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Top 6 mistakes agents make when a new year starts (and the 6 best ways to make changes to your real estate business that will stick)

This week, my inbox, my IG feed and my coaches were all talking about what I SHOULD be doing in 2024 to make my real estate business better. 

All I wanted to read was more of my latest book. (but alas the holidays are over and it’s time to get back to it!)

Reading all the things I “SHOULD’ be doing only made me feel overwhelmed and back in the same spot I felt in December.

Knowing that ‘New Year’s resolutions’ never really work, I thought I would take the ‘SHOULD’ out of January 2024 and add in some “what’s reasonable” to do instead.

There are probably 20 different things we, as real estate agents, could be doing right now to get ready for the 1st quarter.  And just like with all the other new year's resolutions that come in January (diets, workout regimes, sleep goals) and then disappear, so do our best laid work plans.

How do you beat the cycle?  

How can you be successful with the changes you want to make (and have been promising yourself you will make) to your business? 

Ask yourself these questions (Pro-tip: honest answers give the best results)

  1. Decide what’s URGENT vs. Important (or easy!)

  2. What do you have bandwidth for?

  3. What do you have the money for?

  4. What are you good at? 

  5. What will you actually complete?

  6. Make a plan. However big or small

I’ll break them down/provide examples here:

  1. While social media is important, if you don’t have any clients, finding a client is more URGENT, than your social media plan.  Unless you have a massive social following and generate leads that convert in 3 months or less, it’s not as important as other lead generation activities. I’ve written some other blogs on realistic lead generation goals. 

  1. What’s currently going on in your life: physically, family wise, mental health wise?  If you are tapped out and only have a bit of time, only pick 1 or 2 things to gear up for the new year.  There is no point in starting a bunch of different tasks and never finishing them.  It’s way better to only pick one activity and finish it. 

  1. We’ve seen the stats, 2023 (and I can only speak for Ontario) saw way fewer deals, and a large number of agents with reduced income. I know some people believe: If you spend it you will build it.  I think a more realistic approach for your sanity is: how can I do this with the budget I have and where is my money best spent.  There is a lot of lead generation and marketing which can be done for little to no money.  THE BROKE AGENT wrote a great article on predictions for things that will generate leads/business in 2024 and a few of them won’t cost you much and will build credibility (great if you are a new agent). Article is here.

  1. Only do what you are good at. It will save you so much time, frustration & you will have a higher chance of completing the task. I suck at graphic design. I hire people on FIVERR or use templates in CANVA.  Paying $50 for some IG designs is a WAY better use of both my time and money than trying to figure it out myself (see my blogs on What’s my time worth)

  1. Be realistic.  Sitting down to do a massive marketing calendar which outlines every tactic across all platforms with topics is likely not achievable for most.  

Is it more reasonable to say: I would like to create 12 blogs. I will create the topics for the first 3, and write them by the end of January. And set a calendar reminder to write 3 more at the end of February? Or 4 social posts (if you are not a regular poster and your goal is more consistency for the new year).  Know the expression: Bite off more than you can chew? It leads to failure (and likely indigestion) so be kind to yourself and take things in small chunks.

  1. Make a plan. Whatever it is you want to do: Make a mini plan and agree to the areas you want to work on.  Maybe you want to clean up your database, and start sending newsletters this year. Break it down: Agree to tidy up 10-20 contacts/week and maybe start with a semi-annual newsletter.  Do you want to do a bit more marketing - pick the area: social? Blogs? Newsletters? Pick one and get it all sorted. If you finish your plan early, do more for the remainder of the year but it’s much better if you start small and add on vs. never accomplishing anything.  

Here is an example of a plan that is TOOOOO big:

  1. Get incorporated

  2. Clean up all my accounting

  3. Rebrand

  4. Become a Youtuber with 1000 followers by the end of the year and an overnight TikTok sensation 

  5. Take 5 weeks vacation

  6. Hire an admin assistant

  7. Make 50 client calls/month


A key thing to remember is consistency.  Make your resolutions such that when the market gets busy, you can still perform the tasks. Consistency is key to showing your professionalism, building trust and ultimately creating referrals or new clients.  

And my goal from this blog was to show you how you can still be motivated and put on the CEO hat for your company (yes you are running a company) in a way that will lead you to great success vs burnout. 


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