December is traditionally a quieter time for estate agents, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a downer. In fact, having a a bit of mind space to think about the future is something of a blessing.
What are you going to do in 2014?
The end of the year is a great opportunity to look back at what’s worked for you over the last 12 months, and what you’d like to improve. Do you want more instructions next year? Or just better ones? Maybe break into a new part of your local market, or simply get more publicity for yourselves. There are more aspects to estate agency than the outside world might give it credit for and now is the perfect time to start creating a plan around your goals for 2014. Putting a clear, inspiring and workable strategy in place for improving your business next year is easily as valuable, if not more so, than getting 1 or 2 more sales this month.
Involve your team in this. I’ve heard a lot of managers say their negotiators aren’t interested in the business and that “they just wanna do deals”. Well, bollocks. That’s simply not true. Who isn’t interested in whether their workplace is inspiring and enjoyable and successful? Who honestly doesn’t care about the people they work with? Only complete sociopaths and you don’t want them in your office, no matter how good a sales person they are.
What might be the case is that managers don’t really know how to involve their team, or they’re simply scared a brainstorming session will turn into an hour of moaning and complaining. Well, you need to hear that stuff. And once it’s out, and dealt with, it won’t come back. If you treat your team as adults and as though you value their opinion about how to become even more successful, you will grow them in ways you never even dreamed of and create a truly remarkable and responsible group of people. As a bonus, they’ll likely earn you more money as well.
So, what are you going to do next year? And how are you going to achieve it? And how are you going to publicise it? Whatever you’re aiming for, you should tell all your customers about it. “We’re looking to get into the upper part of the market next year so we’re upgrading our marketing”; “We keep getting calls for council flats so we’re going leaflet dropping”; “We work in an area with a large Hindu community so we’re looking for a new team member who speaks Urdu”; “We’ve just launched our Facebook page and will be giving away an iPad mini every quarter”. Or whatever.
Improving your estate agency is one thing, but don’t keep it to yourself. The future is one of the most exciting things you can talk about, and it’s coming for everyone. Demonstrating that you’re awake, that you plan and that you are an estate agent that is here to stay will win you a lot of friends, and a lot of business.
Merry Christmas, and good luck for next year!