lots of leads and then they queue those leads in their individual buying cycles so that there are always leads in every phase of the buying cycle. That eliminates the “slinky effect” and produces a steady pipeline of business. Mega-producers today are closing one deal while they are showing houses to another, prospecting others, and managing pre-closing events like inspections and appraisals with others.
What that does is produce a steady and predictable flow of business. Many top producers today are closing anywhere from two to five deals a week. Imagine having that kind of volume. What if you closed a deal every business day? Fifty-two weeks, five days a week is 260 deals a year. What is your average commission?
If your average commission is $6,000 (the average sale price nationally as of December 2013 is $199,500), then we’re talking about $1.56 million in gross commissions! I don’t know about you, but I can live on that. And all we’re talking about is having that sized pipeline of business. Do the math: 260 deals means 6,240 leads (24 leads per closing on average).
That’s only 17 leads a day, day in and day out — easily doable in most markets. All it takes is having the right tools and advertising so that customers come to your LCM gateways. I have personally generated over four times that many leads for three consecutive years using my LCM gateway and some pay-per-click advertising. And my market is only 300,000 in population.
Putting it Together. So take a minute to think about your next year. Do you have a plan? Do you have the right tools? Do you have plenty of business in your pipeline? If not, I can help. Check out my Ultimate Website and see if it might be the perfect tool for 2014. If you take my three steps, you will have the best year ever in 2014. I guarantee it!