You have probably heard this saying, “If you have no idea where you are going, you’ll end up elsewhere.” In real estate, the ‘elsewhere’ could be huge losses, or even running out of business. We’re quarter-way into the year. Are your real estate goals materializing?
You can’t just jump into a new venture, or year for that matter, without an idea of your short term and long term goals. You won’t be able to operate competitively in the market.
One of the things successful real estate agents and investors have in common is their propensity to make sound plans and religiously go by those plans.
2020 is a year where you’ve got to change your game plan due to the dynamism of the real estate market. But before you grab your pen and your notebook ready to jot down the success tips, let’s get a general overview of what your goals should look like.
Set SMART Goals
A recent Harvard Business University study showed that 83% of people do not set goals, and 92% of those that do fail to achieve them. One would ask why most of the population does not set goals, but more surprising is the fact that most of those who set goals do not achieve them. Well, this is because most of the goals people set are not SMART:
Here are 10 things you can endeavor to achieve this year to be successful in your real estate business.
1. Make the Best use of Technology
The Deloitte Digital CEO, Peter Williams, pointed out that technology will not in itself replace real estate agents. They will, however, be replaced by agents with technology.
The real estate industry is slowly being redefined by technology and this has caused shifts in consumer behaviour and variations in market conditions. That said, the leaders in the real estate sector will be those who embrace technology.
Invest in a decent portable laptop in which you can continue working as you move around and as you meet clients. Buy a rolling briefcase or a simple backpack in which you can keep your marketing materials, pens, laptop, and its accessories, etc.
Make use of online software and platforms to list properties, or to sign documents online. For instance, using DocuSign, clients can make their signatures wherever they are and using any mobile devices.
2. Diversify Your Investment
Diversification is an important aspect of achieving success in real estate investment in 2020. You can diversify asset classes or in different locations.
Competition in the real estate industry has become very stiff. More and more people are becoming interested in sharing massive wealth in real estate.
You will need to lower your risk resulting from the competition by diversifying your portfolio and investing in different markets.
Do not diversify to the point of frustration!
3. Build a Great Real Estate Team
Whether you are a property seller, buyer, or real estate agent, you will rarely work on your own. Real estate transactions only go well if you have a strong team. These could include home inspectors, lenders, photographers, and title companies.
Choose a strong team that provides splendid services and works together. With the amount of competition in the market, you do not want to leave room for any errors.
When deciding who should be on your team, look at their track record. What opinions do their clients have about them? You can interview them, and do not shy away from turning away a few of them until you get one who meets your requirements.
4. Have Personal and Corporate Discipline
This may sound so cliché. Well, everyone has their temptations and distractions. They will sleep into their office time, take the afternoon off, and postpone meetings with clients for no apparent reason.
Some could overindulge into leisure when there is a lot of work to be done in their real estate business.
Successful estate agents and investors make plans and execute them. They avoid interruptions, distractions, and anything that takes them off track.
For you to compete fairly in the competitive market, you have to style up! You don’t want to lose that big deal because you cancelled on your client without informing them in good time.
5. Learn! Learn! Learn!
We can’t emphasize better the importance of learning. The need for mastering new skills never ends. You probably began your real estate career or business by reading, researching, and learning, and this is the same way you’re going to sustain it.
Real estate trends keep changing over the years, and 2020 isn’t any different. You have to understand general housing trends and if possible, transition into more detailed real estate analytics.
Be up to date with real estate regulations and laws. Failure to be up to date can make you risk missing out on vital information that can ruin your investment.
6. Increase Your Profits and Build Wealth
Another step towards achieving success in the real estate industry in 2020 entails increasing cash flows and your profits. This sounds obvious since any rational investor focuses on maximizing their profits. We, however, often miss it.
If you are a real estate investor, you probably want to increase your rental income to increase the positive cash flow. Profit= Revenue-Expenses.
The rule of thumb for increasing profit is maximizing/increasing revenue and/or minimizing/decreasing expenses.
You can increase your rental income to raise your revenue. On the other hand, you can also reduce your expenses. Remove all the unnecessary expenses. The other option is to buy more rental properties. It is a challenge, but it will yield more revenue.
7. Create a Customer Service Plan
If your customer service is well in place, then there is no need to dwell on this. But if you don’t have one, let 2020 not leave you out on it.
Customer satisfaction translates to client referrals, and this translates to you spending less time to generate leads. In 2020 where you want to diversify your portfolio, you could use the extra time to invest in something else.
You must first know where you fall short before you come up with ways to improve your service. If you already have a customer service plan, review it to make sure it is up to date and it works for the market you operate in.
Consider sending out survey emails to your clients after closing. Let them know you are seeking ways to improve your clients’ satisfaction. They will be excited to help!
As you may have already figured out, real estate client satisfaction goes way beyond the close. If you have not started holding at least one client appreciation event annually, organize the inaugural one in 2020.
8. Consider Staffing
Remember your main aim in 2020 is to free up your time and diversify your portfolio as much as you can as you gear towards maximizing your profits.
As an estate agent, once you have prepared your operating budget, consider squeezing a member of staff. It goes without saying that when agents have a real estate assistant, their income increases.
The real estate assistant could assist in marketing or just general administrative roles.
If you are keen on cutting your budget, even more, you can consider virtual assistance. You will spend less money and still be able to free up time to focus on core business activities such as listing and selling property.
A real estate virtual assistant can help you with tasks such as scraping data from Classifieds software from websites such as Oodle.
They can also send introductory messages to renters, compiling reports and information from MLS and filing documents in the closing process. They can even follow up on phone and email with those involved in the closing process such as the appraisers and home inspectors.
9. Systemize Your Marketing
The very successful realtors in 2020 have systemized their marketing. They are well aware that once the marketing stops, the leads or referrals wither too. They have alleviated this by developing and implementing marketing systems.
In 2020, many real estate agents have adopted various real estate marketing software to brand their businesses and to generate leads. Some marketing solutions are tailored to be used together with multiple listing services (MLS).
This marketing software help in the creation and advertisement of websites. E-newsletters or digital flyers can also be created using marketing software.
And of course, with the advancement of social media, real estate marketing software will help boost your social media presence.
You have to strive to make your real estate business remain afloat amid the competition.
You, therefore, have to constantly publicize it. If the circumstances prompt you, have a marketing team that will constantly update your business’ marketing tools and software.
10. Have the Right Attitude
If you are a real estate agent, or an investor, whatever role you play in the industry, you must agree that it is not easy to stay motivated and positive throughout.
It is stressful to keep communicating with clients and coordinate your team. But with the competition in the market, the last thing you want is to be defocused.
As is the case with any other career you can think of, there are various strategies you can use to relieve yourself of stress and be more productive.
How can you ensure you develop or maintain the right attitude? You need to develop a passion for the real estate field. Maintain a friendly disposition with your clients even when handling very complex contracts.
It can sometimes be difficult to do so especially if you have personal problems, but just keep reminding yourself that this is what you love doing.
Having the right attitude makes you come across to your clients as being motivated and honest in your undertakings. In 2020 you do not want to risk it since clients may just opt for other real estate professionals; there are many alternative options in the market right now.
Setting SMART real estate business goals is the ‘SMARTEST’ way to attain long-term success. The real estate industry is quite dynamic, and so should your operations be.
As more people venture into real estate, you have to strive to stay afloat and focused on grabbing the new opportunities that emerge in the industry.
As you focus on setting your business goals and attaining success in real estate, do not forget to set your personal goals. You need to make sure you grow alongside your business.
You can decide to read one book on real estate investment per year or subscribe to a monthly investment newsletter.
Achieving your personal goals will translate into expanding your skillset, forging new relationships, and challenging yourself to excel in all the facets of your life.