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business_planning_2015The start of any new year is always a great time to make resolutions and plan for the year ahead, and that applies to your business as well as your personal life. As you kick off 2015, it’s the perfect time to organize and take stock in what you want to accomplish.

Perhaps Mark Twain said it best when he noted, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”

It’s no surprise that many of the challenges agents and brokers face involve staying organized and taking inventory of their online strategy amid all the latest trends in the online world. Because the Internet has changed the way most real estate agents do business today, has compiled five tips to help you strengthen your online presence for the year ahead.

Update Social Accounts
Start small by updating your personal information on all your social media channels and website. Be sure to update all contact info, add any new certifications you may have achieved, and include a recent photo. Most importantly, verify that all of your social media channels are linked to each other. can help with this by providing a social media widget designed to make your life easier.

Catch-up on Communication
Another box to check off the to-do list deals with customizing a new email touch campaign. Design an email blast offering creative and helpful ideas for your clients like “tips to increase your home equity” or “creative landscaping ideas.” While you’re in your email, take the time to clean out any old correspondence and make sure you have replied to all unattended emails. Communication is key to staying top-of-mind with past and future clients.

Refresh Recommendations
In an industry where consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, client feedback is as important as ever.  In fact, a recent study by BrightLocal reveals that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as or even more than personal recommendations. Because of this, don’t forget to add current customer reviews to your website and link in sites like Yelp. Doing so could make the difference in attracting new clients.

Verify Business Listings
While you’re on the Internet, be sure to verify your business listing on all the major search engines—especially Google Local. The last thing you want is for someone to be interested in your services only to find they can’t get in touch with you because a phone number or email was incorrect.

Review Triumphs and Failures
A sound business strategy often comes from learning from past successes and failures. Review your data from the past year and set realistic goals for 2015. Take the time to identify the areas of your business that are performing well and those that may need a little more attention, and devise a strategy for growth.

These are just some of the insightful tips that can help you begin strategizing today. By crossing items off one by one, in no time you’ll find you’re much more organized and less stressed, so you can make 2015 your best year yet.

Download a free copy of the “Business Planning Checklist: 15 Tasks to Get Your Business Ready for 2015” for 10 more great tips to help prepare your business for the new year!