Plan Your Professional Investments for 2021

The end of the year—and the beginning of a new one—is closer than you think. What do you have planned to make next year go smoother than this one and to help you optimize your business processes and procedures? Here are some of our favorite suggestions for updates and upgrades you should make before 2021. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to implement many of the market’s best practices as part of your daily routine.

2021 calendar

What exactly are you investing?

Of course, you probably think of investing in terms of dollars and cents and capital expenditures. However, an investment of time, effort, and energy may pay more dividends than a financial investment.

Do you currently have tech tools that you are not fully implementing? Does your cell phone offer capabilities you’ve never bothered to explore? Does your brokerage or your local association offer complimentary training and low-cost professional development programs? Are there leadership opportunities you should be taking advantage of at the local or state level?

Whether you are a seasoned broker with a big budget or a new agent just starting out and bootstrapping your operation, you will find that some of the most important ways to grow and improve your business cost less in monetary terms and are more about spending your time wisely.

 

woman typing on computer

Organizational Tools

Whether you’re looking to organize your transactions, your calendar, or your office, organizational tools offer affordability, flexibility, and everyday improvements to your workflow and operations. Here are some of the most popular tools for organization.

CRM

Whether your brokerage provides a CRM or you are buying your own, the key to an effective CRM is consistent updating and thorough information gathering. If you are not currently using a CRM, look for one with integrations to tools you already have in place. That will make you more likely to implement your CRM and its capabilities into your existing processes.

Workflow management

Slack, Trello, and Asana are just a few of the workflow and organizational tools that are popular in offices around the world. Whether you use yours to communicate with your team or just to keep yourself on track with lead generation and transaction management, finding a system that is intuitive and user-friendly can help you stay on top of your day-to-day and long term tasks and goals.

Transaction management

You may have a transaction management system in place through your brokerage or you may want to sign up for one individually. Either way, you’ll find that systems such as Dotloop help you ensure that every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ is crossed with integrated signature services, notifications, and a complete forms library.

Email management

If you’re one of those people with thousands of emails in your inbox, you’re not alone. However, make cleaning up your emails and keeping them organized a 2021 resolution. Implement an add-on like Unroll.me to keep control of unsolicited emails and subscriptions that you’re no longer interested in so that you have more time and bandwidth for the information that actually matters.

Space management

You need to organize your physical space as well as your virtual space, so spend some time working on space management. Clean out old, outdated files, marketing materials, and anything else that you no longer need. Organize and store 2020 paperwork and set aside documents you’ll need at tax time. If your office is full of tchotchkes and clutter, take a tip from Marie Kondo and get rid of those things that no longer spark joy.

 

computer screen with clockMarketing Tools

Whether you’re creating new platforms and initiatives or just want to get better at using your existing platforms, here are some of the marketing tools you need to get your message across.

Social media schedulers

There are a host of social media scheduling platforms that offer you the opportunity to pre-plan your social media posts and roll them out on a predetermined schedule. That gives you more time, more consistency, and a more cohesive look that is good for your brand and your messaging. ReminderMedia’s Branded Posts is a library of thousands of personally branded social media posts perfect for sharing with your sphere. You also have the ability to schedule Facebook posts months in advance, and a curated monthly schedule is included to help ensure you choose the perfect post every time.

Graphic design platforms

Canva is great for simple and straightforward graphic elements like logos, infographics, and social media posts, while Wordswag can be used for quick and easy social media graphics right from your phone. Need high-quality hi-res images for a website or social media post? Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels offer exceptional quality and a variety of beautiful options.

Media relations platforms

Want to increase your visibility? Your new favorite platform may be HARO. Short for “Help a Reporter Out,” this media platform connects you to journalists who are looking for experts just like you. Contribute your most quotable insights three times daily, five days a week to get your name in front of potential clients and current colleagues.

People to Invest in for 2021

The answer you’re looking for might not be offered by a DIY solution. You may need to implement a new staff member, freelancer, or advisor to help you get where you want to go in 2021. These could include:

  • An administrative or virtual assistant
  • A PR or marketing expert
  • Professional content creators like blog writers, photographers or videographers
  • Coaches and trainers for everything from business practices to investment strategies
  • Financial advisors including CPAs, tax advisors, or a Certified Financial Planner
  • Personal help like a housekeeper, personal trainer, or life coach

Think about what keeps you up at night and identify the pain points that you’d like help with. You’re sure to find that there is someone who can provide the expertise you need, whether in a one-hour consultation or as an ongoing service provider. You’ll save time, money, and anxiety by bringing in the help you need to take your business further in 2021.

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.