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sell_more_real_estateRegardless of how your 2015 went, in 2016, you want your business to increase even more. A savvy REALTOR® won’t rest on the success of a previous year or give up hope just because of a down year. There is plenty one can do to increase business and sell more real estate in the year ahead.

January is the perfect time to start with a clean slate and prepare for the year. Here are 10 tips that can make 2016 even more prosperous than your previous years.

1. Set Goals: There’s nothing quite like having a list and checking things off as you accomplish them. In January, write down 10 things you hope to achieve in 2016 and check back each month to make sure you are keeping up with your plans. Make them reasonable and dedicate time each week to making them become reality.

2. Think Mobile: Between phones, tablets and laptops, the number of mobile-connected devices now exceeds the number of people on earth. In real estate, your entire marketplace is on the go. Your product is mobile and your customers are mobile. Failing to weave the two together will set you back. Verify that your website is mobile responsive so you won’t miss out on potential customers.

3. Watch Local Businesses: Pay attention to what’s happening locally in your area with new businesses coming in or veteran companies expanding operations. This is usually an indicator that housing demand will start to increase. Conversely, if a company undergoes a large layoff to its workforce, this might mean people will be leaving the area and will be looking to sell their homes. This can also be a great way to generate relocation business.

4. Improve Open Houses: Instead of just hosting an open house, try having a “mega open house.” Hosting a mega open house is a great way brand yourself as the local expert. Rather than immediately posting your new listing in the MLS, wait a few extra days. In that time, invite the neighbors for a private preview of the home before you open it to the general public. In doing so, you’ll be able to establish relationships with other homeowners in the neighborhood and make connections with potential home sellers. Make sure you also have plenty of literature and photos at the ready, and that you are able to answer any questions that might pop up about the home. Another option is to create relationships with local furniture stores to rent or borrow furniture to better stage the home. Homes.com also offers other valuable tips in their “Spring into the Dream Guide,” which can be customized for each listing and help clients prepare their house ready for showings.

5. Target Withdrawn Listings: Search the MLS for properties that didn’t sell in 2015 and find out why. Was it bad pricing, something with the look or just bad timing? A seller might be open to adjusting and re-listing again with the right convincing.

6. Sell It With Video: While photos and descriptions can highlight the features of a property, video offers a rare opportunity to take it a step further. Potential buyers or renters want to imagine living in a new home or apartment, and video can let them truly see what that could be like. With new technology like drones and Matterport, creating a one-of-a-kind video is more possible than ever.

7. Blog It: You may have started a blog years ago, but just having one isn’t going to lead to success. Think of your blog like any business endeavor and put effort into it, making sure it’s always at its best. The more people visit your blog, the more top of mind you’ll be when they look to buy or sell, or are asked for recommendations.

8. Optimize Your Social Strategy: There’s no “one size fits all” approach to developing a solid content strategy. Research what people in your local community are talking about in order to get a feel for the type of information that is in highest demand. Also, since you’re in the business of selling homes, you’ll occasionally need to share some real estate related information. While this can be a balancing act, there are a number of ways you can include real estate information on your social pages without risking losing your followers. For even more help with this, consider Homes.com Social, a suite of social media tools that can help you engage with more homebuyers and sellers and drive more leads.

9. Update Your Website: Websites are no longer simple digital business cards used to snag drifting traffic. Today, websites can do so much more, and if you’re a broker who hasn’t updated their site in years, it’s time to start thinking in a 21st Century mindset. Be sure your site is designed to be responsive, so the content can adjust itself to different screen sizes (such as iPhones and tablets) and can be displayed in the optimal layout.

10. Network: A REALTOR® should use any and every opportunity to meet new people and ask them about their real estate needs. Some ideas for growing your network include enhancing your social media reach, forming strategic partnerships with local businesspeople and getting involved in community gatherings. By doing so, you’ll remain top of mind with those in your area.

By putting these 10 tips into practice, you’ll be even closer to reaching your business goals this year. If you want another way to take your business to the next level, make sure you are actively positioning yourself early in the year in front of new potential prospects who are searching for real estate in your local area. Follow these 3 easy steps to connect with quality leads near you and close more deals in 2016!

For more information, visit connect.homes.com.

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