New Year, New You: Rethink Your Business in 2022

New year’s resolutions seem to go in and out of fashion, but it’s always a good idea to spend some time planning at the beginning of a new year. If it has been a while since you sat down and formulated a plan for your business—or if you have spent the past couple of years holding on for dear life during the runaway roller coaster of the COVID-era real estate market—it’s time to put together an up-to-date blueprint for 2022.

Set your intentions

Before you can do any concrete planning, you’ll need to decide what you want from your business. Do you want to make more money overall? Do you want a steadier, more consistent income month by month? Do you want more time for yourself, more time for travel, or more time to spend with family and friends? Do you want to move to another niche or expand to another market? Do you want to lead a team?

Whatever your goals, they start with your intentions. Write them down. Create a vision board. Speak them out loud or post them on Instagram. Whatever you choose to do in order to make them concrete, be as specific and detailed as possible so that you can clearly envision them.

Find the support you need

Who do you need on your team? A real estate coach? A therapist or life coach? Do you need a copywriter or graphic designer? A marketing consultant? A business consultant?

If you have big plans for the year ahead, you probably need the help and support of others to make them happen. There’s no reason to do everything yourself, and the good news is that you don’t have to. If you can’t afford full-time help, you can find freelancers to provide services on an as-needed basis.

Reimagine your branding

If it has been a while since you created new marketing collateral, it’s time to start from scratch. Look at your branding and see if it’s time for a reboot. Are the colors dated? Is the font old-fashioned? Does your headshot still look like you? Giving your brand a facelift should be the first thing on your agenda.

If part of your 2022 plan means moving into a new niche or a new geographic area, consider how your branding and marketing should reflect that. If you’re moving from first-time homebuyers to sophisticated luxury listings, for example, you’ll need to show it in your marketing materials. If you’re looking to become the neighborhood expert, photos and marketing materials should reflect that.

Educate yourself

If you want to switch up your professional services, you should consider additional training, a new certification, or a new designation. This will give you added credibility and allow you to burnish your reputation as a leader in your field.

Want to reinforce your new knowledge and use it as part of your new marketing campaign? Consider making a series of videos, blog posts, or podcast episodes, or use the information you’re learning as the basis of your social media posts. That way everyone will know about your new area of expertise and you’ll have a steady stream of content to share with your followers.

Streamline your operation

Do you find yourself reinventing the wheel with every new transaction? Is your CRM out of date and, consequently, useless for reaching out to your sphere of influence? Do you have trouble staying up-to-date on paperwork and recordkeeping? If so, you may need to create a more coherent plan for the operational side of your business.

Start putting together updated information for your CRM so that you can use it the way it was intended, as an avenue for communication with your most valued contacts. Make sure you know how to optimize the capabilities of your transaction management system so that you can automate its use on each transaction. Get up to speed on your business management and financial software, and make time to update your records on a regular basis.

Make time for self-care

You take care of your clients, but who’s taking care of you? You need to be at your best in order to keep your business running. That means eating right, exercising, and taking downtime when you need it. You need to find a balance between professional and personal tasks and set priorities that make sense. This may mean learning to set personal boundaries—and how to say no once in a while.

Many real estate professionals pride themselves on their can-do attitude and brag on social media about working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They like being all things to everyone and working with the most demanding clients. While this may make for a stellar reputation, it’s not sustainable for the long term for most people.

Any plan you make to improve your business should include improving the way you take care of yourself. That means looking at the way you spend your time and making sure that you are as much a priority as everyone else. It may mean refusing to work with clients who don’t respect you or who don’t treat you well. It may mean changing your schedule and adding yourself to the calendar so that you build in time to be nice to yourself.

Make 2022 your year. It starts by taking one small action to shift your mindset and improve your attitude. It takes saying “Yes” to yourself and your business. It’s within your reach and it’s what you deserve.

Written by Christy Murdock Edgar

Christy Murdock Edgar is a seasoned real estate writer and frequent columnist for Inman. Her expertise in the realm of real estate has helped agents all over the world improve their content marketing strategies.