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October is a meaningful month. It means the start of the fourth quarter, the next season, change. To me, it also represents hope, triumph and tribute in the fight against breast cancer, because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a breast cancer survivor, I look forward to the extra reminder in October that there’s so much more to life than the daily grind we sometimes get caught in.

The big question this time of year: Is your daily routine getting you where you want to be? In other words, are you doing enough—aiming high enough—to make the most meaningful difference for yourself, your career, your family, your clients and your community?

If you recognize that you’re not operating at your absolute max—the maximum level of commitment and performance it takes to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself—there’s still time to make some changes that can help you finish the year strong.

What if you decided to make October about new beginnings? What if you found a renewed motivation and confidence that’s typically deferred to January 1? You’d start the new year on a higher plane and be that much closer to seeing your long-term vision come into focus.

There are some key areas of your business, in particular, that you can re-evaluate now to determine whether you should make some adjustments. Ask yourself, “What if I made a change here? Would it get me closer to my max?”


Production is the ultimate marker of success for many agents. The number of closed transactions is often the goal driving them each year. And while the objective is important, the vital element is a plan for getting there.

Hold yourself accountable. Perhaps it’s a matter of adding a new prospecting strategy to your business model; energizing it in some way. Maybe make 10 extra phone calls a week, ramp up your social media presence, or seek the help of a reputable coach or mentor. Whatever it is, make a commitment and make it count.


Niches and specialties are important in real estate, but they can also trap you. Are you limiting your opportunities to expand your business and engage new groups of clients? For example, there is tremendous activity among investors and foreign buyers because of the strong buyer’s market. And Gen Y buyers are entering their prime home-buying years. Are you effectively reaching out to these potential clients?

Modifying your marketing messages to appeal to various audiences is a good start. Earning a new designation or certification that you can add to your list of specializations can also help you stand out.


People love to do business with real estate agents who care. In fact, 85 percent of consumers have a positive impression of products and companies that support a cause they care about, according to the most recent Cone Cause Evolution Study. If you’re already affiliated with a cause in your community, consider discussing co-branding opportunities with the organization or group to help generate awareness of their work and your contributions. If you’re not yet affiliated with a cause, research nonprofits in your area and schedule a visit to learn more about what they do and how you can get involved.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of areas to evaluate, but it’s a good starting point to help you decide on a new direction.

After all, asking yourself “What if?” as you’re looking forward is far better than asking it as you’re looking back.

Margaret Kelly (CRB) is chief executive officer of RE/MAX, LLC.

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