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How Agents Should Begin in Planning for the New Year

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By Amy Chorew

Your Best Year Yet_190x150A critical component to business success in the New Year is reflecting on your previous year and analyzing what worked and what strategies could be improved upon.

To begin fresh and move in to the year in a tactical and calculated way, you must step back and assess what and who defined your success in 2012. Those details will offer insight into what pillars of your business will encourage growth in the New Year.

With that in mind, we sat down with Dirk Zeller, CEO of Real Estate Champions Inc to discuss what it takes to succeed as a real estate professional in 2013. How to plan now to make 2013 your best year yet:

Your first step should be a deep analysis into 2012 business results. Take a look at how many leads were received and what the primary source of those leads was over the last year. Without that insight, it is impossible to determine what your conversion rate was and how that will transfer into an estimation of required leads to hit 2013 goals.

Q: Where should agents place their energy and attention in 2013?

There are more leads than ever before in the real estate business and that will continue in 2013. Now is the perfect time to get back to the fundamentals that built your business. This includes:

• Picking up the phone and engaging your prospects rather than expecting technology to do the sales conversion
• Getting face-to-face with prospects and selling your value instead of allowing social media and other online marketing to build your business on its own
• Sharpening your lead generation skills by increasing your time spent involved in lead generation activities
• Creating a strategic road map that includes daily activities to support growth and reach

Q: Why is a marketing plan important to success in 2013?

In speaking with agents, the majority say they prefer referrals to any other source of leads. Yet, few agents create an ongoing communication/marketing plan to actually acquire referrals.

Keep yourself in front of your top referral sources regularly with a consistent method of communication. It’s imperative that you let those top referrers know that they mean more to you than just a paycheck.

As you set goals for 2013, ask yourself a few questions:

• What are some strategies that you have thought about, or seen other agent’s use, that would help you keep in contact with your valued clients and customers?
• How often, in your opinion, do you need to make contact with your referral sources to assure business from them?
• How many referrals could you get from a satisfied client or customer, if you kept in contact with them 8 to 12 times a year? How much is that worth to you?
• How much of your money would you be willing to spend in a year to get the return on investment that you decided upon (number of referrals)?

The bottom line is this: In order to succeed, you must stop looking at yourself as a Realtor and instead as a business owner. Once you run your business as a business and align your wants, needs and skill set with your goals, you have the ability to make 2013 your best year yet!

Amy Chorew s the vice president of platform development at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate.

To read this article on Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate’s blog, “Clean Slate,” visit http://bhgrealestateblog.com/2012/12/14/plan-now-to-make-2013-your-best-year-yet/.

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