It’s that time again, when thoughts turn to the new year and we make resolutions to address the parts of our business that we’ve perhaps neglected slightly in the past. And planning often falls firmly into this category.
But planning should sit at the top of every agent’s to do list year-round; without taking a step back it can be very difficult to see the bigger picture. The planning process allows you to review your business as a whole, discover what’s been going well and cast a critical eye over things you don’t think are working for you. You’ll find you can make business decisions from a much more informed place. And by setting yourself goals you’ll be able to monitor whether things are proceeding as planned.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”
So, we’ve got five tips to help with your planning for 2019.
Tip #1: Analyse what worked and what didn’t this year
Whenever you’re planning, the best place to start is with what you already know.
Think about things you’ve tried previously to bring in enquiries or market yourself. If a particular strategy, such as advertising on an online portal like Kyero, worked well for you then plan to do it again. While if you spent considerable time and money on designing and printing fliers and then didn’t get any uptake from them don’t rush into a repeat. Instead take a step back and look at how the strategy could be improved. Share your learnings with your team to make sure the good things continue to happen while you work on improvements elsewhere.
Why not make this the year you plan in a new business activity or two? These could be trying one of these simple tools to help with your marketing or making time to listen to our podcast and find out more about what international buyers are really looking for from their agents.
Tip #2: Reassess your portfolio
If you strategically acquire particular property types for your portfolio, it’s important that from time to time you check that your chosen strategy is still working. The types of properties and the areas that sell well will tend to change over time, so if you fail to adjust your portfolio accordingly you could be left with properties that won’t sell. By keeping an eye on industry trends, talking to buyers and tracking the patterns you’re seeing in your local area, you should be able to get a good feel for the types of properties you should be aiming for. But remember this isn’t a one off exercise, it needs to be regularly revisited.
Find out more about how to attract the right properties to your portfolio.
Tip #3: Research the most lucrative markets
We love being able to dig around in our Spanish property market data and spot trends and international buyer preferences. Because it means we can give our agents the most current information available to help with their business’ direction.
By reading our quarterly International House Sales Reports and other market insights, you’ll be able to stay up to date and jump into potentially lucrative new markets as they emerge. In June of this year we reported that buyers from The Netherlands have nearly doubled the amount of houses they’ve bought in the last five years. And they’ve been spending more than other foreign buyers too. Armed with this knowledge you can decide whether the time is right for a concerted effort to market to Dutch property buyers.
Follow our weekly blog for more market insights.
Tip #4: Set objectives
Arguably the only way you’ll know if you have succeeded with your plans is to set yourself goals and monitor your progress against them. The objectives you choose could be financial ones (profit growth, higher sales figures etc.) or they could be non-financial such as average speed of response to enquiries or even handing over certain responsibilities to other team members.
Think about your overall strategic aim for the year. Whether it’s a 30% growth in sales or freeing yourself up to pick the kids up from school twice per week, all of your objectives should revolve around this ambition. Make sure your team is included in objective-setting decisions as this means they’re far more likely to work hard to achieve them.
Tip #5: Create an appropriate budget
One of the most important aspects of new year planning is getting to grips with your budgeting and forecasting. When you have a clear picture of your expected income and outgoings you will be able to make more informed decisions. And by comparing your actual costs and sales to your projected ones you’ll be able to make sure you stay on track.
Stay tuned for next week’s post giving you a step by step guide to budgeting for 2019.