“In a time of crisis we all have the potential to morph up to a new level and do things we never thought possible.” -Stuart Wilde
Every business struggles sometimes. In fact, a lot of the most successful businesses -- real estate companies and other companies -- went through an almost catastrophic time of hardship before they became really successful.
It’s a learning curve every business needs to go through to reach success.
What should you do first when your business is struggling?
The first thing you need to do when your business is struggling, is make a plan. Plan to take some time off from your day-to-day tasks -- even if you’re busy -- and fully focus on setting out a detailed schedule for the next few months. A schedule that’ll help you get back on top.
This may sound a bit boring and counter-productive. But, in times of crisis, the best thing is to slow down and put everything in perspective. Your mind is racing and you might start doing things that don’t really make sense -- you need to keep your head in the game.
Your game plan - 4 steps to get you back on track
So this is what you should do: plan two hours this week during which you don’t set any appointments, don’t take calls and don’t talk to anyone.
Turn off your phone and use this time to start work on your new strategy.
Your game plan should include these four steps:
1. Track and identify
First off, unless you’re not already doing so, you’ll need to start tracking your business metrics.
You should track crucial parts of your business and your team to really know what’s going on.
Get started on these metrics (you can always add more later on):
Production per team
Average Sales price
Commission per team and per agent
Aim to track these metrics for at least 1 month and evaluate on a weekly basis.
Once you’ve started tracking your metrics, you’ll get a feel for how things are moving along. Try and understand what is moving up, what is moving down, what are the areas that need more attention.
2. Set goals
Set goals for each of your metrics. These can be really straightforward, like ‘increase average sales price by 10% over the next 4 months’.
Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, time limited) and try to set goals for yourself, your teams, individual agents as well as the business as a whole.
3. Evaluate your progress
By now you’ll have been going through your numbers to understand what’s going on in your business. You also set goals that have a direct impact on your bottom line.
Next step is to keep an eye on the vitals. Check your metrics on a weekly (or even daily) basis. It’s crucial to keep a close watch here, because you’ll get a huge amount of feedback on how your and your team’s actions affect your business.
If you see any of the metrics going of course for more than a few days, adjust your strategy.
4. Rinse and repeat
Go through this cycle as many times as needed, and keep setting goals and tracking. This should really become the core of your business as a real estate professional.
As you get to know your business better, your goal-setting skills will improve as well. You’ll develop a feel for you KPIs -- where they roughly should be, and where you want to see them over the next few months. Experiment and have some fun while you’re at it!
Try to involve your team as much as possible. Give them ownership of their own goals and challenge them keep improving. They’ll have fun and you’ll all reap the benefits of a well-run, successful business.