Austin Texas Real Estate Blog

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Evaluating My Business Goals for 2014 and Beyond

I am blessed to be working in one of the most vibrant real estate markets in the country, and I have what I consider to be a wealth of experience in residential sales (almost 17 years now), training agents (10 years or so), and management in general (21 years). We take good care of our clients.

We're doing well right now, but I think I fall into the trap of comparing myself with the top earners in our market and our industry, and, simply put, I want to be among them. This could be some flaw in my own character stemming from my childhood that causes me to seek the attention, or perhaps it's just healthy competitive instinct. Either way, I know we can do better.

My goal for 2014 and beyond: 

Do a better job of staying in touch with my past clients and my sphere of influence.

I have a broad and varied database of friends and contacts, and with the exception of social media tools, I haven't really done a good job of systematizing my follow-up over the years. I get a LOT of referrals from my clients and friends (probably 80% or more of my business), but I still have lulls with slower months on occasion. A methodical approach to staying in touch would likely help me to achieve my sales goals more readily.

Here are a couple of my plans to make this happen, starting by the end of this year:

  • Update our entire list of clients and friends.
  • Hire a part-time assistant to help with database management, some minor social media assistance (Pinterest and FB business page), website content, event planning, and probably some direct mail as well. I will continue to do my own blogging.  :)
  • Bite the bullet and pay for a better CRM/IDX solution for my site. 

At this point, I've already chosen an assistant with good experience and started the first step, although there is more work to to. I have a CRM in mind, but it's not yet implemented and we haven't made a final decision on this. I think I've probably been spoiled by not having to spend much money on marketing over the years, but I'm relatively sure that the expenses I'm considering will pay off many times over as we move forward.

Delegating much of the marketing stuff to someone else will accomplish two things for my business:

1. It will ensure that it actually gets done, and in a consistent manner. Neither my business partner nor I enjoy the minutiae of marketing. We like direct client contact and thrive in this environment.

2. It will free me up to concentrate on sales and management tasks. Our company is growing pretty dramatically in 2013/2014 (probably doubling to 30 agents by the spring). I want to have more "hooks in the water" this next year, and I'm very excited about our team of agents.

With regard to accountability, I will allow anyone reading this post to check up with me to see if I'm staying on track. I promise I'll be honest. Feel free to bug me anytime. Call, email, text, comment here on my blog, message me on Facebook, you name it. You have my permission to pester me. I probably need this. I am motivated, but I'm also easily distracted sometimes.

I have other goals this year, many of which relate to being more organized in general, and some of which are more personal in nature, relating to my family, health, faith,etc. but I won't bore you with all of them here.  

Thanks for reading!

 

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukanda/

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 13 commentsJason Crouch • December 08 2013 10:18AM

Comments

I share you goal of wanting more market share.  But at the same time I also believe we both feel that good customer service will always come first as we work and grow our way to the top.  My business did grow last year.  In fact I doubled the number of agents in my brokerage last year.  Spent a lot of time training and hope it shows up in the numbers in 14

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 5 years ago

Jason, we share many of the same goals for the next year.  I wish you every success in making it happen.

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) about 5 years ago

Jason - This is a really smart approach. I've found that having an assistant (or two) to help out w/ this stuff has made us much more effective and efficient.  Like you, I'm considering getting some sort of CRM program for next year.  My gut tells me it's worth the small investment.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Jason:  I so applaud your critiquing of your business plan and making plans for the New Year.  I especially like your consideration of an Assistant.  Something too many are not willing to consider, but something that makes a huge impact on your service abilities.  Hope it comes to fruition for you ... and is successful!

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 5 years ago

Jason, I had an assistant at one time and it was worth every penny.  Then we had the market meltdown.  I haven't built up again to the level that I can afford an assistant, but you must have one to grow.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Jason hard to imagine you've grown as much as you did without any help! Great plan to hire an assistant to manage your database and marketing.  That will more than pay for itself, if they do it right and have a can do attitude. Finding the right assistants sometimes isn't as easy as people think. And most definetly a good CRM and IDX will make things so much easier and productive. Here's to an awesome 2014 for you and your office!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 5 years ago

I like your focus in staying in touch with past clients Jason, as referrals should be your lowest cost way of getting new business. Good luck with ALL your plans for 2014.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

Jason - Your plan for 2014 sounds very good and I know that I personally need to focus on your first point, doing a better job on staying in contact with my clients and sphere.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Jason, hiring a part-time assistant for database management is something I may add to my list.  I have fallen behind in that area in 2013.  I wish you great success in all areas!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 5 years ago

Jason:

There HE is welcome back a great post. Have a wonderful week and take your favorite agent to lunch. I am available Mon. Wed or Thurs. lol

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) about 5 years ago

Hi Jason.  Great goal.  The best source of new business is old business.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) about 5 years ago

Hi Jason, thank you for sharing your goals.  Sounds like you have everything under control.

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) about 5 years ago

Great goals, which we could/should all put into practice. Good plan to delegate your marketing.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 5 years ago

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