START YOUR BUSINESS
the year comes to an end it’s all too often seen as a time to
let the pressure off, do the rounds of Christmas functions and look
forward to the respite of the beach.
For many it’s been a particularly hard year, Revenue is down,
cash flow needs careful management, recruitment has been harder, both
in quantity and quality and a summer break looks very appealing.
But now is the time to plan and prepare to hit the market at speed
early in January.
Its too late to come back January to plan and launch in February.
It will be March or later before there’s any impact.
Already I have seen Business Owners and Salespeople looking to ensure
their profile and marketing campaigns run right through to Christmas
and re-appear in volume much earlier in January than normal.
The lesson of the last year must surely have been: - “If you’ve
been waiting for the market to turn to help your business or career
that was a tactical blunder.”
Quite clearly this year I have seen two strategies at work. One working,
and one not.
One is about building a business and the other is to wait for the
market to lift.
There is a huge difference in the strategies required for “survival”
and those required for “business growth”
There are businesses and salespeople who have grown their business,
increased their profits and market share during the year, whilst others
have closed or left the industry.
The key ingredients of those who have profited have been.
1. An acceptance that what worked in the past is not enough anymore.
2. A belief that if they increase their skill and activity they will
3. A realization that this might be the new market and we’d better
look to prosper in it.
4. The focus must be on getting greater productivity from the existing
team of people, or for salespeople to adapt to a far more rigourous
5. A recognition that there is no new “secret” or remedy,
but an acceptance that there is a need for a lot more personal management,
self-discipline and focus
Lets now look at the specific tactics people in the industry could
adopt to get 2001 off to a flier.
BUSINESS OWNERS & MANAGERS
“Good planning reduces the need to waste time on crises”
If you’ve never done a Business Plan before then now’s the
time to do one.
The two key issues facing business owners are Cash flow and Recruitment.
Have you strategies for managing both?
Get an outside facilitator in to help you identify the key growth
strategies and to construct an Action Plan for each of them.
You need to look very thoroughly at the following areas:
As median days to sell have lengthened then the cost of marketing
in traditional agencies has escalated to unacceptable % of the reduced
Gross Revenue. You need to choose from this menu:
• Increase the Auction % your business
• Reduce advertising expenditure
• Set a budget per listing rather than a budget per salesperson
• Enhance skills for collecting marketing contributions
• Improve skills of Sales Team
• Hold salespeople accountable for more professional and
skilled services of their listings
• Get more productivity from the listings you have.
The wasted time and money is found in the % of Controlled Listings
listed, Marketed but never sold. I suggest you take some time to assess
this “waste” in your business and to plan to remedy it.
There are implications for skills training for your sales people and
the way in which you manage your people.
In some markets as many as 60% of new exclusive listings are not selling
during the traditional 90-day agency period. You may need to list
them for longer but all that will do is increase your marketing costs
unless you reduce the frequency of servicing them. Why not adopt a
strategy of assisting your people to manage their listings better
and set in place a programme to sell a higher percentage of the listings
you already have.
If you haven’t already planned a first Auction campaign to launch
mid January you are running out of time. This year you will need to
be early so you have Auction events late January – First week
Make sure that when the first Real estate Publications launch in January
your team is there in volume.
List the properties NOW for the January launch
There is still time to make use of your company client database and
get material out to them before Christmas. Plan now to repeat this
in Mid-January and ensure there is a programme to follow that up with
a phone call within 21 days of the mail out.
Go on a Sign War
Adopt a competition in the office and set out to get absolute total
sign coverage in your area before Christmas. Maintain this at al times
and monitor the sign penetration yourself every week.
Don’t wait until March or April. Get your first training events
planned for mid/late January. Create momentum and then use your skills
% of listings sold to keep it going.
In Nov/Dec it pays to run a listing competition so the team is focused
on getting plenty of new stock. This means you have a good pool of
listings to start the New Year and salespeople are less inclined to
run their stock levels down and take a longer break.
Manage Your People
Resolve to take the mantle of Leadership and manage your people.
Set up a Personal Coaching Programme with each of your salespeople
and resolve to be their personal business mentor. Help them:
• Do a business plan.
• Set up follow-up programmes
• Learn how to coach and conduct useful One-on Ones
• Launch Database mail outs mid January
• Increase their frequency for 1st 3 months
• Monitor their listings management
• Ring 5 Vendors a day yourself
• Delegate more tasks to your Administration team and
get out in the field with your sales people
• Spend 30 minutes on recruitment per day
• One on One each Sales Consultant to get accountability
• Measure each sales persons success rate with their listings.
Get their success rate over 66% or they are costing you money.
Now’s the time to target the people you have identified as prospects
for your team. Build recruitment database and get mail outs and phone
calls going. The best time to convince people to move is whilst there’s
a break in their business. Never assume some one won’t move.
Treat recruitment as a long-term strategy and cast the net wider than
You are the leader so get YOUR FOCUS RIGHT
There is no time like the present to get into the field and be beside
your people. Get the training programme active and be prepared to
front up to Vendors with the salespeople who need your help,
In tougher times the mood of the office is crucial. Take time each
day to check that your people are at work and not merely visiting.
There is a “work mode” and a “visiting mode” and
they impact on those people who are trying to be focused and productive.
In these tougher markets your people need more leadership and inspiration
and that’s your job.
Check your diary and see that your focus is on doing the things that
will make a difference NOW.
Set in place a self-management programme that has you focused on the
actions that will build the business. Sales people are observant and
your example lets them know what is “expected around here.”
Plan Your first 90 days of 2001 NOW
The Champions already know this and their marketing machine simply
• They promote their personal profiles
• Use technology to Track Clients
• Frequent and regular Database mail outs and 2 more before
• 20 to 30 phone calls per day.
• Continual up-skilling. They go to all the high value
training and they are happy to pay. Put you hand in your pocket for
• Great closers and negotiators
• They ignore the “office herd”
• Many have a Coach or Mentor to hold them accountable.
1. Keep listing. Yes take listings now so you can launch in January.
2. Identify the date of the first major issue in January of your real
estate advertiser and resolve to have maximum profile in that issue
3. Increase your personal Database size
4. Get 2 more communications to your database before Christmas
5. Get your January mail out sent out before the 15/1/01
6. Make an appointment to visit each existing Vendor before Christmas
and review their marketing and price.
7. Check which listings need to be terminated and get the problems
off your back.
8. Distribute into your Farm/BDA again before Christmas
9. And again before 1 January
10. And once more before 31/January
11. Learn new skills to cope with the new market
12. Model a top performer
13. Ask you Manager for their help on presentations and Vendor reviews.
14. Plan your Ideal Week. Check that you are spending time on the
tasks that really matter.
15. Get a Coach or Mentor so you can be made accountable for your
The key to getting rolling early for next year is to plan now.
Yes you may be tired and looking forward to a break. For many this
year has put them behind their targets and so now is the time to ensure
you get off to a flier in 2001.
Look at the all the training you have been to and all the neat ideas
you have chosen to not implement. Perhaps it is time to realize that
an “Independent Contractor” really does need to take responsibility
for their focus, self-discipline, skills level and time management.
As others grow their business we can no longer blame the market.
If some one is doing better than you it could be one of two factors.
Either they are more skilled or more committed.
If it’s skill, then that’s something you can learn.
If it’s commitment, then that is something you can choose.
Either way the choice is yours.
Posted: Sunday 22 April 2018