July 6, 2011

Caution - Distractions Ahead

Welcome to the proverbial "Dog Days of Summer." We surpassed the halfway point of the year over the holiday weekend and I am sure that many of you thoroughly enjoyed your Fourth of July celebrations with friends and family. Heck, some of you might have even pulled a few deals together between the parades and fireworks.

Work Zone Ahead - Long Delays Possible

Now it's time to put up some orange barrels for the serious "work zone" we are approaching. We've entered the time of year when we might be tempted to take our foot off the gas and go into cruise control. It almost seems like we're in slowing traffic and we're all ready to start rubber-necking.

Here are just a few things that might be taking some of your attention away from your business plan:
  • The kids are home from school and they tell you every day how "bored" they are.
  • The kids are home from school and every day you have to transport them someplace - sporting events, play dates, summer camp, the movies, etc.
  • You have a vacation coming up and you've got to get ready for it.
  • You've got family coming to visit and you need to get the house in order.
  • The pile of mulch in your driveway isn't going to spread itself in your flower beds.
  • (insert your own "woe is me" story here)

Trust me, I get it.

On one hand, we say to ourselves, "Where has the first part of the year gone? It seems like it was just January." On the other hand, we try to justify that we'll be okay and can still hit our plans. We just have to get through the busy summer months and then we'll be able to re-focus. Those ready, willing and able clients will just magically appear at our doorstep like Ed McMahon with the oversized check.

Seriously answer this...When was the last time you looked at your business plan? Technically you should be exactly halfway to your goals you set last winter or at least on pace to be close to half way home. Are you?

Have you met with your manager, coach or business partner to determine what needs to happen in the next 30 days? 90 days? 6 months?

Is your "why" still as important today as it was when you first thought of it or are you allowing outside influences to turn it into a "why me?"

There Is Business Out There

I just did a quick check of our local MLS. As of today, there are currently 15,459 homes on the market for sale here in Central Ohio with an average listing price of $204,693. They've been on the market an average of 138 days.

Do you have some active listings that need some attention? Could you schedule a meeting with your Sellers to re-evaluate your current position in regards to competition? It might be the perfect time to ask the Sellers if their motivation is still the same as it was on the day you signed the listing agreement.

As of today, there have been 9,325 properties sold since January 1st. Those sold properties were on the market for an average of 102 days and sold for an average sold price of $153,296. 

Are your Sellers aware of the list to sale price ratio that is realistic in your current market so when an offer does come in, they aren't shocked? Is your low end inventory level rising or falling? If your listing has been on the market longer than the average for the solds, what is the market telling you?

Fifty a Day?

A quick test drive of the ol' calculator tells me that with 9,325 closed properties since January 1st, there have been approximately 50 sales each day. And because there are two sides to every sale, that means there have been 18,650 clients sitting at a closing table at some point this year.

Were they working with you? I might suggest you do the same exercise in your local area right now. You might just come up with some great insights, talking points or inspiration for a detour route around the distractions.

[Managers - this is a great exercise to use at your next sales meeting. Do the research and come up with your local market numbers. Ask the questions in the form of a quiz and reward the agent who is the closest to knowing the current market. You can then discuss the importance of knowing your market and the competence and confidence it will bring.]

The question is are you going to quit rubber-necking, put your foot on the gas pedal and accelerate your business into the fast lane? Start building relationships today. Find ways to solve problems today. It's important that you have fun today.

Once you get past this bottle neck, it's nothing but open highway up ahead. Turn up the radio and enjoy the ride.

(I suggest you type the words 'listings sold' into the search box that appears to the left of this text on the blog page. There are some relevant posts that might give you some more ideas of where you might find some additional business opportunities)