It’s the end of the year, and for most people, that means thinking ahead to what the next year will bring. If you spend a bit of time searching the internet, you can find thousands of tips, tricks, and hacks for boosting your productivity.
But while there are a lot of cool tips out there, the truth is that if you want better results, you need a really great foundation. So instead of “300 hacks to pump up your productivity!”, we figured we’d focus on three key strategies you need to have in place for your most successful year ever.
Strategy 1: Learn from where you’ve been
Before you can think ahead, you need to look back. Take the time to analyze your year: what worked well, what went poorly, and what lessons you learned from both. Try to look at it from both a factual perspective (which real estate marketing materials brought you the most leads, which clients brought in the best commissions, etc.) and a personal perspective (which clients or transactions brought you the most joy or satisfaction?).
Don’t neglect the practical concerns of looking back, either. This is a great time to clean out your office and purge any old materials or paperwork that are bogging you down.
Strategy 2: Choose where you want to go
You know the old saying: “Failing to plan is planning for failure.” It may be trite, but it’s also true. You can’t set up a plan for the year if you don’t have goals in mind. Think SMART – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, Timed – “I want to grow my revenue by 30% this year.” “I want to close 2 transactions per month in the first half of 2018.” “I want to send out a new marketing campaign every 6 weeks.”
Use the data you collected under the first strategy to help you plan the steps you need to take in order to meet those goals. For example, if you discovered that your best leads came from people you met in networking groups, then it’s time to start ordering more business cards and looking for new networking events to attend. If your best leads came from referrals, make a plan to regularly stay in touch with your past clients and other connections, and to send out referral request postcard campaigns.
Strategy 3: Systems = Success
Making a plan is great, but only execution will get you where you want to go. After all, most people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions by Valentine’s Day, so clearly good intentions will only get you so far. Make following through on your marketing plans easy, and they’re much more likely to get done. Tools like full-service EDDM and direct mail postcard mailing services can take a lot of the work off of your plate. Try to do as much of the work as you can ahead of time, and schedule a consistent block of time every week for working on your marketing.