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2011-10-19 23:54:07

How Planning for 2012 Can Boost Your Bottom Line

“Bob, it’s October and you’re already talking about 2012! Next year is still three months away. Give it a rest buddy.”

I’m sure that’s exactly what many agents are saying under their breath after reading the headline of this article. But believe me; it’s not too early to think about 2012. In fact, it’s the perfect time to start planning for the coming year. We all know business tends to slow down this time of year, so this gives you a perfect opportunity to devote whatever free time comes your way to planning for next year.

I believe that if you do, you can – and will – boost your bottom line next year. Here are a few pointers that I’ve seen work with my clients year after year.

  1. Look backwards. “Bob! I just thought you said we were going to look to the future and plan for 2012!” Hold your horses. We are. But the first thing you should do is look back at 2011 and see what worked and what didn’t. Take some time to analyze the good, the bad and the ugly from this year. Did you get as many listings as you wanted? If not, why? Was your advertising money well spent? Did you get a good return on investment? What about leads. Did you get enough or did you struggle there? Look at your lead conversion. Was that working? If so, how can you make it better?
  2. Think of your plan as a map. Think about your last vacation. Let’s say the Bahamas. A few weeks out you probably started thinking about the white sand, the blue water, the warm weather with cool breezes. You’re mouth started watering just thinking about it. Do the same thing with your plan. Set the carrot out there for you to get excited about. Set a tantalizing, yet reachable, goal that starts a fire in your belly. Take time to think about what it’ll feel like to reach that goal and all the good things that will come from reaching that goal: career satisfaction, envy of other agents, more money, a better living, and savings for the kids’ college. Write them down and keep them in an obvious spot so you can remind yourself of what you’re working toward.
  3. Develop an ideal weekly schedule. Here’s where the details of how you’re going to reach the goal you set from number two above. Start by listing all the tasks and then the tactics you’ll use to reach your goal. Get very specific here. Who’s going to do what and when are they going to do it. And most importantly, who’s going to hold them accountable. (I, of course, suggest an outside coach, but I’m partial!) After this, plan time to re-visit your goals – I recommend going over them at least weekly with everyone involved. And don’t forget your budget. You have to have the money to do the things you want to do. I have copies of both an ideal weekly schedule and a sample budget that I’m happy to share with you free of charge. Just shoot me an e-mail at Article@CorcoranCoaching.comand I’ll get them out to you immediately.

Let me hear from you. How do you plan? How has planning helped you? How often do you visit your plan? Do you believe you can create a plan that will help you achieve what you want in the real estate business? Please send any comments or questions you have to or


Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.

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