The fourth quarter often brings a slowing market, lots of time away from the office, and a mentality to wind down and delay priorities until the new year. So, it might come as a surprise that mega agents and real estate leaders believe Q4 brings some of the best opportunities to claim market share and create more opportunity in your business (both now and next year).
Here are 5 ways successful agents use the fourth quarter to set their businesses apart from the competition and set themselves up for a big close and a strong start to the new year.
Reset the End-of-year Mindset
While inventory and market action may hit a lull in Q4, the slow down of your own productivity is often a self-imposed limitation. Get proactive about owning your schedule. The holiday season is almost upon us, so block out the appropriate time for celebrations, and then prioritize your efforts on the days you’ll be working.
Seeing the amount of days you actually have in the quarter to focus on your business is a great reality-check in planning how best to use them, and inspiring you to take full advantage.
Set Specific Goals for Q4
We’re all inclined to focus our goals on the new year, a new season, and delay our productivity, but choose 3 or 4 major priorities for Q4 to make sure you finish strong and set yourself up for success next year.
You’ve probably heard of SMART goals, but if you haven’t, or you haven’t actually been using them, this is the way to give yourself true, actionable items that you can achieve and that will steadily grow your real estate business.
SMART refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
When you use this methodology for your real estate business, it helps you set a real number to track against and concrete deadlines to hit along the way. A goal of, “generate more listings in my farm area” does not fit the bill, but if you give it the SMART treatment, “generate 20% more listings in my farm area by end of Q4” you’re giving yourself more tangible objectives.
Map out Daily Requirements to Reach Q4 Goals
You set some great goals for Q4, but how are you going to achieve them? Many times the issue lies in translating your goals into daily actions to help keep you going,
Identify the most productive daily activities to help you reach your goal. These are much smaller sub-tasks to your overarching goal, simple daily plans and contingency plans that drive you towards your end goal.
Think about events you’d like to schedule, daily time-blocks for activities like prospecting and follow-up, and how you’ll structure your time in each day.
Make 60 prospecting calls each Monday
Block of 2 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays day to focus on KPIs (instead of email, management tasks, etc.)
Meet up with past clients for coffee, lunch or drinks each Friday
The person who is blocking off 2 hours of their morning to call leads, who has said, “I need to accomplish this task to reach this goal, and no one is going to bother me right now,” are the people who reach their goals.
Create a Business Plan for 2019
Why is it important to close Q4 strong? For this year, sure, but it’s even more critical to how you start the new year. This is how you ensure you’re kicking things off right for the new year and building momentum for the biggest year yet.
A great thing to start with is a Sales Forecast for your business. This will give you a baseline to measure up against. When you have a basis for comparison, it’s much faster and simpler to spot potential opportunities and problems, and act on them.
Step 1. Look at Last Year’s Sales
Document how many new clients you averaged and what your average net profit per customer was.
Step 2. Factor in Some Market Research
Research trends and predictions that you should factor into your forecast.
Step 3. Consider Possible Internal Shifts
Consider if your resources are growing or shrinking and factors like adding additional employees to your team.
Step 4. Make Your Calculations
There’s forecasting software available to make this very simple, but now that you’ve created all your comparison research, noted your internal shifts, and researched your market assumptions, it’s time to make some calculations for your forecast.
When you’ve outlined your yearly strategy in your business plan, use this as a guide to get granular and create monthly, weekly, and daily game plans around each strategy. This will keep you focused on the most dollar-productive activities to help you reach your goal.
Create a “Hold-Me-To-It” Strategy
Even if you’ve laid everything out perfectly on paper, it will do you no good if you don’t execute. Personal accountability is crucial for your success. Find a partner to “hold you to it.” This can be a coach, a family member, a team member- you name it, just someone who will support you and make sure you’re taking steps to reach your goals.
It also helps to share your goals with your team so everyone is on board and invested in helping you move forward.