The first rule of businessâ€¦..is to stay in business.
As real estate agents, offices and companies struggle to figure out this market it is important to stay focused on what is working and what is not. â€œWorkingâ€ means money spent that earns a return in the form of phone calls, appointments, revenue units, or direct business support items. Examples of â€œnot workingâ€ would be money spent on; things that feed your ego, post cards bought and put under your desk, educational CDs purchased and never listened to, print advertising that never makes the phone ring.
Spend one day a month working on your business, not in your business. What this means is setting aside one day per month in which you work on the big picture; finances, marketing plans, business plan review and the like. During this time do not engage in working with buyers, sellers or ongoing contracts, donâ€™t answer the phone and if you need to, hold this meeting with yourself outside of the office.
One of the things to look at each month are your expenses. As revenues slow with fewer closings you may be wondering where to cut expenses. This is a good discussion to have with yourselfâ€¦..in good times as well as in bad. Determine a base line of what you need to support your business and what that base line costs. Consistency is important here. You donâ€™t want to have the lights on when things are good and go dark when things slow down.
This would not be the time to cancel your cell phone plan. It would be the time to cut down on some of the fancy features that you pay for but rarely use.
This would not be the time to turn off your websiteâ€¦.It would be the time to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck by making sure your site has rich content and is generating traffic that could turn into leads.
This would be the time to not buy that new expensive marketing planâ€¦â€¦It would be the time to pull out those cards that are under your desk that you always meant to send but never got around to it.
This would be the time to look closely at the money you are spending on print media. If it is not making the phone ring or is a significant source of traffic to your website, eliminate it.
This is more about what you do spend and less about what you save. Make sure every dollar counts. You still need, gas for your car, feature sheets and home books in every listing, a search engine friendly website, a base line mailing program or newsletter, membership in local mlsâ€™s or professional trade organizations, educational classes and the like. There is actually so much you can do to communicate with your sphere of influence and talk with potential new clients, use your one day a month to work on your business not in your business to generate some low cost or now cost ides. If you get stuck, check back and I will post a list in the near future…..Update: check out this list of low or no cost ways to jump start your business.