The first half of 2018 has come and gone. The question you must ask yourself now is, “What will I do to maximize my income the last half of this year?”
Start by setting “SMART” goals.
Virtually all agents want to increase their production. The challenge is that most experts recommend you make more calls, knock on more doors and pay for more internet leads and advertising — in other words, these experts say you must work harder and pay more.
Other experts recommend working smarter, not harder — but how exactly are you supposed to do that? A great place to begin is with Michael Gerber’s advice from his classic book, The E-Myth Revisited.
According to Gerber, many business people are so caught up in “working in their business,” that they don’t have time to “work on” their business. For agents, working in their business means taking out buyers, going on listing appointments and closing transactions.
Working on your business means analyzing where your business is generating the greatest returns, capitalizing on those areas and eliminating or reducing areas that are not making adequate returns.
Once you complete your analysis, devote the bulk of your time and money to those areas that create the greatest return for your business.
The second component of this process is to set “SMART” goals. The acronym “SMART” stands for “specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-grounded.”
To increase your production during the second half of 2018, take time to work on your business by addressing each of the “SMART” goal steps below:
1. What motivates you?
Beyond making money for you, what is the reason for the existence of your business?
For example, are you a resource for first-time buyers? Do you serve a particular market niche, such as teachers or golfers? Do you serve a particular geographical farm?
If you cannot pinpoint at least three specific service components of your business, identify the three specific activities that produced the most income for you. They could be open houses, Facebook ads and marketing for referrals into your current sphere of influence. Then, focus on expanding in your business in those areas.
For example, if most of your business came from a specific area or price range, make that area or price range your top priority.
2. Develop strategic points of focus
Take the three areas you identified above and create three action steps for each area. For example, if your goal was to expand a profitable geographical farm, your action steps could include:
- Generate more closed listings and sales from a present geographical farm.
- Generate more referrals from present geographical farm outside farm area.
- Increase farm area by 250 homes.
How would you go about implementing your action steps?
Brainstorm all the ways you could achieve these action steps, even if you know you won’t use them.
The secret to using this approach is that once you complete your list, select no more than two ways to complete each action step. Make sure each strategy you select is an activity you are excited about doing rather than something that will make you miserable.
For example, if you hate door-knocking, this probably will not be an activity that you could sustain for the next year. In terms of determining which activities would be best, the critical question to ask is, “What am I willing to do each day to bring me more business in this area?”
4. Document your “SMART” goals
Write your “SMART” goals for each strategic point of focus. Here’s what a set of “SMART” goals might look for the example above:
- Specific: Generate more listings and sales from present geographical farm by taking one additional listing and making one more buyer sale each month for the next 12 months.
- Measurable: Increase the number of traditional mail contacts from four per year to eight per year. Twice annually, offer an “equity checkup” that includes a comparative market analysis (CMA), an in-depth neighborhood report from NARRPR.com and a report about the property history and area conditions from HomeDislcosure.com. Both of these services are free.
- Actionable: Plan out your eight-postcard campaign by picking out your marketing cards, the messages you want to send and then scheduling them to be sent.
- Relevant: Prepare a sample equity checkup for one of your current listings that you can show to people who may be interested in your services. You can make this especially relevant by offering these at property tax time
- Time-grounded: Once you have identified what marketing materials you will use, schedule all your mailings, and set up your orders for the year. If you’re using an equity checkup, schedule the delivery dates for your clients, past clients and other people in your sphere.
5. Prioritize action steps
The next step is to translate each action step into one of your three top priorities on a daily basis.
As you write your daily objectives, always keep your larger action steps/goals in front of you so you can distinguish what’s most important from what isn’t.
If an activity doesn’t support those three areas, don’t waste your time on it. When you allocate your day, these three areas are your “hard rocks,” or what must be accomplished that day before you tackle anything else.
Working with “SMART” goals keeps your focus on the activities that will create the greatest amount of income for your business.
Remember, the most successful agents specifically focus on two or three income-producing activities rather than trying to do everything. Bottom line — a “SMART” focus translates to more money in your pocket with less work.