By Mark Mathis, General Manager of Agent and Broker Sales at Homes.com
If you’re in the real estate game, you always want to do better than the previous year. Now, you can increase your business in 2016 by following some savvy planning tips from master trainer and coach Tom Ferry.
During the latest Secrets of Top Selling Agents Webinar—“Key Trends & Business Planning Tips for 2016”—Ferry identified key performance statistics, gave advice on planning personal and professional goals as well as a strong vision statement, and recommended how to create progress charts and daily action checklists to plan financial- and self-analysis.
Innovation and Marketing
For any REALTOR® to sell the number of homes they want and make the money they desire, a chief component of success revolves around innovation and marketing. As Ferry says, “There are trends happening in the industry that you might not be aware of, or you are aware of but you don’t have the strategy to implement and be relevant to the buyers and sellers.” Once an agent becomes aware of these trends, they can resolve their issues and better plan for success.
The real estate industry is constantly shifting. Ferry notes that 87 percent of the agents who turn over each year are most likely not promoting key practices that would otherwise make them successful. While Ferry doesn’t claim to be Nostradamus, he believes his 28 years in the business has given him insights that many others don’t have — “I’m committed to this conversation of crushing the fourth quarter and making sure we’re doing the right things to absolutely win, and aligning our behaviors to ensure that 2016 is our best year ever,” Ferry says. “If you talk to as many people as I talk to and spend as much time in this space as I have, studying what makes the very best people ‘the best,’ you’d have to be a bit of a knucklehead to not see the very best people do a lot of the same things over and over again.”
Trends to Keep an Eye On
To be successful in the industry, Ferry listed a number of trends happening right now that all agents should be aware of.
1. Commission Compression: Ferry says commissions are getting smaller and agents who don’t have the skill or swagger will use commission decrease as their degree of separation. Ferry likens this to public vs. private health care—“Overall, we’re seeing more and more commissions decrease, and I challenge all of you to articulate your value proposition to a seller, showing them why they should pay more for your services.” He warns agents not to get stuck in the rut of asking for a smaller commission to ensure their 2016 earnings are where they should be.
2. The Irrelevant Agent: Ferry expects to see approximately a million more people in the industry over the next 4-5 years, and real estate economists believe this will affect a lot of agents by 2020. Ferry asks, “What are you doing to secure your area to make sure potential clients understand why you are the agent of choice?” A great way to start securing your area is by reserving your zip codes to ensure you’re the top promoted agent in the area.
3. Total Team Domination: Ferry says there are about 35,000 to 50,000 teams operating in North America, and a team always out-produces an individual. “We are seeing this massive wave of teams coming into the space,” he says. The most valuable team in his opinion is the “mega-team builders,” with a service center hub, complete with marketing, lead generation and a sales team.
4. Rise of the Entrepreneurial Agent: Look around and you will see agents writing books, appearing on local TV shows, and getting their face in front of everyone. You should know whether you are the hub for your marketplace. If you’re not the number one resource, find a way to become it.
Planning for 2016
To be successful next year, Ferry recommends to start by creating a list of your most important goals for 2016. Ask yourself how you want to design your life and activate your spirit. He explains that “If you are inspired by the things you want to accomplish, you will go make the calls and do the marketing.” At a minimum, Ferry suggests writing down 10 things you want to accomplish in 2016. Once you have your goals, write down the 10 compelling benefits and the 10 negative consequences that will drive you to accomplish them.
Ferry also mentions that, most times, agents are not planning big enough. Rather than just thinking about what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, create a long-term vision. Consider where you hope to be in 2020, and set up your goals so you can fulfill that vision. Be sure to check your progress at the end of each year to see whether you accomplished your goals, and how close you are to your vision.
For more of Tom Ferry’s top tips to help you be even more successful in 2016, download his free business plan. Watch Ferry’s full webinar for more of the trends you should know about to help prepare your business for the coming year. Don’t forget to visit Secrets of Top Selling Agents to sign up for the final webinar of the year, “How to Spend $2,000 a Month and Get a Big Return on Investment,” featuring Jimmy Mackin.
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