One of the draws to building a career in real estate is that no two days are the same. Is that really true though? When you get busy and your business is growing, every day may look a little different, but you’re largely filling it with the same activities. You should be prospecting every day, training every day, seeing clients and prospects every day and working deals every day.
It isn’t the same kind of monotony that comes from staring at the same spreadsheets from nine to five Monday through Friday, but you can start to feel like you’re in the rat race nonetheless. If you’re not careful, you start to go through the motions. You forget the big reason you’re in the business. You fail to identify shortcomings in your business. You keep running hard, but you may not even notice whether or not you’re going in the right direction.
There is irony in the fact that some agents treat a client’s problems like they are life and death, making themselves available at all hours to put out fires that aren’t even really there. Yet we can be so passive about addressing the problems in our businesses. We overlook issues and sweep them under the rug rather than giving ourselves the margin to deal with them.
It’s March. First-quarter production is basically in the books as your next properties to go under contract will likely close in April. It’s a great time to step back, get out of your business and work on your business. On our team, there are two ways that we like to do that.
Quarterly planning is something that every agent, team member, and broker should look forward to. It’s a chance to get out of your business for a day or however long you deem appropriate to take a look at what your business has looked like over the last quarter and how you want it to look over the next. You’re giving yourself permission to just stop and think.
You should accomplish a few things during this time. We went into greater detail on this in a previous article. First, you should take the chance to remember why you’re in the business. What drives you to do what you do? What are the values that you hold dear that make you (and your business) who you are?
This part probably isn’t going to change much from quarter-to-quarter, but it is something that you need to re-visit. The last thing you want is to allow yourself to drift from your core values and purpose in life and business. The consequences for such a misstep go well beyond just your business.
Once you’ve spent some time reviewing and thinking about the big picture, you should start to put together some more tangible goals. But first, let yourself dream a little bit. Let your mind wander into the future and consider what you want your life and business to look like. If you don’t step out of the rat race for a day or so, you’re going to have trouble getting the clarity you need to look ahead to what you really want to achieve.
Then start to ask yourself what you need to do this year, quarter and month to make that happen. Establish firm commitments for what you need to do to get there. You could blow right through this if you want and just throw numbers and simple ideas on the page, but that would be doing a disservice to yourself.
Dig deep. What could you add to your business or calendar that would really move the needle? Again, a huge point of getting away for quarterly training is to get the space to think outside of the box. Let yourself kick around new ideas and explore if they’re something you should implement. Just empty your brain onto the page.
This will look different for everyone. Figure out what you personally need to do to get out of your business for a day or so. Maybe it means posting up at a coffee shop for a few hours. Maybe it means getting out of town altogether. Maybe you need to go for a walk, listen to music, pray, read, meditate, run, fish or whatever. Just clear out the mental clutter and intentionally think through what you want the next quarter to look like.
At least once a quarter, you should carve out some time to sharpen the ax beyond your normal daily and weekly training. This may seem more obvious for teams, but it is equally valuable on an individual level.
As you work through the quarter, you will likely come upon a new challenge to address, a new script to work on or an area of your business that needs some extra attention. These should specifically be important, non-urgent items that you want to work on. Your quarterly training day is a great opportunity to address those.
How you address those items will depend on your team structure. For a team, build out an agenda and plan out who will lead a discussion on each topic. Put in the work on the front end to make sure you and your other team members are bringing good content to the group. Like with your planning, be intentional about your training. Pick pertinent topics and bring useful information to your team.
If you’re a solo agent, you’re not off the hook. Consider coaching, a mastermind group or an event. If that doesn’t work, collect those important and non-urgent topics that you need to step out of your business to focus on. Put together a game plan for the day to find good articles, books, podcasts, and videos from established experts that will help you to grow in those areas. Dive in deeper than you would during a run-of-the-mill block of training time.
It’s a good idea to step back and consider the big picture on a training day as well by reflecting on core values, company history, and achievements. Work in some fun and camaraderie, specifically if you’re a team. It should be an encouraging day that leaves you and the rest of your team feeling refreshed.
Give yourself permission to get out of the weeds. For just a couple days out of the quarter, take the time to put the needs of your business as a whole over the needs of the individual deals. Rest assured your clients will be there when you get back. To build a healthy business that is in it for the long-term, you have to get out of that business.