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Things to do in 2011

I found this great article at: http://bit.ly/egYDNE thanks to my facebook friends.

While it is focused on real estate, I think it applies to everyone in business. Enjoy.

My good friend and noted real estate coach and trainer Darin Persinger (@ DarinPersinger) of ProductivityJunkes.com asked me to give my input on a little project he’s putting together to help agents continue on their quest for greater productivity in the coming year.

Grossly condensing this, Darin asked me to provide a list of the 12 things I would recommend agents focus on in 2011 to improve their business. That being said, here are those 12 things:

1. Measure Everything: “Father of modern management” Peter Drucker said this: “What gets measured gets done.” With that as the backdrop, start measuring everything you can measure. To kick this off, you should start the New Year with clearly defined income goals and then break those goals all the way back down to what you need to do on a DAILY basis to create what you want to earn.

2. Be Accountable: Continuing the prior point, measurement is nothing without accountability. So, make yourself accountable to someone (ideally that would be your broker). This is huge. Goals + Accountability = RESULTS!

3. Change Your Focus: Real estate has historically been a short-term, “transactional” game. As tech and Social Media become more prevalent, that’s changing. Stop thinking “short term/transactions,” and start thinking “long-term/relationships.”

4. Get into Facebook: After ignoring this reality for as long as possible, I have to come clean and say that Facebook is the “must do” Social Media action plan for every Realtor. It’s too big, it’s too important, and there’s already too much evidence in place to show that it’s not only the future, but the “right now” go-to place to connect and meet with people. Start by going here and just devouring everything you can.

5. Get into Video: 73% of all sellers want their Realtor to market with video, and yet less than 1% do. There is huge opportunity here for those who early adopt and differentiate themselves on this critical level. Read this and just make up your mind to “do video.” The learning curve is not nearly as steep as you might think.

6. Create a Massive Digital Footprint: I firmly believe that the future belongs to the agents and teams who create the “biggest digital footprint.” That is, who do people find when they search for “name of your town real estate” on Google? And what real estate professional gets recommended when people ask their trusted networks on Twitter or Facebook? That simply MUST be YOU. And you accomplish this by creating a constant stream of valuable, free content via blogging, Facebook and Twitter.

7. Limit Your Hats: Too many agents are failing because they’re trying to do too many things at once, and, as result, they tend to do many of those “too many things” poorly. Focus on a few things and do them well. Be honest: you’re confused right now, aren’t you? In points 4., 5. and 6., I’m clearly telling you to do MORE. And now, I’m telling you to do LESS, right? How do I reconcile these two conflicting messages? Read the next point.

8. Find a Tech Savvy Broker: Instead of trying to be a great blogger (almost no one is), a great Tweeter (very few are) and a great webmaster (that’s a full-time job in and of itself), go find a broker who can help you with these things. As an agent, I would GLADLY give up a little bit of my income to have a broker help me to wear all the hats I need to wear to succeed in today’s dynamic real estate environment.

9. Optimize Your Past Client Database: Most agents don’t do a great job of maintaining their past client database, and even fewer do a great job of leveraging that database to win new business. Use a CRM that allows you to do this, and make a commitment to staying in touch with the people you served well in the past. The most valuable asset you have is a happy past client. Don’t let that asset go underutilized.

10. Give Everyone a Reason to Say “Thank You:” Noted author Gary Vaynerchuk (@ GaryVee) of “Crush It” fame is about to release a new book called “The Thank You Economy.” The gist: people won’t hire you until you’ve given them a reason to say thank you. Think of anything and everything you can do to make people say “thank you” to YOU.

11. Crush It: Continuing the Vaynerchuk lovefest, there is just no getting around the fact that, in most cases, the person that works the hardest wins in the long run. People often think that technology allows us to work LESS. I don’t see it that way, and in fact it’s probably the opposite, because it takes so much effort to stay current and simply to do all the things we need to do to leverage technology (all the more reason to heed my advice at 8. above!). But there’s good news: for those that DO work the hardest AND leverage tech and Social Media the best, the relative payoff is HIGHER because of the exponential reach and effect of tech and Social Media.

12. Nail Down Your Bread and Butter Presentations: Make sure you have your listing presentation, your buyer’s presentations and any other important presentations absolutely perfected, and ideally in a cutting-edge manner (Prezi or, worst case, Keynote). I’d take that a step further and suggest you get an iPad and store those perfect presentations on the iPad. Given that the iPad has SO MUCH applicability to a transient, mobile business like real estate, I highly suggest you make the investment and buy one.

These are my 12 tips. I hope 2011 is a great year for you, in every respect!

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