The Tortoise and the Hare ~ Remember that story? The Hare boasting how fast he was, “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge anyone here to race with me.” He ran circles around the Tortoise but the Tortoise kept plugging along, nothing detered him from his goal, he never gave up. The Hare got tired and of course the Tortoise won. Now that is a short version of the story, but we must remember, the Tortoise never gave up and ultimately won the race.
In real estate, it’s important to plan for the long term, the long haul. We have to have a vision for where we are going, or we’ll end up back in the same place over and over again. Here are a few ways for you to plan for the long haul in your business:
Set Up Your Sales Pipeline ~ The absolute most important plan for the long haul is your sales pipeline. Gone are the days when buyers were hanging like ripe fruit on overburdened trees. Today, you have to keep track of people for months—and sometimes years—before they buy. It is a long-term project to get in the door with some of these people. And many of the sellers you talk to today can’t afford to do a short sale and wouldn’t qualify for one anyway. To deal with these difficulties, set up a solid follow-up system now (if you haven’t already) so you aren’t relying on piles of sticky notes to remind you to make your sales calls.
Make Connections With Practitioners Outside Your Area ~ While real estate pros may have their own “turf,” buyers don’t. Having connections with other professionals outside of your market allows you to create relationships that could result in referrals when a buyer decides to move to your area. Find practitioners in areas that have close proximity or similar conditions to your own to trade business with. It’s a great way to get an extra piece of business a couple times a year.
Develop a Plan for Getting Client Referrals ~ If you’re not already asking for referrals, you’re missing the boat. A solid plan with a good close can yield you referrals at three to four times the rate you have now. Your expectations of clients sending you referrals should be something that you cover during your initial meeting and throughout the transaction, as well as long after the sale. Also, ask your clients to give you good reviews on online review sites.
Build Your Infrastructure ~ If you really are planning for the long term, you’ll want to have some infrastructure in place. This means procedures, forms, and letters that you use consistently across your clientele. There are several reasons to do this:
- It frees you from reinventing the wheel every time you have to send something out.
- It gives you the ability to automate part of the process, meaning you spend less time on redundant tasks.
- Having standard forms and procedures in place makes you look professional to prospective clients.
- It insulates you somewhat from potential Fair Housing lawsuits if you treat everyone the same way every time.
Don’t Think About Tomorrow – Think About Next Year ~ Real estate professionals are always thinking about the next commission. But if you take the time to plan a little further out and set up systems that can carry you through the next several years, you’ll find you never have to worry about tomorrow’s commissions again.*
Until Next Monday…
*7 Plans for the long haul ~ Kelle Sparta