Are You Ready for 2013?
Are you ready for 2013? January 1st is only a few days away, less than 47 days away to be exact and many wait until January to think about budgeting, revamping, and getting their business administrative functions in order. You should be planning the why, how, when, and where now, actually, several months ago. As with all functions (important and not so important) in our lives, we have to plan. If you have to give it a second of thought, you planned it. I often hear agents say, “I am going to market my business and property different next year.” Then, they go back to the same old marketing using the same post card design then have used since 2000 or they have not changed their process.
All business owners should have updated their business processes by now to improve/increase market share. Processes can include updating your forms to reflect changes to the purchase agreements and changes in disclosures to how you market your properties whether you are using post cards, social networking, local ads, or yard signs.
Here are a few suggested items you should update before 2013.
- Set your sites on a Target Market. Select your target market(s) and remain focus on the prize. Study and increase your knowledge so you will be known as the expert!
- Budget – Set your budgets for each segment of your business; from administrative to marketing. Know how much you will allot for monthly marketing, admin fees, web maintenance, association fees, etc. Know where your money is being spent at all times. If you are not good at bookkeeping, hire a part time bookkeeper to maintain your files a couple hours a week.
- Revamp your Forms – make sure your forms reflect 2012 – 2013 and not 2002. A lot of information has changed and many states have made changes to the terms of the purchase contract. REO and Short Sale properties have required many changes.
- Marketing Information – Photos, Website, Blogs, Post Cards, and Flyers. Go 2013 with your marketing information. If you haven’t updated your blog information in over 3 months, it is time to either scrap it, get on board, or hire help. Change your flyer and post card content but keep the brand. Update your photo, mullets are out. Make your website informative, tweak it.
- Go Paperless – Consider going paperless or at least strive to use less paper in your overall business in 2013. Use an electronic signature software program such as EchoSign or DocuSign and consider using zipform for document creation…….it works!
- Utilize a Showing Scheduler, let the showing company manage your showings. If you have more than three active listings on the market, a showing scheduler should be handling your showings, you have other more important tasks at hand.
- Know and understand the REO and Short Sale Process, even if you are not the listing agent. A misinformed buyer agent lends to a misinformed buyer. An uninformed listing agent is a transaction doomed.
- Thinking about focusing on short sales? Know the facts and get trained on the process, documents requires, negotiations, and the expectations of the lien holders.
- Take your Closings online, from listing to a smooth closing. There are multiple platforms available on the market that is not expensive but excellent to use. Expensive does not equate to top of the line. When setup and utilized correctly, you will get more bang for your bucks.
- If you are a busy agent, consider establishing a Team. Add structure to your day through delegation and task management. Assign functions to the members to complete but first, establish accountability of each team member. Establish processes for the listing coordinator, closing coordinator, bookkeeper, photographer, property preservation team, client care coordinator, web/marketing coordinator, etc.
- Organize your Contact List – make sure you have updated contact information in your database for past, current, and potential clients. Touch base with each and obtain new email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. While you are at it, obtain birthdays, anniversaries, and memorable moments.
While each of tend to get very busy this time of the year with deadlines, family gatherings, and multiple holidays, don’t neglect the reason why we are all in business. Correct, Connect, Adjust, and Prosper.