As we speed towards the holidays and the end of another year (gulp!), be sure that you set aside time to prepare yourself for 2020…personally and professionally. Here are my top 7 tips for making the coming year as profitable and stress free as possible.
Take Self-Inventory If you haven’t already done so recently, take the time to sit down and list out all of your strengths….and weaknesses. Don’t just think professionally. Your ability to throw laundry in the washer, while baking brownies for the school bake sale, while negotiating dinner with your family? Yep…that’s multi-tasking, and that’s a skill that carries over to your real estate business! Not only does taking self-inventory give you some valuable insight into who you ARE, it also gives you valuable insight into who you NEED.
Surround Yourself With The Right People Now that you know what makes you tick, take a look at that list of weaknesses. Tough time staying focused? Find an accountability partner who will help hold you responsible for doing what you say. Looking for guidance on how to expand your service portfolio? Seek out a mentor in your office who’s an aspiration model to you. Trust me…they want you to ask them for guidance and will be flattered you’ve done so.
Basically, do an inventory of the people in your life. Are those around you supportive of you personally and/or professionally? Do they help you be your best person? Do they support your growth objectives? Or, are you surrounded with people that are ‘energy vampires’, you know….people who suck the energy out of you while offering nothing in return (Disclaimer: If you have teenage children, please note that they ARE energy vampires, but are well worth every piece of energy they suck out of you. Just keep going, it will pay off in the end!). Make sure you are aligning yourself with people who complement your strengths, compensate for your weaknesses, boost you up, and support your vision.
Check Your Bank Account You are a business person and need to think like one. Bad at accounting? Find a trusted friend, colleague or hire someone who can help you balance your books and create not just a monthly budget, but help you begin building money in the bank. In the real estate game, you are never guaranteed to make the same money you made last year..or last month, so be sure to build a ’nest egg’ that can carry you through the tough times when needed.
Set Realistic Goals Just shy of your 2019 goals, BUT you’ve learned more and grown and are ready for the new year? Awesome, I’m excited for you! That being said, make sure you are realistic with your goal setting and NOT over-extending yourself financially because of your beliefs. There are many factors outside of your control in the real estate game, and you need to pay attention to them. Keep in mind that 2020 is an election year. How will this, and other factors outside of your control, impact your local market? Give yourself a buffer by paying attention to my last point - your bank account. Having 6-months of living expenses at your disposal is a good idea.
Streamline Your Day-to-Day Real estate agents wear many different hats. Like the self-inventory you took of yourself, take inventory of your daily tasks that suck away your time. Spending too much time posting new listings to social media? Stressed to be the first agent to respond to those inbound sales leads that you are spending money on every month? Contemporary technology allows you to create ‘workflows’ and automate many of the daily tasks that are required to save you time AND be more responsive to the wants / needs of your customers. Take the time to explore the options out there AND seriously….spend the money on the one that’s right for you. It will save you time, create more business, and save your sanity. All of which are worth while! Personally, I recommend Elevate, but I’m openly bias. Regardless, definitely worth checking out!
Ask For Help Check your ego at the door, please. I’m a raging A-type. I get it. The fact is…you can’t do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, guidance, or insight from trusted friends, colleagues and family members. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know how to handle this challenge.” That was a lesson that took be a long time to figure out, because I had too much ego. What I didn’t realize was that there was soooooo much valuable knowledge in my immediate sphere that willingly wanted to help me succeed. Lean into those around you…and respond in kind. It’s just good karma.
Be Flexible “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” I love this quote. It’s well suited for business, as well as personal life. Set your goals, focus your vision, but don’t do it at the detriment of missing opportunities in front of you. Allow yourself to stay flexible in that you are open to shifting your vision should a unique or interesting opportunity present itself. Take a deep breath. Believe in yourself. And, know that you’ve prepared yourself for the most amazing 2020 because you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people, you’ve taken account of yourself and your financials, and you’ve got a strategic plan in place for growth. Go ahead…be amazing this coming year. I’m cheering you on.
About the author: Bondilyn Jolly is an Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Mentor, and the Founder and CEO of NMD, Inc. | eMerge, a North-American software company offering the eMerge platform, the leading email platform in the real estate sector. With eMerge's recent merger into the Elm Street Technology (EST) suite of products, Bondilyn also serves as VP CRM Solutions within EST and is the Managing Partner of 3sixtyfive.agency, a new full-service creative and digital marketing agency under the EST family offering high-level services to the real estate sector.
Ms. Jolly was recognized as "Technology Leader of the Year" 2011 for the State of Louisiana by Governor Bobby Jindal for her contributions to growing the state's technology sector. eMerge was awarded "Technology Product of the Year" 2012 for the Greater New Orleans area and honored as one of the top 50 real estate service providers in 2014. Ms. Jolly is also a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post, was featured in Inc. magazine as a leader in the SMB space, and the host of the new thought leadership podcast - 24/seven - where she "explores the person behind the professional”.