Q: “Denise, I am thinking of retiring sometime in about five years. I am at a point in my business where I am happy with the business I get from my past clients, friends, and family. I keep in touch with them every month with market updates. I want to start taking more time off every year. I have someone I refer business to. But I can’t shake this feeling that I should continually be doing more lead generation. I don’t want more business; I want to maintain my business. Am I missing the boat because I am not trying to ramp up like everyone else?”
A: Real estate is funny in that way. One of my clients said it best in a call I had yesterday – “I feel like my foot is either 100% on the gas or 100% on the brake.” I see this tendency to either be 100% working or 100% off as a product of the recession – we have to make hay while the sun is shining because we don’t know if there are storms ahead. It is also a product of our industry’s culture of being focused on constantly increasing an agent’s production – the theory that if you made $100,000 this year, then surely you could make $150,000 – or more! – next year. But why can’t you make $100,000 this year if you made $100,000 last year? Or not worry so much about what you make but on what you take? If you made $100,000, did you take $100,000? Probably not. After you paid your brokerage, paid you dues, fees, and taxes, was it closer to $60,000? And let’s not forget retirement! So strategy #1 for you might be to treat your income more efficiently so you take more without increasing your production or time in the business.
Strategy #2 is to consider how to really enjoy and celebrate your past clients over the next few years and keep those relationships strong to keep the referrals coming in. If you aren’t doing an event or individual client appreciation, maybe 2020 is the year to start. Consider working on Annual Client Reviews and even setting up one-on-one meetings with your clients to review their property situation in person. Now that shows that you are watching out for their needs!
It is okay to graduate from lead generation. But if you are feeling like you should be doing something to improve, why not focus on improving what you are already doing instead of adding something new?