Today we will continue building our business plan by honestly evaluating our past work habits, personalities, and job performance during the last year so we can realize the things we need to improve upon in the coming year. For those reading this article that reside outside Alabama, please keep in mind that Alabama law differs from surrounding states because Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” state which places responsibilities on the purchaser to research all aspects of a property before purchasing. This article is written specific to Alabama even though most parts of the business plan will apply to anyone, regardless where you live and work.
When working with buyers or sellers in Alabama, it is mandated by Alabama License Law, and regulated by the Alabama Real Estate Commission , that upon initial contact with a prospective buyer or seller, the agent must disclose and explain the various possible agency relationships available through their agency. This is referred to as RECAD which is an acronym for Real Estate Consumers Agency and Disclosure Act. The law states this disclosure is to take place upon initial contact, as soon as reasonably possible, and before any confidential information is exchanged. When asked, most agents say they disclose this information, but when talking to consumers they say they have never had anyone RECAD them before. With this in mind, grade yourself on your performance of disclosing the various agency options upon initial contact; not when a listing or offer takes place.
Successful agents are working with many buyers and sellers at the same time. They also have many other duties to perform on a daily basis dealing with getting transactions closed. At the same time they must remain focused on generating new future business. Many agents will work with a “things to do” list for the next day and at the end of the day realize they didn’t accomplish everything on their list. The reason for this is generally because they didn’t work from a schedule. They didn’t block certain times to do specific things; therefore, some very important things didn’t get done. Grade yourself on how well you perform in scheduling your work by time blocking for specific activities.
The real estate profession is a very legalistic business. Since we own our own business, we must have the answers at the time we need them. Education provides this knowledge but some think they don’t have time to take educational course to improve their skills. Some agents never take more educational course than those required for license renewal. Grade yourself on your mindset for obtaining education necessary to the success of your business.
When asking agents entering into my coaching program what their goals are, I get answers like, “To become debt free,” or “To make $100,000 a year.” In reality this is what they would like but it isn’t their goal. A goal is specific including where you are currently, where you want to go, and what you need to do to reach the desired goal. Goals are generally long and short term; what do you want to accomplish during the next year and at what level you want to be five years from now. Annual goals trickle down to monthly, weekly, and daily goals by simple division. It is virtually impossible to reach major goals without having a business plan or road map of what you must to do to accomplish the goal. Grade yourself on your proficiency of setting goals, and following a predetermined plan for daily work activities.
Some agents have difficulty closing a listing opportunity or getting a prospective buyer to write an offer for a property. I think this is probably due to the agent having the cart before the horse; so to speak. They are seeing the opportunity to have another listing rather than providing specialized skills to aid the consumer in selling their property. Some agents experience difficulty in getting a buyer to make an offer because the agent is focused on getting a commission rather than what is financially best for the buyer. Agents are required to have the client’s interest above their own interest. An agent’s top priority is to accomplish what they are hired to do; list and sell real estate. If we remain focused on the consumer’s best financial interest, the money will follow. Grade yourself on your ability to put your clients/customers best financial interest above your own.
There are many other areas’s we could evaluate ourselves in but let’s look at our overall performance for the past year. New agents can forego this section and move to the next step which we will cover next week. Agents that were in business last year, grade yourself on your overall performance for the past year. Don’t grade yourself based on the amount of money you made, but on the performances in the areas we discussed in the last two articles. Be totally honest with yourself because no one will see your answers. This is to help you only.
Next week in “Creating a Business Plan (part four) we will analyze our last business year work history as it relates to listings sold, buyer transactions closed, hours worked and etc. Remember, we need to know where we have been, and what we are currently doing, before we can know what we need to do to improve our future performance.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.