Want to Grow? Here Are Five Areas You Need to Watch

Most agents want to be successful, but few agents have the time and patience it takes to analyze their business strategies. But if you spend more time working “on” your business and not just “in” your business, the rewards are immediately evident. The process starts with tracking your successes and analyzing your failures. Performance that is measured improves. Just the act of tracking raises your awareness and creates a better result. Here are five stats you need to know to streamline your business and increase your profitability.Act your wage. Do you know your “billable hours” for the average listing or sale? If you can’t quantify your expenses in terms of time spent, how do you know if a transaction has been profitable? Keep track of your time in terms of your annual income goals. Use an accounting system that allows you to show the hours spent on a particular transaction. If you don’t value your time, neither will clients. Keep in mind that if your hourly wage is $50, it is foolish to do menial jobs that you could hire someone to do at $10 an hour.Focus on time management, an Achilles heel. Managing your time is managing yourself. Where you “spend” your time has a direct and significant impact on the results you want to create. I have watched agents add $50 to $200 an hour to their value in less than a year by simply focusing their attention on those activities that have high return value. Try this. Measure your time for one week by these three activities:

  • Directly produces income – buyer and listing presentations, proactive prospecting, showings, proactive open houses, follow-up on leads
  • Indirectly produces income – doing farm mailings, creating marketing pieces, reviewing websites, reading and analyzing statistics, writing for your blog or social networking site
  • Supports income production – attending meetings and skill-based classes, meeting repair people and inspectors, practicing scripts, previewing properties, doing bookkeeping and record keeping

Most agents spend less than one hour per day on income-producing activities. Plan your time to spend at least three hours per workday doing income-producing activities and watch the income soar.

When the horse dies, get off it. When something isn’t working, working harder at it won’t make it any better. Sending farm mail out? If it didn’t return any business, quit it. Are you calling past clients so often they served you with a restraining order? Ease up; it isn’t working. Judge all of your activities in terms of the closed business they produce. Try different things. This is a different market.

Leverage your expenses. Try approaching vendors and offering them less for their product or service. An amazing number will say yes. Keep in mind that your marketing should be an investment and not an expense. Learn to do more with less. Quit buying gadgets and systems you won’t use. Put that money into marketing and learning.

Keep it together. Have one place to keep it all. A central tracking system, either a book or software, allows you to organize a list of closed transactions, the source of that business, the dates opened and closed, the commission you received plus the number of hours you worked to obtain and close that business. Also keep all marketing materials, scripts that work for you, expenses, lead generation sources and the conversion ratio of those leads and sources.

I talk to agents every day that say they will be happy when the market returns to normal. But what if this market is the new normal? If you keep your stats and know your market, you’ll do just fine.

About the Author

Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, CEO of Arizona REALTORS®, is also an attorney, State Bar of Arizona board certified real estate specialist, and the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law and Practice. Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be up-to-date or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.