October has arrived, and with it we saw our first dusting of snow this morning.
It's the fourth quarter of the year. The most dangerous quarter of the year for real estate agents, but also the quarter which offers the most opportunity. The truth is that no time of year needs to be managed more carefully than the fourth quarter, when many agents get lazy, start to coast, and focus on the holidays instead of focusing on their business.
Several years ago, a real estate mentor of mine taught me to think of September 30th as "New Year's Eve" and October 1st as "New Year's Day". Ever since then, I've subscribed to this belief.
It is undeniable that the actions you take right now - today - are going to have a significant impact on what kind of year 2014 is going to be for you.
All too many agents will shut it down for the holidays, fatigued by the busy-ness of 2013 and the stresses and strains of our crazy market. It's easy to coast right now, to focus on Trick or Treaters and turkeys and holiday parties and presents... until you wake up January 1 with no closings, no business, no leads and nothing in the pipeline.
It is not an exaggeration to say that some agents are going to go five months without a paycheck because of a simple miscalculation made on October 1st. "I've worked hard, this year's over."
No, it's not.
It's okay to take a long weekend, or maybe even a week (if you have someplace really good to go), but be careful. With just a little bit of neglect, the weeds will take your garden.
Take a deep breath, have gratitude for the amazing market of 2013... but then get back to work. Decide what your business is going to look like in 2014. Put serious time into a business plan. Set real goals with real deadlines. Know that if you chose to back off, there's someone out there working right now, talking to future clients, perfecting a marketing plan, showing homes while others shut down.
Come January, when the bills arrive and the holiday hangover sets in, we'll know who's been working and who has not. The numbers will not lie.
Get to work.