Let’s have a heart-to-heart right now. You trust me, right? Because I want to tell you something that may hurt your feelings a little bit. Here I go: If you want to see more closings in 2020 than you did in 2019, then you need to change the way you do things.
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So, clearly you need to make some changes. But where do you begin?
The truth is that few businesses (I know you work on your own in the field of real estate… but, you are a business) are successful exactly as their owners envisioned them. The dangers of not pivoting or adapting are scary. I ask you this: Did you own a Sony Walkman? They were a widely popular product in the 1980s. So, why doesn’t Sony currently have any leading products in the portable music space? (Answer: they didn’t pivot).
Now, look at Viagra as an example. Pfizer researchers originally developed this drug to treat hypertension and angina. But, clearly there were able to adapt or pivot in order to become widely successful.
If you would like to have a widely successful pivot in your real estate business, you need to be more like Pfizer and less like Sony. Here’s how:
6 Steps to a Successful Pivot in 2020
- Identify the lead source on each of your closings. Using your CRM, your Pipeline Planner, or a piece of paper, look at a list of your closings in 2019. (If it is short, then this will take about 1 minute.) If it is long, I’m proud of you because you had a good year, but this will take a bit longer. Next to each, identify the lead source, if you have not already done so.
- List your advertising and marketing activities. Next, make a list of all the time and money spent on advertising activities. Did you host a party or client appreciation event? Did you send out direct mail? Did you pay for Facebook ads? Did you send out email newsletters? Whatever you did, write it down.
- Evaluate the relationship between your closings and your marketing activities. Carefully evaluate each activity you listed and whether it resulted in closings. For example, if you spent $1500 on Facebook ads for an open house that did not have any traffic, you might want to avoid that activity or do it differently in the future. Or, if you notice that three of your closings came from one specific attorney referral and you didn’t even send this individual a thank-you note or take him or her to dinner, then you need to make some changes. Feed the activities that resulted in closings and abandon or seriously modify the ones that did not.
- Explore market trends. Sure, the economy seems good right now, but will it be great throughout 2020? Consider what would happen if interest rates increase? What would be the impact on buyers and sellers? How many cash investors are you working with right now? What’s your back-up plan? Always prepare for the bomb to drop or the market to change and have a plan so that you can see continued closings.
- Look in the mirror. Assess how you have used your time and how you currently spend your time. What time do you start work each morning? Do you follow a typical schedule or do you just see how each day plays out? Even though you are your own boss, I recommend that you get up each and every day and set professional work hours (such as 8:30 am – 4:30 pm) and stick to those hours 4-5 days a week. Set a contract with yourself to stick to the schedule for 6 months, and see how it impacts your business in a positive way.
- Learn to let go and accept suggestions. We all get complacent and continue to do things the way we have always done them because that is the easiest way to get through the day. It takes the least amount of time because you don’t have the hurdle of making changes, using new platforms, or learning something new. I’ve heard people say “I can’t afford to do that.” The truth is that ‘you can’t afford not to’ make the change. The wider impact of not accepting suggestions and making changes is going to wreak havoc on your closings long term.
About a month ago, we sat down and took a look at our brokerage with its different divisions, and we saw that we were spending a lot of time on one aspect of the business that wasn’t bringing the results. While we didn’t cut it, we decided to dedicate more time and money in 2020 to the divisions and activities where we are currently seeing widely successful results. In that way, we hope to have our own massively successful pivot in 2020.
Won’t you join me in doing the same?