How to be a Productive Real Estate Agent during the Slow Months

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Once November hits, real estate agents are finally catching their breaths from the craziness they’ve endured after a summer of selling homes.  Your bank account is likely at a high point but your body and mind are exhausted.  

Wanting to check out of your business during the winter season is normal. Rather than dedicating these colder months to Netflix and holiday shopping, you should instead spend time working on the non-sales aspects of your business in order to make the next year ten times more successful!

Here are 10 ways you can drastically improve your business during the slow months.

1. Create your marketing plan

It’s so important that you stay top of mind with your sphere of influence since referral and repeat business is the most profitable way to grow your business.  Building an annual marketing plan can be really simple. Answer the following questions below to get started and be realistic with what you can accomplish 😉

Question 1: Over the course of a year, how many times should you be contacting your sphere?  Weekly?  2x per month?  (I generally try to touch my sphere 33 times per year)

Question 2: What methods do you want to use to touch them?  Email?  Print Newsletter? Online Newsletter?  Postcards?  Mailers?  Phonecalls?  SMS?

Question 3: How often should each method be used?  Quarterly Newsletter?  Monthly Postcard? Phone call every 6 months?  

At this point, you should create a spreadsheet/calendar and begin assigning deadlines to your different marketing pieces.  Balance the marketing plan in whatever way makes sense to you, with the ultimate goal of touching them the desired number of times before the end of the year.

Finally, brainstorm content in advance.  For the spring, you should decide to focus on content that encourages sellers to list. For the summer months, target buyers and content that has to do with warm weather activities.  The more advanced thought you can put into a marketing piece, the more effective it will be in growing your business, while also being easier to craft and deliver on time.

2. Reconnect with your sphere, those who give you business

Every agent has a group of people who are connected strongly within their community and are frequently sending referrals.  Take this time to reconnect with those individuals over a coffee, lunch or simply sending them a nice note of your appreciation.   

3. Read/Learn

Take a break from the desk and read a good book on your couch!  It can be real estate specific or simply self improvement.  Get in the habit of reading real estate or self improvement blogs on a regular basis.  The more you become a student of the industry, the quicker you will be recognized as an expert within it.

4. Remind your spouse and kids who you are

Make your personal life your main priority again.  The phrase work/life balance gets thrown around a lot and it’s a phrase I hate.  Your work and your life shouldn’t be looked at as 2 separate entities.  It’s your one life!  Sometimes in your life, business must take priority.  Other times, family must take priority.  If you don’t make an effort to put your family first during these slow months, they may not be as forgiving once things heat up again.

5. Build/Update the systems within your business

You’ve wrapped up yet another year in Real Estate and have become a much better agent than you were one year ago today.  It’s time to take the increased knowledge and understanding of how to be successful in today’s climate and build out systems that will make it easier to generate new business and service your clients.

Nekst makes it easy to create systems and processes for listing homes and closing homes, but you can also use Nekst to manage leads, run marketing activities, on board/exit team members or coordinate Mega Open House Events.  Literally everything in your business can be turned into a repeatable process.  The more processes you create and execute, the faster your business can scale!

6. Attend a Conference, Take Classes

Most of the Franchise Conferences and other real estate specialty conferences get scheduled from October through March, since it’s these months when agents have more freedom to travel for a conference.  

Check out the NAR Convention, Inman Connect or one of the dozens of other conferences that are designed to grow your business and connect you with real estate leaders throughout the country.

If you don’t have the budget or time to attend a multi-day conference, attend some webinars or look for some local/online classes on a specialty topic of interest.  The key is to simply gain knowledge and become a more well rounded agent as a result.

7. Set Goals

Don’t just keep them in your head, write them down. And I’m not just referencing gross commission income.  Here is list of the types of goals you can set :

<> Gross Commission

<> Transaction sides

<> Net Income

<> Database size

<> Number of Listing Appointments

<> Number of Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreements

<> Size of Social Media Followers

<> Number of Online Reviews (Zillow, Yelp, Trulia, Facebook, Google, etc)

<> Referral Business

<> Team Size (assistant, buyer agents, listing partners, etc)

<> Prospecting Time

<> Vacations and Personal time (yes, this should be a goal too)

And More……

8. Review your operations

Think about what changes you could make to your business so that you are spending more time doing both what you enjoy and generates the best return on your time.  If you are thinking about hiring an assistant, then do so.  Have you been wanting to outsource your market? Schedule a test.  If you need to look for new software to help you stay organized, sign up for Nekst! 

If you aren’t great at determining what your next move should be to grow your business, meet with a prominent agent in your market and ask their advice or look into hiring a business coach.

9. Get involved in your community to meet new people

Grow your sphere in the best way possible – by creating new relationships with people in your community who share a common interest.  Whether it’s PTO, a non-profit or a softball league, you get to take part in an activity you care about while building future clients (and possibly immediate referrals) in the process.  

It’s these same activities that will also help you recharge your batteries when real estate starts to take over your life.  Treat these activities just like you would a listing appointment to ensure a break from the chaos every so often.

10. Review and Improve your business finances

Agents are supposed to be business owners but I would guess that over 80% have no financial plans for their business except to “make more money next year”.  Here are several financial topics you should be exploring now to ensure you make more money next year:

  • How much am I spending each year?
  • What is my money being spent on?
  • Am I taking advantage of write offs for my business?
  • Are there any tools I should cancel that I am not using?
  • Should I incorporate my business and pay myself a salary?
  • What should my annual marketing budget be?
  • Where can I save more money?
  • Should I be paying quarterly taxes?
  • Where should I be investing more money in my business?

Does all of this seem overwhelming?  So did binge watching all 6 seasons of The Walking Dead last year but that didn’t stop you from accomplishing your goal!  Embrace the downtime and good luck making next year, the best year ever!  

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