I bet you were not ready in December 2019 for what 2020 would be like. It started off as a normal year, then the coronavirus hit and sales in March, April and May dropped to record lows. Then to everyone’s surprise with the virus still going strong, sales and prices broke record highs.

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In March 2020 when the lockdown hit and we all knew sales were not likely to happen, I advocated that agents think about the day after. I said, ask as many people as you can if they intend to buy and sell. They will not do it immediately but by identifying them, when the time is right and the lockdown (or the virus) is over, some if not all will act on their desires and you will know who they are. If you don’t do that, someone else will know who they are and you will lose their business.

Honestly, I am having a hard time finding a good explanation for the record-breaking 2020.  Some analysts say record low interest rates are what prompted the sales, and others are saying that because people did not spend on trips, restaurants or party clothing, they have excess money saved and therefore are looking at upgrading or investing in real estate.

Fact is the market today is hot. We don’t know what tomorrow brings but I will say the same as I did last year (or the end of every year for that matter). You have to make a plan.

So here are the steps you need to take to prepare for 2021:

1. Set a monetary goal:

Decide how much commission you want by the end of 2021.

2. “Translate” the monetary goal into appointments.

Your goal-setting formula should calculate that in order to achieve your monetary goal you have to identify a certain number of people as prospects, which will produce a certain number of appointments, which will produce listings or buyer representation agreements, which will produce a number of transactions and achieve your goal.

3. Identify activities you are comfortable doing or are willing to do to get prospects.

These include door knocking, cold calling (yes, it still works), farming, social media advertising, paper ads.

4. Set a budget to perform those activities.

Some activities (door knocking, regular Facebook or Instagram postings) require zero budget. Others (farming, paper advertising, Facebook or Google ads) cost money. Take these costs into consideration because these will be deducted as an expense and will affect your income. Then see if this bottom line is satisfactory to you or if you need to increase the monetary goal you initially set.

5. Set daily, weekly and monthly work plans.

Real estate sales is a job. I find that one of the hardest things for agents is self-discipline. Nobody tells us when to start our day or what to do every day. It is easy to decide to take the day off. By setting a rigid schedule, you will treat your profession more seriously and it will help achieve your goal.

So, as we are heading into the holiday season, which is a traditionally quieter time for Realtors, take the time to set up for 2021 by asking yourself:

  • Do I have a goal?
  • Do I have a plan of action?
  • Do I have a daily, weekly schedule?
  • Do I have a budget?
  • Am I ready with scripts?
  • Am I ready with objection handling?
  • Do I have a listing presentation?
  • Am I ready to pre-qualify a seller?
  • Am I ready to pre-qualify a buyer?
  • Do I have a marketing plan for sellers?
  • Do I have a service plan for buyers?
  • Do I know how to list a FSBO?
  • Do I know how to list an expired listing?
  • Do I have a website with a good tagging follow up program attached?
  • Do I have full social media presence?
  • Do I have a 12-month detailed farming program?
  • Do I have a good CRM program?

Are all your tools of the trade ready (signs, lockbox, all forms required to sign up a seller and/or a buyer?

If the answers to all the above is yes, you are ready. If not, you have work to do this holiday.

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