This last week I have just been spending some time with a team of agents looking to build a better real estate business in 2014; to help with that we did a simple assessment of targets and goals at a personal level. All the agents had to write some facts on paper as part of that process.
The results were interesting and worth sharing.
- The agents with reasonable levels of industry experience had some solid targets and facts that they were considering in their personal business plan for the coming year. They knew exactly what they would be doing in 2014.
- The ‘junior’ or ‘cadet’ agents were struggling to set precise targets and action plans. Their goals were simply ‘wish lists’ with little strategy to back it up. They had no idea what they would be doing in January let alone 2014.
From these observations it directly follows that experience will always help you grow your market activities and listing opportunities. To help those agents that are still struggling with marketing plans and business plans for next year, here are some valuable tips.
- Long-term relationships – Much of the success that you will generate in the coming 12 months will be through established and long-term relationships with the right people. Take a serious look at your prospecting model to understand how you are reaching out to your prospects and clients. Relevance is the key to the process; build on the strengths of your prospecting model. If the next 12 months are to be more successful than the last, then it is important to improve your client exposure and contact processes.
- Satisfied customers – For every successful transaction in sales and leasing activity you should have a satisfied customer for the long term. Those customers will lead you to new business opportunities and referral activities. Always ask the direct questions about referrals and leads when you are talking to your good clients.
- Personal involvement – Get deeply involved in your marketplace at a personal level with a marketing plan. Many agents and brokers do not spend enough time in the marketplace working with new people. They get distracted with meetings, current deals, and existing clients. Don’t let the pressures of the day take over your new business prospecting and contact plans. The best agents are out in the marketplace for at least 50% of the day. Through talking to new people you will always find opportunities and activities to serve.
- Undertaking a market place assessment – Analyse the property activity for the last six months in your town or city. Take into account the factors of time on market, the levels of enquiry, your competitor’s listings, and the supply and demand for space. From these things there will be indicators to help you see where the best opportunities exist for 2014. The ‘scatter gun’ approach doesn’t work in commercial real estate; you need to be a ‘sniper’ when it comes to honing in on clients and properties. You cannot be a top agent in every location and with every property type.
- Know your patch – Determine the suburbs that are going to bring you the best opportunity for the next 12 months. Understand the streets and the properties that provide the best opportunity in your sales territory. Identify the property investors that need specialised help. From these simple considerations you can identify the best ways to build your business and commission opportunities. It all takes planning and action.
- Define your processes- In this industry we need to ‘work backwards’ when it comes to the generation of new business. Set your realistic commission targets based on the last 12 months together with a challenge factor or growth ratio. Perhaps you believe you can improve your commission opportunities by 15 or 20 per cent in the next 12 months. From that simple decision, you can determine the types of property deals that will be required. Those deals will be by way of size and frequency. It is then a simple matter of reversing the process from the deals done back to the listings required, your conversion factors, and then look at your prospecting model to create those listings. It is a ‘backward’ process that allows you to modify personal marketing activities and take direct action in your business plan.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of planning at this time of year. In the month of December it is necessary to make all your decisions and assess the factors of the local property market. Accuracy and precision is required as you set your goals and targets for the coming year.
Your choices and your plans need to have been set by the end of the month ready for a new business direction and involvement for the upcoming 2014 year. Start your commercial real estate business for the coming 12 months through some highly focused planning and decisions.