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It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about—when we look back at our original goals from January and see where we actually ended up. So, how did you do?

An old adage states that if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll most likely arrive at the same place, so it’s time to shake up the status quo. In order to go further and achieve better results, it’s time to rethink how to do what we do for more profits and productivity.

Here are three tips to consider that will almost guarantee you’ll end up where you want to be next calendar year:

1. Connect consistently with your VIP/elite sphere of influence.
Most agents focus on getting more leads, but your real money is with those who already know that you’re their go-to resource. Most leads are at the beginning stages of the sales funnel, so they’ll require more effort and high-level marketing to convert. Your VIP/elite sphere of influence contacts already know, like and trust you, so they’re much easier to convert. To capitalize on this group, start the new year by developing a monthly touch program that includes at least one face-to-face, one meaningful “touch” and a handwritten note. This system doesn’t require any fancy software—just you and a target list of top people who are happy to refer you when the occasion arises. But they need to be gently “reminded” that you’re in the real estate business. Without ever really asking for a referral, spend time monthly with these contacts to be top-of-mind in ways that promote relationships that lead to referrals.

2. Make sure you schedule your action steps.
You can’t end up where you can’t see, so planning* is the first step—but successful planning requires a few more steps that most agents miss. An effective strategy is to begin working the calendar backwards, starting from the end of the year. When you start at the date for the targeted event, you can then set up a timeline and action steps to get ready. Pencil in specific days for your annual client appreciation event, then block quarterly (smaller and more manageable) meetups with different groups within your sphere of influence for a wine and cheese tasting, a night at the movies, or a summer picnic in the park. Focus in on the monthly and weekly timelines to make sure you have all the steps in place to execute your initiative with step-by-step dates, times and assignments. This planning will allow your event to unfold flawlessly, with less stress, and you’ll be relaxed and have more fun.

3. Be a true resource.
Look for opportunities outside of real estate to be of value to your VIPs by leveraging your vendor partnerships. For example, team up with your HVAC partner to offer your clients help with those seasonal maintenance challenges, like a fall furnace tune-up. The service providers benefit from marketing directly to your group and can even offer a friendly “discount” while helping to ensure great property maintenance without you asking for referrals. Helping your VIPs stay on target with best property practices is a service they’ll remember.

Use these guidelines for next year and you’ll be on track to elevate your profit and productivity.

*For a complimentary copy of a 2020 business plan, and more, visit http://bit.ly/2zSyD4k.

Terri Murphy is a communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant and master coach with Workman Success. She is the author of five books, a TED Talk speaker and co-radio host on KWAMtheVoice.com. For more information, please visit TerriMurphy.com or email Terri@TerriMurphy.com.

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