Ready to cross a major item off your to-do list before the holiday season hits? You’ll thank yourself once December rolls around and you take a look at your calendar.
You still have a few months to achieve your annual goals, but before you know it, you’ll need to be planning for 2017. Start now by considering your budget for next year. While it’s not as fun as wining and dining clients, creating beautiful marketing packages and browsing exclusive listing services, it is exactly this item that allows you to do all of the above—or not.
So take some time out now before the holiday chaos begins to determine where your money was well spent, and what your best bet is for the New Year.
Look at what worked and what didn’t
One of the best ways to determine your 2017 budget is to review what did and did not pay off in 2016. There are many items brokers simply build into their budgets as must-have items when, in fact, they haven’t proven essential to getting deals done.
If, for example, you find that you sent out 1,000 mailers this year but only received five direct responses that didn’t lead to any promising contacts, then your money, resources, time and energy may be better spent elsewhere. Perhaps you should focus more on online advertising.
The same can be said for conferences, professional subscriptions and professional organizations. If you find that you’re not getting enough new contacts, meetings or conversions, that money might be better utilized elsewhere.
Take the time to evaluate your vendors
The fourth quarter is also a great time to review vendors and technology. Are you satisfied with your CRM? Been thinking about hiring a photographer for more professional photos? Want to try out drone tours? Need a better website?
Think about both the tools you have and the ones you need. If you need to renegotiate rates, do so now.
Even if work for a larger firm, remember, you’re the only one who truly knows the best places to invest for your business. While marketing, client interactions and professional advancement will always swallow the bulk of your discretionary budget, the who, what, where, whys and hows of your spending put you solely in the driver’s seat. A little time spent now crunching next year’s numbers can save you big in the long run.