3 ways to get ahead in 2020 — starting right now

Grow and nurture your sphere now so you can reap the rewards next year by INMAN CONTENT STUDIO

Seasonality only exists in real estate for buyers and sellers, not for you. For the true hustlers of the industry, there is no downtime. In fact, you’re working harder when everyone else is kicking back. Why? Because that’s how you get ahead. That’s how you get an agent-of-the-year award. That’s how you land a spot on top agent lists.

As others are planning for Thanksgiving and the December holidays, it’s time for you to be proactive for your future. Follow this blueprint and you’ll be on your way to success in 2020 and beyond.

man concentrating on paperwork

What does success look like in 2020?

For many agents, the path to higher productivity is through more connections and strengthening those connections. When you have a sphere of influence that trusts you enough to refer you to others, you win. Growing your sphere right now is the most important building block for your success in 2020.

Consider how many strong, new connections you need to add to your sphere between now and January to help increase your referral count and prospect base for the spring busy season. You can’t wait for the leads to simply roll in — now is the time to quite literally get in front of prospects.

Take action: Get out in the community and meet new people. Shake hands at the farmers market, volunteer with local organizations, and lead real estate Q&As in conjunction with local associations. Host a holiday happy hour with recent and former clients and encourage them to invite friends.

Now you have more connections, but how do you stay top of mind so they think of you in February, March, and April when someone they know mentions they are ready to buy or sell?

In Gary Keller’s book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, he recommends the 33 Touch model. The idea is that people will refer and select an agent based on familiarity and trust, so getting in front of your sphere 33 times per year will help keep you top of mind. That’s nearly three times a month. How are you accomplishing that?

Take action: Automate your touchpoints. Homesnap Pro, a free tool provided to more than 1 million agents by their MLS, allows you to invite your sphere into the app. Once you do, clients and prospects will receive regular newsletters from you that contain your profile information and local real estate market updates. These position you as a real estate expert and keep you consistently top of mind.

But you can’t stop there. Even if your second cousin remembers you’re in real estate and recommends you to their coworker, that person is still going to search for you online—specifically on Google, which owns 91% of search traffic. What will they find?

If you aren’t front and center on the first page of search results, then you effectively aren’t even on Google. Only 0.78% of people click on a result from page 2, according to an analysis by Backlinko. You can optimize your website to appear in Google search, but the only guarantee on Google is that Google gives preferences to its own products, like the Google Business Profile that appears on the right side of page one search results.

Take action: To exponentially increase your odds of showing up at the top of page one of Google, verify and build a robust Google Business Profile. To accelerate this process and maximize your SEO benefits, use a trusted tool like Homesnap Pro+.

depiction of increased search results following the implementation of Homesnap Pro+

Once you have your Google Business Profile up and running, you need to strengthen it with social proof in the form of reviews. Then, when your second cousin’s coworker finds your profile, your reputation is reinforced by people who have found success in working with you.

Remember: A recent J.D. Power Study found that first-time buyers and sellers trust online reviews and other reputation builders more than personal recommendations.

Google also loves to see reviews on your profile (the more stars the merrier!), because it lets them know that your business is successful. And the more recent content your profile has, the more likely Google is to give it preference. In fact, Homesnap’s recent study, as reported by Inman, shows that just one new Google review every 30 days will help increase your profile views on Google by 71%.

How many people from your sphere of influence will submit a review for you? It’s nice that your second cousin praised you to a coworker, but wouldn’t you rather have that praise published on Google for hundreds of potential prospects to see?

Take action: Send a review request link to your sphere through email or text. Post it on social media. Add it to your email signature. Include it on your website. As a bonus, Homesnap Pro+ makes it easy to collect reviews for its agents in just one click.

Now that you’ve defined your goals and know how you’ll get there, it’s time to take action to fuel your growth for 2020. Grow your sphere, get in front of them 2-3 times each month, and secure a strong presence on Google. Make 2020 your best year yet!