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The Weather Outside is Frightful – Now What?

January 30 2014

winter hand houseIt's well-known that winter can be a very slow time for selling real estate. So what can agents do with this downtime?

Well, we've thought of a few ways you can leverage this cold weather slowdown to prepare and start the spring selling season off with a BANG—and position yourself for your best year ever!

First, it's important to take some quiet time and think about what goals you would like to set for yourself in 2014. What revenues would you like to generate? How much money can you invest in yourself and your business? There are great business planning tools out there that can help guide you through the process of creating your own strategic plan.

What are your key strengths and weaknesses? Have you asked your customers this important question? They can give you clues about the best ways to improve your service levels and create lifetime loyal fans. You can create a simple survey with just a few simple questions on an inexpensive tool like Surveymonkey.comSurveymonkey.com if you want to get a quick read of your performance. Send it out to the customers you have worked with in the past twelve months and see what you get back. Ideally, you may want to think about going even further by signing up for a program like QSC that allows you to track client satisfaction for every transaction you're involved with.

Once you identify your key strengths and weaknesses, you can think about the type of training you would like to participate in. Winter is a great time to complete some education courses so can take on 2014 with new skills. What kind of training would you like to engage in to make you a stronger real estate professional? Check out the attached list of training solutions to find some ideas. It's also important to check your Association and MLS websites for training courses. Many of them offer a variety of great courses that are free or very inexpensive.

Once you figured out your goals for 2014, it's time to evaluate the tools you are using in your business. Here's a quick checklist to run through:

  • Do you have a good process/tool set to maintain on-going relationships with your past clients? They are usually your best source for future business so it's critical to stay in touch with them. There are great email marketing tools like Happy Grasshopper, Home Actions and Drip 365 by Properties Online that can be very helpful for maintaining long-term relationships.

  • Do you have a tool for maintaining a strong database and contact records for all of your potential, current and past clients using a true Client Relationship Management System or CRM? Many agents simply use Outlook or even a spreadsheet, but investing the time in a professional tool built just for real estate--like Top Producer, EZ Coordinator by Sequent Systems, or IXACT Contact--can make all the difference. They take time to set up, but they are WELL worth it once they are live. Take the slow time to upload your contacts, complete the training and get yourself set up for a powerful new year.

Stay warm this winter and best of luck with setting yourself up for amazing success in 2014!