November marks the last 60 days of 2013. When you take into account the last two weeks are generally lost for personal, well deserved, family time, as well as reflection on the year that was, we really only have about 45 days. But wait, there’s Thanksgiving break, other holidays that you may not recognize, but certainly your clients do and of course weekends (for those of you that observe these) so now we are down to less than 20 to 30 solid business days to make a difference. So what are five things you should do now to make the most of this limited time?
- Review with your clients any year-end planning issues. Next week I am meeting with our accountant to review 2013 and discuss strategies for next year. We are looking at some structural changes and other business issues. When you approach your clients as business owners, instead of simply investors, owners or tenants. change your role from mere broker to trusted advisor. Don’t focus on the transaction, focus on their business and they will include you.
- Identify clients 2014 objectives. Similar to #1, however, much more of a look-forward perspective. Your clients may have investment, business or personal issues that you can directly affect via repositioning of real estate or restructuring of business leases. Owners need capital for business expansion, or child’s college, perhaps a sale-lease back, lease renegotiation or building refinancing is the answer
- Share any and all success stories for 2013. Probably the number one failure of most brokers and brokerage firms is the sharing of their success. We have found most do this improperly and have very little results from their efforts. We share with our commercial real estate coaching clients a specific approach for securing testimonials, creating powerful success stories and leveraging these to secure additional opportunities. The exact approach is reserved for our clients, however, you should review all the closed transactions you completed in 2013, and be assured there are prospects in your market who would be interested in learning more about what you provided to others.
- Review all 2013 proposals/OVs submitted and revisit these prospects. It is unlikely you won every pitch that you delivered this year. No doubt, you responded to more than a handful of proposals, offered numerous opinions of value or directly proposed your services that unfortunately did not lead to a representation or listing. Whatever happened to all these opportunities? Were they really motivated at the time – perhaps they are now. Things change and if these opportunities were being explored earlier in the year, they may still have some life today, or early next year.
- Review and Reflect. December is the ideal time to review and reflect on the year, not January. If you wait until January you are already behind the preverbal “8 Ball.” In December we will post our 2013 Review and Reflection document. Look out for it, as it will be a free download. In general, it is time to
- Review your prospecting, personal marketing and financial progress over the year
- Reflect on what met and did not meet your expectations
- Set a vision for 2014
You may have noticed the first two items focused directly on your client, the third item focused on both your client and you and the final two focused directly on you. Ideally the primary focus of your 2013 was appropriately on your clients, and if so, you should be pleased with your year.