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New Year’s Resolutions

Do you want to know something funny about New Year’s resolutions? They don’t work. Studies have shown that less than 10% of resolutions actually stick. Do you know why? It’s because they’re unrealistic. You can’t just change your entire life based on an idea you had five drinks before the clock struck midnight.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, instead of coming up with a goal without a plan to get there (e.g.: “I’m going to make $1,000,000 this year and lose 40 pounds!”), come up with themes and clear goals with objectives that you can genuinely work towards and achieve.

Here are a few New Year’s resolution themes for real estate agents that you should consider:

1. Refine Your Business Plan

One of the great things about New Year’s is that it feels like a fresh start. A new slate. A chance to take stock of the last year.

As an entrepreneur, odds are that you already have a detailed business plan, listing all of your goals and plans. The advent of a new year is the perfect time to update it! Take a look at the previous year and see what worked and what didn’t, then update your business plan accordingly. Do you have any new goals that you want to achieve? New plans that you want to put into action? Putting them into your business plan will increase your odds of success. Don’t make general statements like “get more listings”. Actually come up with a step-by-step plan of how you are going to get those new listings.

The nice thing about a good business plan is that once you have one, you can periodically update it with new information that will keep you on the right track for the entire year.

2. Tackle Social Media

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the role social media and the internet plays in business today is absolutely essential. Online interactions with your potential clients might actually overtake your phone-based ones.

That being said, some people just don’t know how to best utilize social media marketing to help grow their business and client base. The best way to think of social media is as an extension of what you do on a daily basis in the real world. It’s just another avenue to connect with your clients. From using Facebook to market your real estate listings to posting engaging content on Twitter, you can reach out to brand new clients who you never would have connected with in the “real world”.

If social media marketing intimidates you a bit, start small. Create Twitter account for your business and update it daily. If you want to go all-out for social media but don’t know how, you could reach out to an online marketing firm or company that would be happy to take charge of your social media outreach for a reasonable price.

3. Learn More About the Industry

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – education is always the key to success. The more you know, the better off you’ll be. Yes, experience is one of the best teachers out there, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots you can learn and put into practice from real estate publications, conferences, or even your fellow agents.

If you’re an agent at a large real estate company, chances are that there are many opportunities to expand your knowledge through a variety of educational seminars. If you’re an independent agent, take a look online for highly recommended conferences.

As an entrepreneur, you should always be searching for fresh ideas about how to get your name and personal brand out there. Browse the business section of your nearest bookstore, download relevant podcasts, or subscribe to a new print or digital magazine. You don’t need to make education your full-time job, but a little bit of learning can go a long way!

4. Manage Your Time Better

Time management is hard enough for someone who works regular hours. For an active real estate agent, a 9 to 10 hour day is par for the course. It can be easy to get distracted throughout the day as you run from appointment to appointment. The busier you become, the more important effective time management becomes.

Take a look at your phone’s calendar app and ask yourself if you’re making the best use of it. Having a visual representation of your entire day can help put everything into perspective. If you’re more of a pen and paper person, buy a detailed day planner. Start to track how long it takes you to accomplish daily tasks so can you better plan the shape of your day. Utilize a to-do list, with items ranked in order of importance to give yourself a visual reminder of what needs to be finished by the end of the day.

Although there can be big differences between industries, research other businesses’ time management tips. There might be helpful hints there that will assist you in organizing your day more effectively.

5. Take Some Time For Yourself

You already know that being a real estate agent is hard work. 9 to 5? Ha! You’re lucky if you don’t get a call from a client at 11PM on a weeknight. Weekends? For your clients maybe, but you’re on call 24-7. Whether you’re successful or struggling, you have one of the most stressful jobs out there. So what can you do to relieve the stress?

Make sure that you take some time for yourself. Put aside blocks of time during the day for exercising, reading, or anything that might be a pressure valve for stress. In the longer term, plan out a vacation months in advance so you have something to look forward to (put it into your business plan, if you need to). It can be easy to get overworked in this business. Keep on top of your game by making sure you remember that there is a life outside of real estate and that you are a part of it.

Approaching Midnight…

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve forgotten them by the middle of April. New Year’s is just an arbitrary date for goal-setting, a day that we consider to be a new start. Every day can be a new start if you want it to be. So pick your resolutions, start to take concrete steps to head towards your goals, and have a happy and prosperous 2017.