Growing your Business during the Holidays

As the year comes to a close and your clients lose interest in showing their home or looking for homes, why not use this quiet time to invest in getting ready for 2014? We’re not saying ignore your family during the holidays but taking some time to invest in your business now should give you a jump on what could be a busy January!

Here are some suggestions from ActiveRain on how to prepare for next year.

Give your business a health check
First and foremost, review your November credit card statement and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Are you spending money on real estate services that you haven’t used in more than six months and have no intent on using? Are you paying for things that are not generating growth for your business? Stop it.

Clean up your contact database
2013 was blissful mayhem for many agents, but the side effect of a hot real estate market is often sloppy lead management. Get that shovel out and start digging through every lead you acquired and make sure they are loaded in your contact management system, aka your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Holiday prospecting isn’t limited to Christmas cards
Real estate is a belly-to-belly business, and you need to make your belly bigger with eggnog and cookies. Attend as many holiday parties in your community as your digestive system can handle. Realtor Gail Robinson in Fairfield County, Conn., blogged, “Without fail someone at the party or event will ask me how the real estate market is going, so I’m already working on my year-end statistics and analyzing them against last year’s statistics.”

Door knocking
You didn’t think we would take it there, did you? Realtor Paula Bradfield in Salida, Colo., goes door to door with, “A one-page informational flier on the market with some splashy color graphs (and NOT about yourself). Everyone is interested in local numbers. Use minimal text. It is just a way to get to know someone.”

Lay the groundwork for 2014
When was the last time you Googled yourself? Odds are good that when a buyer or seller searches for your name online, he is going to find your profile on ActiveRain, Trulia, LinkedIn and other national websites. Update your online profiles on these sites during the holidays to make sure those prospects get a great first impression of you. Realtor Tracy Santrock in Raleigh, N.C., wrote, “Facebook continues to revamp [its] structure, and I am constantly trying to keep up with how to structure my landing page, Facebook cover and other items.”

Write your 2014 business plan
In a nutshell, your plan just needs to say how many transactions you need next year and where that business is going to come from. According to Realtor Dorie Dillard in Austin, Texas, “My 2014 business plan has been hand-written after reviewing performance of 2013 and will be tweaked the first of December.”

Re-examine your market niche
As a real estate agent, you can’t be all things to all people. You’ll get the most bang for your marketing buck if you choose a specific niche like luxury homes, investment properties, first-time buyers, etc. If your marketing still revolves entirely around distressed properties, it’s time to shift your focus to a new niche. Realtor Andrea Bedard in Silver Spring, Md., said, “Creating and working a niche has been one of my weak areas. I had trouble defining mine. I wasn’t sure what that was until I had a major light-bulb moment recently.”

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