Shockingly, it’s Q4—the last business quarter of the year. How will you utilize these last few months to accelerate your work next year? Now’s the perfect time to look back at your 2023 real estate business to start planning for success in 2024. Weichert® recommends starting with a few words that begin with “re.”
The first “re” is simple: Open up your calendar and lock in time to regroup. With upcoming holidays and time off packed in between now and December 31st, next year will be here before you know it. So, it’s important to make sure you have sufficient time blocked out on your calendar to gather thoughts and data from this year. It may be an hour every week for the next month or two, or perhaps you’ll benefit more from a “Regroup Day” where you spend the entire day digging in. Remember to also schedule time with other team members, too, such as your office manager or agents.
The point: Set aside enough time to be able to fairly analyze your real estate business overall. Plan for it now, so the opportunity doesn’t slip away.
You’ve blocked out time to focus on looking back at this year’s business performance. Well done. Now stay in your calendar for just a moment longer to relive the last few months. There are all kinds of insights to be culled from your calendar. Start mining these insights by asking yourself a few simple questions, including:
- Where was the bulk of my time spent?Were team meetings consistently held, or were they bumped/canceled?How many meetings were spent putting out fires or being reactive?Did I spend enough time on one-on-ones?Did I spend adequate time focusing on recruiting?How often did I travel for work?How many networking events did I attend?How often did I attend a course or workshop to sharpen my skills?
A simple look-back at how you spent your days can be one approach for analyzing time utilization on the total. You can also use the insights later on as you dig into your data. For example, you may have gone to weekly networking events in February and then noticed an increase in lead gen in March. Was there a connection between the efforts? Very likely your answer will be “yes.” But if your answer is “no,” you might reconsider whether or not the time invested in certain areas produced value overall. This can be something to adjust in 2024. It’s a great way to connect the dots and see a bigger, more holistic picture of your business and what’s working well (or not).
As a warmup to diving into the data—which, yes, is the meat and potatoes of your real estate business—take a moment for reflection. Think more qualitatively than quantitatively about your business performance. Ask yourself a few high-level questions, such as:
- What am I most proud of?Where did my strengths shine?Where did I grow?Where did my team grow?What got in our way?How did we leverage trends?How did I utilize my leadership position to inform customers and colleagues and steer conversations?What could I have done better?How would I fill in this blank? “2023 was all about_____.”
At Weichert, we would fill in the blank with the word people. That continues to be our focus and everything we do ladders up to the impact on people, from our broker-owners to their agents to their customers. Describing your year in a word or two is a great exercise for crystallization of focus. Was your year about positive elements, like people or growth? Or would you choose words like stress or struggle? Does your word match the intentions you established at the start of 2023?
Reflection is most effective when done with honesty and objectivity. Finding it hard to be objective? Look to a mentor or trusted colleague to help you find your truths.
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and review your data. One of the most important ways to do this is through your business plan, which is your business’s blueprint for growth and success. While a business plan works best when treated as a living, breathing document, many of us get so busy that we forget to return to it throughout the year to validate or course-correct. Not to worry. It’s never too late to go back to your plan to revisit your goals and objectives. How are you tracking thus far? What adjustments could you make to impact this final quarter of the year? What learnings will help develop your goals and objectives for 2024?
Setting SMART goals can help you set and achieve goals. If you’ve already set them for 2023, great. It will be that much easier to track how you’ve been doing so far this year. If you haven’t developed SMART goals, here’s how to incorporate them into next year’s plan:
Creating SMART Goals:
- S is for specific. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? “Sell more” is far too vague a goal to be meaningful or motivating.M is for measurable. How will you measure success? By the sheer number of transactions? How many marketing videos are created and posted? New referrals you received? It’s best to quantify, or at least suggest, an indicator of progress.A is for attainable. Do you have the tools, resources, and expertise to achieve your goals? Sometimes, big goals require a reality check. If training 10 new agents is your goal, but your training tools are outdated, perhaps an upgrade is in order first.R is for realistic. Are your goals realistic? Finding that sweet spot between too easy and impossible can motivate your whole team towards greater achievement, year over year. Brainstorming as a group is a great way to formulate ideas and gain buy-in.T is for timely. Even the most motivated people can be lost without deadlines. Every goal you set should be put on a timeline. If you’re working with annual targets, stop at regular intervals (say, monthly) to check your progress.
Read more about SMART goals and why Weichert encourages our broker-owners to utilize them for shaping their future success.
Need a little more info to help you look back to move forward in 2024? Here’s a bank of questions to help facilitate your year-end review. You can also check out more tips and strategies from us to help you start next year’s business planning and goal setting now.
Don’t have a business plan? Or not happy with your existing one? Whether you’re drafting your first business plan or refining the one you have, this free template offers great guidance to help you. Our Weichert affiliates benefit from something called our Platinum Business Plan that helps them formulate their individual goals and develop plans for achieving them each year.
The National Associations of REALTORS® also offers advice on how to approach a business plan one step at a time, starting with your mission statement and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.
Sometimes the best path forward is a new one. As you “re” your efforts from 2023, decide what you want 2024 to look like. What will your growth goals be for the new year? How will you achieve those goals? Weichert is always here to help. Let’s talk.