As 2023 begins, how should real estate agents best consider profitable avenues to which to dedicate time and resources? Here are a few ideas, starting with the most global and then becoming more specific:
- Be a good citizen. On the macro level, this may be the most important thing any agent can do. Participate in your civic and professional communities. Become involved with our local real estate community. Join a not-for-profit board or two in areas that reflect your passion. The most successful people are always giving back.
- Make a plan. No matter where in the country or in the world you are, the first step in any consideration of the year ahead involves making a business plan. How you go about doing this will vary depending on your own knowledge of how you best do business, but any plan must be fairly detailed about the activities involved. Any plan should involve periodic benchmarks so you can hold yourself accountable. “Make more money” is not a plan.
- Push yourself. We all settle into a comfort zone, and once in it, we don’t easily push outside. But to grow any business requires the implementation of new strategies and outreach to new possible clients. Try going to more places and meeting more people.
- Hone your expertise. Remain highly informed about global, national, and local events which can impact your marketplace. It’s no longer enough to have expertise in the real estate markets you serve. Sophisticated clients seek a partner in their agent, and a partner must display knowledge and understanding of socioeconomic trends, which can impact value.
- Keep educating yourself. Attend seminars. Participate in learning and teaching experiences. Stay current about laws and litigation, which can impact your industry.
- Update your contact list. We all know many more people than we think we know. And each of those people is a possible source of business. The more every agent expands their sphere of influence, the more likely they are to generate opportunities.
- Create (or leverage) content. As we work to expand our sphere of influence, we have to make some decisions about how to manage those relationships most effectively. Phone contact is great and important, as are meetings and personal e-mail connections. But as the number of people within your sphere grows, group e-mails become more important. That raises the issue of content. What will you send them? —What is good content? Everyone responds well to fresh and current information. The three “T”s are terse, timely, and targeted. Don’t make it too long, make sure you include up-to-date market or neighborhood information and make sure it is appropriate to the recipient. And remember, it’s not about you! To engage an audience, put your ego aside.
- Be consistent. The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions. A challenging plan only works if we apply ourselves to it throughout the year.
- Be flexible. The best agents succeed in up years and down years, as they stick to their core values and adjust their plans to tailor them to current market realities. 2023 will have many challenging aspects as the Fed continues to struggle to get inflation under control and uncertainty about global issues continues to impact American lives. So if your plan requires adjusting as the year goes by, make the necessary changes. Don’t abandon the plan!
- Balance your business. Foreign investors are returning to U.S. markets, and many buyers see opportunity as mortgage interest rate hikes compel sellers to revise their prices downward. It’s a good year for agents to balance their seller and buyer portfolios, as buyers will have the upper hand for at least the first half of the year.
The savvy agent will weave all these realities into a plan which sets them up for success in 2023 and well into the future!