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15 New Year Resolutions for Real Estate Professionals

Mar 2, 2012

Posted by

Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, Inc., a long time, much sought-after marketing specialist, can be reached through his website: www.heinzmarketing.com. Have a sales or marketing question? W Read more

For those brokers and agents still writing goals and resolutions, as well as the rest of you, here are a number of ideas from business leaders and entrepreneurs I most admire -- men and women involved in many types of businesses, not just real estate.  Markets be darned, this is your year to grow and succeed.  Use some of these tips to get ready ... now!

By now your 2012 plan, budget and professional objectives are all “baked” and ready to go.  Realistically, that’s just not so for a great many people.  (Readers, you know who you are!)  Ideally, some of the objectives below are already reflected in your personal goals and if so, they are worthy of review.

For those brokers and agents still writing goals and resolutions, as well as the rest of you, here are a number of ideas I’ve collected from business leaders and entrepreneurs I most admire -- men and women involved in many types of businesses, not just real estate.  Great for kicking off a New Year, or adopting anytime in 2012.  They are randomly presented and not in any order of importance.

1.)  Start the day without checking e-mail.

E-mail, after all, reflects what others want from you -- not what you need to do that day or that morning to best achieve your overall goals.  What if you started the morning or day by tackling your number one priority instead?  New e-mails are only going to distract you from that more important project anyway.

2.)  Read the Wall Street Journal every morning.

The Journal is still the most important daily publication (online or offline) for business professionals.  With just 15-20 minutes, you can scan what’s important in politics, world news, financial markets, business and more -- what’s important enough to keep yourself up to speed, but also valuable for daily small talk, passing articles to others in your network, and so forth.

3.)  Watch every penny.

No matter how carefully you built your budget for 2012, you’re still spending too much.  Find the places where you get the same results with less cost.

4.)  Designate two nights a week for no work.

What I mean by this is to go home, put your machines in a separate room and close the door.  Do not enter again until the morning.  Spend that time with your family, your hobbies, a good book or something else to help you be refreshed, more well-rounded, and ready for the new day tomorrow.

 5.)  Hire slower.

Be more thoughtful about candidates you interview, and also think twice about whether you really need that new role in the first place.  How directly influential will that new hire be towards your immediate and medium-term objectives?

6.)  Fire the “C” players.

It doesn’t matter how much you may personally like them or how hard it will be.  They are dragging you down.  Even if you don’t replace the position, your business will be more successful and more efficient without them.

7.)  Take more lunch and coffee meetings.

Do it for your own sanity, as well as to learn from more of the incredibly smart people around town.  Be intentional about picking people you may not know, or who know things you don’t yet know.  Be bold and ask people to lunch or coffee that you think might not have time (but some will say yes).  Accept a few more invitations from people you don’t yet know, who may surprise you with what they can share and how they can help.

8.)  Be a mentor.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time -- perhaps a few phone calls, maybe a meeting or two, and answering e-mails.  But your expertise and attention could mean a lot to someone who is “you” several years ago.  We’re counting on that next generation of business leaders to take over when we’re ready for that folding chair on the beach.

9.)  Thank your team, partners, customers and advisors more often.

Show that you’re paying attention, noticing their hard work and/or loyalty.  This doesn’t have to come in the way of gifts or raises or bonuses (at least not every time).  More often than not, people just need to hear from you that their contributions are recognized and appreciated.

10.)  Get up earlier.

Just think about what you could do with an extra 30-60 minutes, first-thing in the morning, when nobody else is tugging at your sleeve (literally or figuratively) for attention.  Get a cup of coffee, read the paper (WSJ), get in a vigorous workout.  Give yourself a better head start to the day.

11.)  Eat less processed food.

Shop and eat primarily from the perimeter of the supermarket.  This is hard to do in a fast-paced life, but with a little preparation it’s pretty easy to surround yourself with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and a lot less preservatives and chemicals.

12.)  Delegate more.

Even if it costs you a little more out of your pocket to have someone else do it, get the non-essential or too-tactical stuff off your plate.  Teach someone else a system or process or approach you want to take, and empower them to do

90 percent of that work for you.

13.)  Automate more.

There’s likely a percentage of the things you need to delegate that can be automated instead.  Wouldn’t it be worth investing a little time and effort into documenting and automating something now, so you don’t have to think about or execute it manually moving forward?

14.)  Document more.

It’s going to get less and less efficient for you as you grow to be reactive and/or arbitrary in how you execute the recurring strategic and tactical work all around you.  Get in the habit (you and your assistant) of documenting what needs to be done, how to do it, and how to achieve consistent results every time.

15.)  Take more small risks

Test more ideas.  Fire more bullets to validate new premises.  Get outside of your comfort zone and find new ways to achieve the same or better results.  You’ll fail often by doing this, but you’ll also discover the opportunities for acceleration that otherwise will evade you if you stay with what’s just comfortable.

Note:  These tips were originally written for start-up entrepreneurs, but they’re equally (if not more so) important for established real estate professionals.  Markets be darned, this is your year to grow and succeed.  Use some of these tips to get ready ... now!