A long time ago, I heard my father say that most people are too busy working to have time to think about how to make money.
You know how, as teens, we thought our parents were totally out of touch with reality?
Then, as we grew, we realized that our parents got a lot smarter? I’m pretty sure that was me!
As a kid, I never fully understood what he meant, but as I got older, his comment seemed much wiser.
He encouraged me to take a day or two off now and then, to reflect on what I was doing and if it was the best approach. It helped my business tremendously and enabled me to fine-tune my operations.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running your business and never pause to think if you’re being as efficient and effective as you could be.
The answers may surprise you.
Do you have a vision for where you want your business to be in three, five or even 10 years?
Do you have a strategic plan for how you will realize your vision?
Does your strategic plan identify your target audience and their unique wants and needs? And how you will satisfy those desires?
Do you have a written business plan that includes the number of leads, appointments, listings, contracts and closings you must achieve to reach your income goals?
Do you focus on a niche market?
If the answer to No. 5 is yes, how many homes are your niche market?
What is the annual turnover rate of homeownership in your niche market?
How did you determine the size of the niche market to pursue?
Are you sure the niche you’re pursuing is the appropriate size based on your production goals?
Who are the dominant agents in your niche market?
Do you have a plan that enables you to compete successfully with those agents?
What is your value proposition? In other words, why should I hire you over any other agent to list and sell my home?
How are you communicating that point of difference, your value proposition, to homeowners in your niche?
How are you reinforcing your value proposition (i.e., through your track record or testimonials)?
How are you generating leads?
What activity is the most effective at generating leads for your business?
Is there a way to scale that activity to produce more leads?
How consistently are you using the lead generation technique — for how long, and how often?
How integrated is your lead generation — do you use mailers/ads that drive traffic to a landing page that, in turn, provides regular contact via email?
What are you doing to build awareness of you and your services within your niche?
What steps are you taking to influence homeowners to call you versus other agents when they are ready to sell?
Do you keep an email list of homeowners in your niche?
If the answer to No. 22 was yes, how regularly do you add new email addresses to the list?
What offers, or lead magnets, could you make that would generate more opt-ins for your email list?
How are you promoting those offers?
Are you tracking your offers to see which ones are most productive?
How are you communicating with homeowners on your list?
Do you use a pre-listing presentation?
If the answer to No. 28 was yes, how are you using it to increase your conversion of appointments to signed listings?
Are you providing CMAs?
If the answer to No. 30 was yes, do you get objections about your opinion of the seller’s home value?
If the answer to No. 31 was yes, are you able to overcome those objections, or are they costing you listings?
How are you promoting your listings?
Are you obtaining written testimonials from your clients that you can leverage to get more listings?
Do you track the statistics for your listings, such as total days on market and original list price to final sales price percentage, so that you can compare your performance to the market averages?
Are you using mobile marketing to cross promote your listings as well as your services?
Do you track traffic and behavior on your website and make changes to improve conversions or repeat visits?
Do you have a separate website for sellers and buyers?
How are you driving traffic to your websites?
If you were to show your website to a friend, could they tell within five seconds what your value proposition is, who you work with and what the next step would be?
Do you have lead capture opportunities on your website?
If the answer to No. 42 is yes, how many leads do you get from your website?
Are you using content marketing to establish and nurture relationships with potential clients?
If the answer to No. 44 is yes, what content is providing the best response rates?
Do you have a sales funnel with different content for homeowners at the top, middle and bottom of your funnel?
How are you promoting your blog posts to get more readers from within your niche market?
How carefully are you tracking your expenses?
Are there expense items that are not producing a return in excess of the cost?
Are you allocating a portion of every commission check to the major “buckets” in your business and personal life, including your operating budget, savings for retirement, personal expenses and taxes?
Have you established goals for both your business as well as your personal life?
If the answer to No. 51 is yes, what steps are you taking to accomplish your goals?
Have you broken your goals into annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly goals as well as daily to-dos that, when completed, will help you reach your larger goals?
How effectively are you managing your activities so that you get the most accomplished in your day and maintain a balanced life?
Are there activities that you could either eliminate or outsource with no impact to your business?
What steps are you taking to improve your skill set so that you run a profitable, efficient business?
As a part of your strategic plan, have you identified potential threats to your business and created plans that would insulate you from those threats?
Although this is in no way a comprehensive list of every question that would make a real estate agent successful, it will hopefully allow you to think about your real estate business and see opportunities for improvement.