Did you miss your business planning call? If you did here’s a glimpse of what we talked about in regard to planning for next year:

Let’s make 2013 YOUR year!

Why and how could it be the best year you’ve ever had? Simply choosing, claiming, planning for, and intending it to be a great year, is a good start. And why, because you say so!

I’m sure everyone has heard of a business plan, yet a lot of real estate agents don’t actually write a business plan for their business.

I have had one from the start of my career, almost 23 years ago now. This is one of the main reasons I am able to consistently sell so many homes each year, even in a down market. I’m no different than you I’ve just chosen to do certain things that lead to certain results. You can too, if you choose!

Guys you’ve heard it all before and yes, I’m going to say it again it’s been proven that you’re much more likely to reach your goals if you take the time to plan for and write them down.

Think about this, would your vacations occur without planning? Would your weekend plans occur without making them? Would a wedding go off without a hitch unless it was well planned? Then why would your business or life be any different?

Guys, they’re really great questions! Honestly ask yourself, have you actually taken the time to plan for and write down how you want your life and business to go? If not, why?

One of my mentors taught me years ago to write a letter to myself at the end of each year as if it’s December 31 of the next year. He said to write about ALL the things that happened in my life and my business. He said to imagine myself sitting by the fire with a cup hot chocolate reading the letter to myself at the end of the next year.

This is something I’ve done every year since. I invite you to take this on. And, you want to make it fun, easy, and exciting! Be alone when you write it. Be in a place where there won’t be any distractions. Play some nice soothing music and just write a letter to yourself.

It should begin something like this….

“Wow, as I sit here by the fire thinking back on this year I am so thankful for …. Or I can’t believe we were able to… or I am so happy I finally did….” And then you just write and write and write.

Pretend you can be, do, and have anything you want and don’t let your mind or fear stop your dreams. Think big and outside of the box as they say.

You can choose to read the letter throughout the year or put it away and read it on Dec 31st of next year. You’ll be amazed at how much you actually accomplish!

You can take it a step even further and share it with your family on December 31st of THIS year enrolling them in what you’re up to and asking them to hold you accountable throughout the year. I even write about my kids and all the things I see them accomplishing and doing next year. When I read it to them it inspires, motivates, and excites them almost as much as it does me! Your letter should be so inspiring that it moves you to tears. Dream and plan big!

Now on the business plan, guys I’m not a big advocate of lengthy detailed business plans, that let’s face it, if we write we may never look at again!

I am strong advocate for simple streamlined planning and AT LEAST spending the amount of time planning for our life and business that we do our vacation each year.

I mean doesn’t that easily make sense to you? Why on earth would we spend more time planning ONE week than we do OUR ENTIRE LIFE? Seriously think about that!

So, the only two things I decide for the entire year regarding business is how many homes I want to sell and how much money I want to make. The rest is broken down on a monthly basis. Being broken down on a monthly basis has it seem more obtainable, doable, trackable, and enjoyable.

I believe the simpler, the better. So I sit down with a calendar that shows me each month of next year and I make mini plans for each month.

For me, each month includes:

How many days I’ll work each month

How many listings I want to take each month

How many listings I want to sell

How many buyers I want to sell

How many price reductions I want to get each month

The skill I want to focus on that month

Anything I want to accomplish personally and otherwise

If you do open houses or prospect you may want to decide how many days you will prospect each month or how many open houses you’ll hold, what days you’ll do floor duty, door knock, and so on.

You can look back at this year or previous years to help you develop your plan for each month, look at the following:

How many homes have you sold per year in the past?

What was your income on average?

What activities did you do to create those sales and income?

What were your most effective actions?

What were your biggest challenges?

Where did most of your business come from?

What did you learn?

What worked?

What didn’t?

What needs improvement?

Take some time to think about what changes need to be made in your office, your systems and your environment before next year. Consider having a meeting with your lender and closing company to plan for how the can be of more support to you next year with your closings. Your job is to generate business and sell homes. Their job should be to get the loans processed, approved, and closed.

You don’t have to be at the loan applications and closings. That’s only feeding your own ego. Your affiliates should simply an extension of you or your team providing the same excellent service that you do. Set your clients expectations up and they will follow suit. You aren’t the lender so don’t propose to be. You aren’t the title company or closing attorney so don’t propose to be that either. Give your affiliates credibility with your clients and then step back and let them do their job so you can do more of your!

I will share more from our business planning call in future posts. In the meantime, If I can be of support to you with anything, please let me know.

I also wanted to take a moment to share information about a course I’ll be leading starting the second week of January…

“Discover how Christy was able to grow her business from 0 to 35 deals her first year in the business in a brand new town where she didn’t know a soul. 95% of her business that first year came from working expired and fsbo listings.

Learn how she perfected and streamlined the scripts, the follow up, the mailings, and the objection handlers to grow her business from 35 to 140 deals a year in less than 5 years.

Beginning on Thursday, January 10th 2013 Christy will lead a six week tele course sharing exactly what she does and has learned. She’ll spend the first three weeks on Expired listings and the second three weeks on FSBO’s.

The cost for the course if you sign up before December 31st is only $149, after that it’s $199. And if you sign up before the end of the year it’s a tax deduction for you so you save money in two ways!

The course includes her scripts audio program which normally sells for $49. Each call is one hour long and will run from 12:00 to 1:00 EST. The course traditionally fills up quickly so please email her to sign up today at christycrouch@aol.com , you can pay by check or credit card.”

I would love for you to join me in this course it will have a huge impact on your first quarter of next year!

“Christy Crouch is the co-founder of You’re The Difference Sales & Life Coaching, co-author of the highly acclaimed real estate objection handler book, Now What Do I Say? A collection of more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections faced in the real estate industry. She is still an active agent in Virginia, has participated in closing thousands of transactions in her career, and was inducted in the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for her production. Christy is in the top 2.3% of her marketplace. Her goal is to share what she’s learned with other agents to support them in having a highly successful real estate sales business while having a happy and balanced life. To learn more about her coaching and products please email her at christy@yourethedifference.com or visit her website at www.yourethedifference.com”