A Quick and Easy Jump-Start to Your 2014

Let’s face it; the days between Christmas and New Years Day are a wasteland of rest, relaxation, and “Breaking Bad” binge watching. I know you deserve it. You got last minutes showings, closings, and paper shuffling buttoned up all while getting holiday shopping and family cat herding done. But those couple days can be productive as well, with only a couple hours within each of those days being put to good use!

December 26: Organize your clients. Shuffle your Class A, B and C peeps. Add to them your successfully-closed clients and those who were advocates for your business in the past year. For me, my “Class A” peeps were my top referrers of business and freshly-closed clients from the last year. “Class B” were those who weren’t loud raving fans, usually the families and busy folks who had their hands full living life. “Class C” were those nearing the 4- to 5-year home-cycle, plus warm leads from the previous year – all potential business for the coming year who may not know it yet.

December 27: Analyze your marketing. What worked this last year? What didn’t? What was the best bang for the buck that reached the most people in my sphere with the least amount of time, money, and energy? Cancel everything that didn’t work. Categorize your aforementioned peeps into the relevant lists in your marketing systems; at the very least into email lists.

December 28: Costco run. Pick up a couple cases of cheap champagne and bubbling cider. Full-size or cutesy individual size, whatever your budget allows.  It doesn’t even need to be bubbly, pick up something that says “you” or that exemplifies your top clients.  Post-holiday sales are awesome for this.

December 29and 30: Say “Thank You” in person. Remember those “Class A” clients I mentioned? Drop off a bottle of a champagne or cider with as many of them as possible. By doing this stuff AFTER the main holiday season you don’t get lost in the ruckus and add to the stress.

December 31: Say “Thank You” digitally. Write a blog post that chronicles a successful year for you and your clients – it doesn’t need to be cheesy, it could be a compilation of a bunch of pictures your clients took and tagged you on Facebook in, for example. Put it on your website. Email it out to your clients. Thank them profusely. Don’t forget your Yelp, LinkedIn, and GooglePlus URLs in case they want to write a review on you. Bonus: Both in person and online, ask your new clients what they would do differently. Ask them what they’d have like for YOU to do differently.

January 1: Prep the calendar. Take your previous year’s calendar and transpose all the mile-markers, events you went to, education you took, the closings you had, anything that was monumental in your business, into the next year’s calendar. Now you know what you need to plan for based on the previous year’s events. All this while “Breaking Bad.”

You can learn a lot based on the previous year. Take some time to think about where you been, so you know where you’re going. Make 2014 a great one!

Nobu Hata

I'm director of digital engagement for the National Association of REALTOR®. Former REALTOR® with Edina Realty in Minnesota. Geek. Alaska and Minnesota have been home. Now I'm in Chicago or on the road meeting with REALTORS® and association executives to talk about NAR, their business, and the integration of digital technologies in our industry.

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  1. DeLynn Willard

    Reinventing myself in 2014 with a New Career in Real Estate after moving to a new area. Any recommendations or suggestions on how to get out there & get my name, energy, enthusiasm and newly aquired knowledge (which continues every day) to the public would be so appreciated. I know this will be difficult but exciting. I do love a challenge and over coming seemingly difficult opportunities is something I enjoy. I am doing the “normal” activities however, bouncing out of the box will be thrilling.
    As I said, if there is any advice you can offer or places I can explore suggested reading I would so appreciate it!
    Thank you and may 2014 be a successful new year!

  2. Thank you for sharing such great information and fun ideas! I’m excited to start this today! Happy New Year!

  3. In terms of the marketing piece, get your properties in front of niche markets. If you are selling luxury property then get on a luxury property listings if you are selling an old, historic house with some character get your page on a site like http://www.circaoldhouses.com

  4. Great ideas – thanks for sharing.

  5. Happy New Year, Nobu! I love the champagne idea 🙂 My January calendar is prepped with my 31 Things in 31 Days to help me jump start my (14th) year in the business!

  6. Thanks for the article! I liked the idea of analyzing your marketing and deciding what worked this last year and what didn’t. Everyone should make a list of things that were and will be good for his business and the things they did wrong. For example, if you had some problems with your tenants you should analyze the reason why did it happen and how to avoid the same problem in future. Like the article says cancel everything that didn’t work. We should know how to cope with problems and how to find the way out. Anyway, even bad experience is also an experience for you that can help you with your future affairs.