Winter is coming! A phrase that means so much more to real estate agents than to Game of Thrones fanatics. It’s November 2nd in Chicago and every Chicagoan has begun to prepare themselves for what will be an action-packed, yet bitter cold, holiday season. People become so wrapped up in the everyday madness that communication goes unanswered and business can sometimes go radio silent. Many agents use these next 3 months as down-time and travel. Some even become disengaged with the lack of movement in their pipeline. But top real estate agents use this time to strategize, analyze, and make the moves that will set them up to have a successful and busy start in the new year.

Events/Life changes

The holiday season is known to host more events and parties than any other time of year. Take advantage of this and utilize those networking skills and proven strategies at your holiday office party (link to networking blog). Look for local charitable events to get involved in. Keeping yourself busy with meeting new people will allow you to focus and grow your database of contacts. The holiday season is also known for it’s abundance of “life changes”. Proposals, babies, divorces, retirements, marriage, and promotions. Keep a record and timeline of your network’s life changes and follow up where you see fit. Helping people through these milestones leaves a lasting impact and generates positive referrals.

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New brokerages

Take the time to reflect on your career and the progress you’ve made along the way. Are you happy with your bottom line? Do you have the team you deserve to support you through your monthly highs and lows? Are you in an environment of consistent learning?  Look into other brokerage models that may better serve your journey. The Chicago real estate brokerage market is diverse. 100% commission brokerages have been growing in popularity and disrupting the industry by placing the agent in the center. Set up calls and meetings with your top 5 brokerages and feel them out to see if there is potential opportunities. Even if you choose to stay where you’re at,  learning more about the changing brokerage model can only benefit your future decisions. Stay informed.

Marketing / Branding

The holiday season brings more people online than any other time of year. Why? There is a variety of reasons as to why the consumer is spending an average of 2 hours every day online during the holiday. Most stats point to holiday shopping and falling victim to the ever-rotating propaganda of the “Holiday Sale”.  Take advantage of the thriving commerce and plan to post relevant content regularly to get in front of potential future clients. Even if your content is not real estate-oriented, it’s important to connect with your audience in one way or another.

Companies spend months working on their holiday campaigns that will advertise during this season and attempt to attract the active consumer. Take note! These campaigns are filled with proven strategy and mass amounts of money. Analyzing brands’ selling strategy can give you new ideas and insight into how you can plan your own.

We know the average consumer is exposed to around 5-10 thousand advertisements daily. To stand out, branding has become an important component to attracting the buyer. Take the time to reevaluate your branding and if necessary, re-brand yourself to stand out and win your audience in the new year. Pay attention to trends and what kind of ideas and concepts have been attracting your target clients.

Education

Every successful real estate agent has taken the initiative to continue their education in one regard. You don’t have to physically register for classes to continue your education. Online classes and webinars serve as great platforms to expand your knowledge on any given real estate topic. You can also take your learnings to create white papers that will live on your website and serve as an information source to your clients.  For example, if you are selling homes in a city known for its colonial style, it may be beneficial for you to take a colonial design course to learn more about the meaning behind the structures and designs.

With these initiatives, you may find that your “slow season” is in fact not slow at all. Being proactive during the holidays will empower you to set yourself up and hit the ground running in the new year. In a time where others take off, use these tips to motivate you to reflect on your business and expand your strategy.  Use this season to your advantage and enjoy all the cheer it brings.

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