New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make

Start the year on solid ground by implementing these ideas on being organized, following up with clients, and reaching your sales goals.

December 1, 2007

You’ve already made the decision that 2008 will be a great year for business. Now is the time to back up that decision with some concrete plans. Use the new year as an excuse to break bad habits and adopt good ones — and to finally accomplish goals that you set long ago.

I’ve laid out seven resolutions that I think every real estate practitioner should make in order to reach their full potential next year. If you stick to these resolutions, you’ll be well on your way to making 2008 a year of success.

I resolve to … Develop a business plan

Planning is essential for continued growth. To effectively implement a good business plan you need to research your local market, pinpoint your goals and desires, and of course, lay out a realistic business budget. Even if you already have a business plan, it’s always a good idea to get your plan out, shake off the dust, and revise it for the business changes you’ll make in the year ahead.

I resolve to … Create checklists and action plans for the upcoming year

December is an excellent time to revise and rewrite new action plans and checklists for your business. What steps and procedures will you initiate for new listings taken? How many times will you contact your sphere of influence throughout the year? What types and ways of communication will you formulate to stay in touch with your clients and customers to build your business?

Make sure your follow-up systems are in place and fine tuned to save valuable time throughout your busy days next year.

I resolve to … Plan out my marketing activities for 2008

Although this can change from time to time, mapping out your proposed marketing ideas and expenditures for the upcoming year is a great way to strategically look at your business. One good way to accomplish this is to get a year at a glance calendar where you can begin to think about marketing ideas and campaigns you want to initiate. If you neglect this activity, you'll likely implement a marketing plan that is disorganized and ineffective in many ways.

Look at how you spend your dollars for the coming year, when postcards go out, special promotional items, school support, and more. By adding this to your 12 month marketing calendar you’ll have a more targeted, sensible approach.

I resolve to … Get organized

Barbara Hemphill tells about her wonderful method of organization by following the acronym “F.A.T.” in her book Taming the Paper Tiger (Kaplan, 2005). Hemphill says anything that finds its way onto your desk should do one of three things:

F: File it!
A: Act on it!
T: Trash it!

Following this procedure will help you get rid of clutter and stay organized for the New Year.

I resolve to … Update and revise my sphere of influence list

Making sure you’re contacting your sphere of influence for the upcoming year is important. It’s always a good idea prior to the New Year to go through your database and update new contacts that should receive your marketing mail-outs as well as taking off of your list those contacts that need deleted.

Working your S.O.I. is still an excellent area to prospect and get new leads into your consumer pipeline. Use a computer software program to assist with your drip marketing program. If you’re not able to contact your S.O.I. on a regular basis, then hire someone who can do this for you.

I resolve to … Read articles related to my real estate profession

You will find a wide array of assistance with timely issues at REALTOR® Magazine Online. Set a goal to read one new article a day that is related to your business practice. You’ll find that taking the time to research and read articles you have an interest in will greatly improve your business and build confidence. If you’re not taking advantage of all of the resources on, you’re missing out on a “wealth” of information.

I resolve to … Write down my goals down and look at them daily

Stanford University did a study several years ago about people and goals. They concluded that approximately 80 percent of the people who set goals (by writing them down and reading them on a daily basis) achieved their goals. If you’ve not taken the time to write down your goals for the New Year, it’s time to grab a pen and start. Laminate your goal sheet and read it every day, reminding yourself that you will achieve your goals next year.

By implementing a few new changes in the way you do business, you can make next year a successful and prosperous venture. It might require some hard work, determination, and a little imagination to achieve success in the upcoming year, but in the long run it will all be worth it!

John D. Mayfield, ABR, CRB, e-PRO, GRI, is a sales coach, author, and broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, Mo. You can contact Mayfield through his Web site,