It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day pressures of creating and managing your real estate business. You probably feel at times that you are putting out fires without ever having a chance to step back and take stock of where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going.
To give you a more high-level perspective, I’ve put together seven basic tasks that you need to do each month, along with one additional monthly to-do that’ll keep your business moving forward. Feel free to mix and match the monthly items according to the pace and rhythms of your local market and your personal goals.
Ongoing monthly tasks
Take a little time each month (set a reminder in your calendar if it helps) to hit this checklist of must-do’s.
- Update your budget tracker, spreadsheet or accounting software as needed with income and expenses.
- Review the production and scheduling of your content, social media posts, and sphere of influence emails.
- Check your leads and transaction management platforms to find out where each of your current and future clients are in the lifecycle of their purchase or sale.
- Ensure that you are up to date on communication with each of your leads and clients.
- Communicate with your team, including agents, support staff and freelancers you regularly work with on next month’s priorities.
- Check in with yourself for a monthly facial, massage, mani-pedi, golf day or other self-care rituals.
- Check in with your family and friends to ensure you make time for fun and hijinks in your busy monthly schedule.
Month-by-month action plan for 2022
Here is a list of monthly business hygiene practices to keep your ship sailing smoothly all year long, no matter how rocky the waters might get.
- January: New Year, New You is more than just an Instagram hashtag. If it’s been a while since you reexamined your branding and marketing collateral, there’s no time like the present. January is an ideal time to roll out that new headshot, color scheme, logo or website redesign. This task is perhaps more important than ever in 2022. Everyone has been missing face time for nearly two years, and coming back with the same old look might make it seem that you haven’t put that time to good use. Take the opportunity to reintroduce yourself to your sphere of influence with new branding.
- February: Depending on where you live, February is the beginning of the spring market or the precursor to it. You’ll want to go all in on listing presentations as sellers who sat out the pandemic will be ready to put their homes on the market during the first sunny weekend. Make sure your listing presentation is up-to-date, especially if you have updated your branding. In addition, make sure it reflects the most recent statistics and trends in the market and answers questions that you frequently hear from other prospective sellers.
- March: For most agents, the market will be in full swing at this point. Make sure you have plenty of signs and open house and showing supplies. If you haven’t already, check the brokerage and licensure information on your signs to ensure that they comply with your state’s most current requirements. In addition, stock up on a supply of booties, towels and lock lubricant to facilitate showings during snowmelt or rainy spring days.
- April: Taxes are due this month, which can be challenging to pull together when you’re also working with clients seven days a week. Make sure you have all of the records you need or check in with your CPA or tax preparer to see if there are any last-minute details you should be aware of. If you feel that you’re always behind the eight ball when it’s tax time, this is the perfect time to put a plan together for next year. Hire a financial adviser, find out what you can do to optimize your tax savings, and then create a system to record your expenses consistently so that you never fall behind.
- May: May can be crunch time for many of your clients as they try to close on their homes around the end of the school year. Make sure your communication is on point and up-to-date and that you’re maximizing the capabilities of your various communication platforms. Your phone, email provider, and messaging apps have so many bells and whistles that you may never have explored. Get up to speed on the latest updates so that you’ll be ready to provide consistent communication throughout the year.
- June: As the spring market starts winding down, take some time to look at what has worked and what hasn’t in your marketing and transaction management. Where did your leads come from? What investments didn’t pay off the way you expected? What good intentions fell by the wayside? By looking at analytics and the data from your various transactions, you’ll better understand where to spend your time and money in the year ahead. In addition, you’ll learn how to create more consistent outcomes by diversifying your efforts, bringing balance and stability to your income stream.
- July: As you begin to think ahead to the slower late summer, fall, and winter months, it’s time to set your intentions for the season ahead. Maybe you are thinking about putting together a team. Perhaps you are thinking about training for broker licensure. Maybe you want to develop a new niche or start investing in real estate. Just as you probably set some goals for the new year, you need to set some goals for the latter half of the year. Talk with a mentor or trusted colleague to gain clarity. Write down your goals, or create a vision board. Put your intentions out on social media to garner support from your followers and create accountability. Don’t let the next six months go by without taking positive steps toward your dreams.
- August: August is traditionally (we’ll see what happens in 2022) a slower time of year, as school starts back and people put off decision-making until September, October or January. This month is the time to withdraw a bit and practice some self-care. Take a vacation, schedule a spa day, or implement a new wellness practice into your daily routine. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. Take time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your business as well.
- September: Now that the kids are back in school, make this a time to go back to school yourself. If you need CE credits for your license renewal, schedule them this month. You can also look for an online course to improve your skills in some areas of your real estate practice. Don’t limit yourself to a new certification. Learn real estate photography, or practice some new scripts. Learn how to write the perfect property description, or master the latest tech platform.
- October: It’s between the late summer slowdown and the holiday season, so you’re probably talking to a fair number of leads and clients. Put together their frequently asked questions and begin planning content for the new year. Whether you’re developing topics for your YouTube videos, Reels and TikToks, creating outlines for your blog posts or scheduling interviews for your podcast, you’ll find that it’s easier to stick to your schedule if you’ve thought about what you’re going to say long ahead of time.
- November: As the year begins to wind down, it’s time to reach back out to the clients you’ve served this year. The holidays are a perfect occasion to let them know that you’re thinking about them and offer additional assistance. Send a handwritten note and enclose two business cards — one to keep and one to share. Take this opportunity to send along a link for reviews or ask for a testimonial if you haven’t already done so to strengthen your online presence for the new year.
- December: In some markets, you might be as busy as ever in December with snowbirds looking for rentals or second homes. In others, you may be preparing for a brief winter hibernation in your business. In either case, look back with satisfaction on the year just past, and look forward with anticipation at the year to come. As long as you’ve done your best and served your clients with honesty, integrity, and heart, you’ll have something to be proud of this holiday season.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.