I’ve written before about business planning and how important it is to establish goals and objectives and to have a structure to your business. However, there is a step that is just as important to take before you get to the planning stage: evaluation.
We all know the income roller coaster that’s comes with working in real estate. We have great years. And then we have not-so-great years. This cyclical nature of our business is driven by changing market conditions, of course, and also by events going on in our personal lives. However, I will be so bold as to suggest that with the right kind of evaluation and planning, you can make the lows a bit less low, and highs more sustainable.
Before we even start to write a business plan for the upcoming year, I encourage my agents to go through the exercise of evaluating the previous year. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Make a list of all of your transactions – listings and buyer-assisted sales. For each transaction, ask yourself: How did you get that piece of business? Where did that client come from? And overall, ask yourself: Exactly how many transactions did I have last year? How many referrals did I make outside of my own market place?
I can tell you that 100% of my agents have some revelation during this evaluation stage. Maybe they realize how much of their business came from other agent referrals. Maybe they underestimated how much business was being generated by those monthly newspaper ads. Once an agent begins digging into the details of a year, there’s always something—and often several somethings—that emerge. The result? Better insight, better planning, and a better plan going forward.