This January marks Inman’s fifth annual Agent Appreciation Month, which culminates at Inman Connect New York in a celebration of agents at the end of January. Plus, we’re rolling out the coveted Inman Power Player Awards, as well as the New York Power Brokers and MLS Innovators awards.
Wondering how to get the biggest bang for your buck investing in your business this year? Here are seven different options to choose from that I recommend for the greatest returns possible.
1. Invest in producing searchable video content for YouTube
An investment in searchable video content may very well be the best investment you can make in your business today. Not only will these videos generate leads for your business now, but they will continue to work for you in the future as well.
The next question most agents have is what kind of videos should I produce? This process starts by observing the types of successful videos agents are producing in other markets and deciding which of these video types will work best in your local market.
The following are a few agents experiencing success that you can use as models for success in your local market.
- Brad McCallum out of Calgary, Canada, has built a thriving business utilizing his YouTube channel to highlight property tours.
- Levi Lascsak out of Dallas, Texas, built his business through his Living in Dallas Texas YouTube channel utilizing community videos, market updates and real estate investment videos specifically for Dallas.
- Noah Escobar out of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, has over $10 million in closed and pending transactions as a result of his less-than-one-year-old YouTube channel. He is finding success with a mix of community videos, infrastructure updates and listing videos.
Study the successes agents are having in other markets. Model your titles, content, and creativity after the successes of those agents, and you will find success in your local market.
2. Invest in client appreciation events and gifts
One of the best investments you can make is in the relationships you have with your past clients and your sphere of influence. These are the people who already know, like and trust you.
They will absolutely do business with you the next time they buy or sell, and they are the group that is most likely to send you referrals when they have the opportunity to do so.
Not only is showing them your appreciation good business, it’s also the right thing to do. Any time I’ve focused on the people I’m thankful for, they reward me with additional reasons to be thankful for them.
Your appreciation can be shown with simple gifts to your past clients on the anniversary date when they bought their home.
I utilized Send Out Cards to preschedule personalized notes with small gifts that I could pay for now and schedule to be delivered for years to come. Automating this process helped me stay top of mind each year and made sure I kept in touch with them consistently.
Client appreciation parties are another great way to provide value to your clients. Many agents do Thanksgiving pie giveaways, family photograph days, movie nights or food truck nights in the neighborhood they geographically farm.
Showing your appreciation sets the law of reciprocity in motion, and your past clients will then do everything in their power to help you via referrals and repeat customer transactions.
If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to show your clients appreciation, check out this article where I share 23 gifts your clients will love.
3. Invest in coaching
Coaching is an investment and not an expense when you take the time to find the right coach for you. This starts by identifying the specific strategy you want to improve upon in your business.
If your goal is to generate more listings, find a coach that specializes in helping agents take more listings. If your goal is to produce more video content, find a coach that specializes in helping agents produce video content that converts to closings.
Whatever you want to do, coaching will help you get there faster. If you’re committed to growing your business in the coming year, invest in coaching.
4. Invest in geographical farming
If you’re not recognized as the real estate expert in a specific neighborhood or area, then your business is not operating at the highest level possible. Nothing builds consistency in your business like having a steady flow of listing opportunities due to your geographic farming efforts.
Consistency is key, and I would rather go deep with a small group of homeowners than shallow with many homeowners. Focus on quality instead of quantity.
You want to make sure you have enough budget to send mailers and make calls to a group of homeowners for at least six months to be able to have enough time to reap the rewards of a successful farm.
Based on this, if you’re going to spend $1.25 per mailer each month and your budget is $2,500, then you will have enough in your budget for 2,000 mailers total.
Based on your desire to send mailers for six months, you will need to divide the total of 2,000 mailers by six months to realize you need to find a neighborhood with roughly 333 homes to ensure your budget is maintained and that you can stay consistent.
If you send mailers to 333 homes each month for six months and you follow up by reaching out with phone calls to introduce yourself with a desire to see how you can be of service to them, you will have a positive return on your investment. You will be rewarded with listings and buyer referrals from these homeowners.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to choose a farm and market to that farm in a way that makes you the dominant agent in that neighborhood, check out this article.
5. Invest in marketing your listings
Nothing leads to success like building on existing momentum. The marketing of your current listing not only helps you get that listing sold, but it also shows other homeowners the type of marketer you are and could be for them. Remember, you’re not only marketing that home, you’re also marketing yourself.
Spend the extra money on high-quality “just listed” and “just sold” cards that other homeowners in the neighborhood will notice. Spend extra money on high-quality videos for your listings that homeowners preparing to list their home will notice.
Host large open houses with a food truck or bounce house for kids, your extra marketing will be noticed, and you will be seen differently than other agents.
Take your marketing to another level with your next listing and additional listings will be the result.
6. Invest in conferences
I can’t think of a single time I’ve invested the time and money to attend a real estate conference where I did not have a minimum of four times return on my investment.
The relationships I’ve built with agents in other markets led to consistent referrals. There has always been at least one idea or strategy I put in place after each conference that has led to more business.
Make this the year that you invest in attending real estate conferences, and your business will grow.
7. Invest in yourself
Investing in yourself is the process of focusing on your greatest asset. I would suggest this investment be broken into two primary areas, your health and your knowledge.
If you don’t have your health, everything else is irrelevant. Invest in a personal trainer or health coach.
Focus this year on becoming the healthiest version of yourself that you’ve ever been. By doing so, you will have the energy to serve your clients at the highest level possible this year.
Also, focus on developing your knowledge and skills as well. What do you want to learn more about this year? Do you want to become an expert in AI, learn a new language, or maybe you want to learn how to negotiate at a higher level?
Whatever area you decide to study this year, there are books and online courses available to help you become the best version of yourself possible.
What we invest in, we can expect to grow. Choose your investments wisely, and reap the rewards in the coming year.
Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.