You wrote your business plan last November as a good business owner should, but have you looked at it since? Mid-year business checks are a great time to reevaluate the goals you established last year. In complex markets like this one, it’s critical to keep tabs on our performance against goal fairly frequently, but if you haven’t, the mid-year point is as good a time as any. Because if the market begins to change, you want to be able to react and make adjustments to expenses or ramp up activity accordingly.
How to run a mid-year business check
It’s hard to believe that we’re into the second half of the year. How are you feeling about where things currently stand with your brokerage? Do you have any new business goals? Make time for an overall evaluation of your business. Sit down and get close to your numbers.
Start with your business plan
The real estate market is getting more complicated every day. When you’re starting your mid-year business check, begin with your business plan. But remember, your business plan goes beyond your marketing strategy. Yes, marketing is included but it also includes your financial projections and goals, per person productivity goals, and your agent recruiting plan).
Take a look at the items in your business plan and compare them to actual production. We recommend checking these numbers every month. If you haven’t started yet this year, it’s alright. Mid-year is a great time to start building this best practice into your business operations.
Celebrate your wins, acknowledge shortfalls
Now that you have your plan and your numbers in front of you, acknowledge and praise your accomplishments. For the items that you’ve made progress with, figure out what still needs to be done to mark them as a win. And for the goals that you’re struggling with, evaluate how what you need to do to achieve them and if it’s realistic. If your approach has to change, come up with clear and actionable steps.
Discover areas of opportunity
Not achieving your goals? It’s time to discover the reason behind the problem. Yes, we have the market to consider. It’s hard right now. But you also can look inward to see how you can improve the situation based on what you can control.
- Is your team underperforming?Do you have the right listings?Are your marketing efforts paying off?Are you focused on the activities that will produce the highest ROI?
If your business is underperforming, try something new or different. For example, check your systems. Having established sales tools and systems in place is critical. Not having established, repeatable systems in place can lead to wasted resources instead of taking a more direct path to productivity. Remember, you want to think of your time as an investment.
Be okay with change
It’s okay to update your goals halfway through the year. For example, check on your team. How is everyone doing? Do they have the resources they need to succeed? Maybe you planned to grow your agent team by 8 this year but based on YTD performance that is not on track.
This will ultimately impact your sales production, so maybe you either need to ramp up your activities in this area or look at reducing your expected sales production goals and cut back some expenses. Take the opportunity to focus internally. Build a strong culture. Train your current agents and help them be the best they can be. When your business improves, you increase efficiency to leave the budget for growing your team as originally planned.
Adjustments are often required to sustain and grow your business, and there’s no reason to wait until December to get going on them and by then it is too late to find out you’ve come up short.
Evaluate your tools
While you’re checking in with your team, get their feedback on your tools and resources. Upgrading or changing your technology and tools could help everyone work more productively.
For example, when you become part of the Weichert family, you get personal support and an unrivaled set of resources. Everything we offer is designed to fuel your growth in meaningful ways. Make sure you have tools like the right lead generation, marketing assets, business coaching, agent recruiting, networking, and more.
Review your financials
Make sure your financials are accurate and up to date. Make sure you are working with a good chart of accounts. This will help you create financial reports that provide a complete snapshot of your business’s financial health from which you can make better decisions.
While you’re reviewing your books, set a time with your accountant and business coach to go over your current year-to-date income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. Understand your expenses and determine which ones are necessary and which could be optimized. Which ones are providing good returns on investments and which should be trimmed. Understanding your current profitability will help you understand if you can invest or where you need to adjust spending.
Check your company culture
Don’t overlook your company culture in your mid-year business check. How is the energy on your team? How are your agents’ attitudes? It’s a great time to review the promises you made at the beginning of the year internally and ensure that your actions match your commitments. Your agents are the core of your success, so it’s important to retain them. Put in the effort to make sure they are engaged.
Review customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics for real estate brokers. Happiness shows us how well we are serving our customers. This results in higher business value and increased referrals, which are one of our best lead generators. Be sure to collect and monitor feedback. Check reviews or consider enrolling your brokerage in a review platform to monitor how your agents and your brokerage are doing. And always resolve conflicts as quickly and amicably as possible between clients and agents.
How to stay on track
Here at Weichert, we provide tools to keep our broker partners successful year-round. Our Management Achievement Plan (MAP), for example, helps our owners meet business goals. Through a monthly broker scorecard, brokers can stay focused on the activities they need to do to run a successful brokerage. It helps prevent distractions and keeps their eyes on the prize. Plus, it focuses on areas for improvement.
Get support from coaching
Real estate coaches are a supportive source for expert-level information and help with improving your mindset. Our affiliates rely on help from our Weichert team of business coaches to take their performance to the next level. They have seen it all and can offer extensive experience with various markets and situations to provide an objective viewpoint and recommendations.
While a mid-year check-in is a great step, getting in the habit of doing more regular check-ins of your business health is key to sustainability and growth. By going through these steps, you can keep your business on track and withstand any market changes that come your way.
But who says you have to go it alone? If you are interested in broker-focused support and resources to help you stay on track, check out Weichert affiliation. You’ll gain a network of support to help you navigate any market and the tools to help exceed your expectations. Let’s talk!