We crowdsourced your New Year's resolutions: Here's what 30 real estate professionals told us
We wanted to hear about your New Year’s resolutions, and you responded to our query with great ideas, noble goals and practical plans. These resolutions are insightful, inspiring and sure to resonate with many.
If you have more to share, please share them in the comments!
Ryan Serhant, broker, Nest Seekers International, star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York
I always say: “expansion always, in all ways.” So my goals in the new year are to build on and nurture the relationships I’ve built in this business.
I want to give referrals and more business to the people who produce for me — without me ever having to ask for it. I want to show everyone I know that I am thankful for them and that I am excited to do more business with them in 2020. Ready, Set, Go!
Set specific goals
Sophia Gutchinov, agent, Nest Seekers International
My 2020 goals are:
- Continue to build my network and build my brand
- Attend 15 networking events in the business
- Close eight rentals
- Gain four exclusives
- Close three sales deals
- Increase my GCI
- Gain referrals from past clients
- Gain reviews
Ashley Oshinsky, Higher Living Real Estate Founder in Southeast Michigan
My resolution for 2020 is to continue to make time daily for self-care. My business will suffer if I’m not taking care of my mind & body. After all, we’re not going to be running and performing at our best if we’re not taking time to take care of ourselves. One of the core values of my business is mindfulness, thus I must make sure that its a pillar in my daily ritual.
Also my other goal is to build more community. My goals are to set up a monthly mindful meetup to discuss anything from mindful business tactics to daily meditation. I want to connect with more like minded people so I can continue to add value to my clients lives. The best way to do this is to get to know potential clients on a human to human basis.
Focus on affordable housing solutions
Katina Asbell, Real Living Capital City associate broker in Atlanta, Georgia
As a 21-year veteran of residential real estate sales I have had great success in my business due to annual goal setting and New Year resolutions. Over the years I have improved marketing, file management systems, networking and my bottom line due to a mindful, annual process of introspection related to my business.
For the past five years the issue of affordable housing has been percolating to the top of my mind. I see it every day when I am out in the field working with buyers. In Atlanta, the situation is at crisis level and I ask myself; How are we as residential real estate agents contributing solutions to the growing dilemma of affordable homes?
The system of wealth building via home ownership rests squarely on the ability to maximize price. In relationships I have with sellers my fiduciary responsibility is to help them meet their financial goals which is usually to sell for the highest price. The short story here is that I am legally bound to create houses that are more expensive and not houses that are more affordable.
With this in mind, my 2020 New Year Resolution is to become a leader within my community on the issue of affordable homes and building equitable neighborhoods.
I pledge to support policy, programs and ideas that will improve the availability of safe and stable homes for the entire community. I have spent 21 years helping my clients build wealth and reach their real estate investment goals as their trusted advisor, skilled negotiator and expert facilitator.
This year I am choosing to also use those skills to support and enact high quality affordable housing solutions in my city and county. This does not mean I am changing my business practice of intown home sales but rather I am seeking to balance, through philanthropic efforts, the impact of my profession. We need more compassionate capitalism.
No great sales person would end without making an ask, so here is my ask to my colleagues across the nation: I know the real estate sector to be full of creative and caring agents and brokers so I ask that you all join me in this resolution. It will take all of us to make a difference on the issue of affordable housing.
Batten down the hatches
Bruce Ailion, RE/MAX Town and Country, Associate broker in Atlanta, Georgia
I expect 2020 to be a pretty good year for Realtors. I see it as a year for building, and resolve to build quality staff, deploy quality systems, and prepare for the storm ahead in 2021 and 2022.
There is a growing consensus that we have a global asset bubble and debt bubble. Just as in 2007, we have historic low unemployment, historic high optimism, and a widespread belief that this time is different, and we will have endless expansion. It is a time to help owners liquidate assets and prepare for the buying opportunities coming.
Make sure team responds quickly
Nicholas Oliver, HomeDax Real Estate principal broker in New York City
Calling back leads within five minutes will continue to be one of the main goals for our sales team heading into 2020. Buyers are a significantly more responsive and covert at a higher rate if they’re contacted immediately after inquiring about a listing.
Consistently provide timely, relevant market information
Jay Seville, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage broker in Surf City, North Carolina
So I’m looking at my YouTube channel of at least 15 videos that I have not posted as keyword content on my blogs, and I’m thinking, Gosh I need to be more consistent on blogging and posting unique, relevant content in real time versus mentally filing it to write about later … which never comes!
So for 2020 I have resolved to be more consistent and spontaneous with my real estate blogging based my observations and real time real estate news from the Breaking News app for my area. Going to get mobile version of WordPress on my phone to be more prepared to use “downtime” more productively.
Foster future generations
Benjamin Ross, Mission Real Estate Group agent in Texas
“My goal as a real estate agent and expert in 2020 is to strengthen my partnership with my local school district by giving $100k in scholarship funds, continuing my presence and voice in the media for schools to create a real estate program along with other programs for high school students interested in becoming a Realtor after they graduate.
Low income and disadvantaged students may be granted a scholarship to help pay for their mandatory real estate class credits and testing fees. My goal in 2020 and beyond is continuing to do my small part to help the entrepreneurs of tomorrow while at the same time growing my business and expanding my service across the state of Texas.”
Execute on detailed business plan
Jim Armstrong, JG Real Estate agent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For me, it’s all about developing a smart and easily executable 2020 plan to grow my business — and tracking each element’s success — as Philadelphia is poised for a very competitive rental and housing market in the coming year.
I just completed a multichannel marketing plan covering the areas of website/blogging, email marketing, online profiles management, social media, new listings marketing campaigns, new lead conversions, networking, media relations, and community engagement. Tasks are broken down by what I need to do as a one-time setup, as well as what I’ll need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
In addition, I’ve developed professional content for each milestone in the buyer and seller journeys for my clients and partners, and sub-plans for targeted marketing campaigns that I’ll run throughout the year.
Provide more info, conduct mindful business
Lauren Kinkade-Wong, Clarkliving/Compass agent in Pasadena California
As I sit setting my goals for 2020, here are a few of my New Year’s Resolutions:
- Commit to doing more video in my business
- Continue to serve, not sell
- Commit to being more “green”
- Lose 10 pounds (because what is a resolution list without weight loss!)
More consistent marketing
James McGrath, Co-Founder and Principal Broker of Yoreevo New York City
My New Year’s Resolution for 2020 is to develop a well thought out content calendar. We were pretty regular content reactors on our blog during our first two years. I’ll admit we have been slacking over the last couple months as other initiatives have taken more of our time but that’s no excuse.
I want to create a well thought out schedule of blog posts, videos, social media posts and anything else that’s worth trying to stay in front of our past, current and potential clients.
Staying in touch, and staying healthy
Lewis Friedman, Friedman Team at Compass in New York City
2020 is the year to keep up with my social media and networking events. I also resolve to:
- Keep in touch with past buyers and sellers, and plan on spending time with them — be it drinks, dinner, or even a yoga class.
- Postcards and mailings — send out like clockwork, on a monthly basis.
- Attend more broker open houses to know what is coming on the market
- Eat more healthily and up my gym attendance
Rose Sklar, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate agent in Broward County, Florida
I will enter 2020 with a growth mindset. My New Year’s Resolution is to launch our team’s new podcast, The Weston Podcast Connection, and do more video content. On the podcast, we will be featuring our contractor pool and local experts to answer buyers and sellers most Googled questions.
With this platform, we hope to expand our client base into new markets, including the largest buyer pool — the millennials. My family, consisting of a millennial and a Gen Z, are gearing up to join The Sklar Team and bring their tech savvy minds to the table.
It is important to be open to all the new technology that is swarming the real estate industry. I have already been creating lots of great content that is relevant to my target market, which we share on social media and our blog.
Of course, I need to carve out some “me” time in the New Year and begin to delegate to our team, while continuing to learn and embrace all new technology, and determine what works best for our team moving forward into the next decade. I will have a keen focus on creating new habits, moving forward and embracing change.
Stop reinventing the wheel
Travis Carroll, Oxford Property Group agent in New York City
My real estate new year’s resolution is to stop trying to reinvent the wheel and just do all the basics brilliantly!
Help clients understand true value
Hall F. Wilkie, President, Brown Harris Stevens in New York City
“In 2020, we will continue to focus on helping clients make the move they’ve always wanted to make. Whether they are thinking about buying, selling, or trading up or down, we can help them understand true value.”
Maintaining personal connections
Amy Owens, Keller Williams agent in Upper Montclair, New Jersey
In 2020 our goal and focus is on retaining satisfaction with our customer experience. In a world that is increasingly tech-centered, we don’t want to lose the personal connection with our clients as we partner in transactions that are not only financial, but emotional as well.
With all the chatter around iBuyers and AI, we see the value in keeping the core values that have always defined good real estate business at the forefront. While keeping pace with technology and realizing its impact on real estate, our commitment is to providing our clients with the best experience possible while they are buying or selling their home.
Recognize negativity, and let go
Yawar Charlie, director of the estates division, Aaron Kirman Group, Compass and series regular on CNBC’s Listing Impossible
My resolution is to kiss the “energy vampires” goodbye!
What I mean by this is do not give your energy to people who take and take and are negative, but rather focus that energy on yourself in a positive way, and choose to work with people who are like-minded and are on the same page you. Focus your energy on things that are working, and do not try to revive things that are not working.
I had a profound experience with a particular client this year that changed my outlook and focus, both in my personal and business life. This client taught me an important lesson: Not everybody is going to appreciate your effort and collaborate in a positive way.
When someone has negative energy, it is not something you have the power to change. Understand that, accept it, and most importantly, move on!
Focus on big picture, volunteer more
Phillip Salem, Triplemint agent in New York City
This year is all about letting go of the small things that I thought stressed me out over the year! Do I remember what I was stressing out about last Thursday at 3:27 p.m.? No, I don’t, because it was insignificant!
Also, doing even more work with the animal shelter I volunteer at in the city in terms of fostering, volunteering and raising money toward donations.
Schedule specific time for phone calls
Brandon Marianne Lee, Triplemint agent in New York City
From four to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, I will make my prospecting and connecting phone calls. I will schedule my appointments around that commitment. It has to be done.
Face everyday challenges with passion and optimism
Jamie Safier, Douglas Elliman agent in New York City
There are a lot of predictions circling about regarding the real estate market and the economy in general for 2020. But half of success, whether the market is good or bad, is one’s attitude, hustle, and heart. And so, for next year, it’s my goal to face the challenges every day brings with passion and a smile.
Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty,” and frankly, I’m planning on finding a lot of opportunities in 2020 — difficulties or not!
Train agents to run excellent businesses, not just rack up transactions
Brian Kwilosz, managing broker-owner, EXIT Real Estate Partners in Downers Grove, Illinois
It’s very important that agents treat their business as a business rather than simply chasing transactions. At the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, we’re holding Coffee and Conversations around setting goals and planning for 2020. Goal setting can seem daunting for new agents, but it will help any Realtor or brokerage succeed in the new year.
At EXIT Real Estate Partners, one of our New Year’s Resolutions is reaching 100 percent participation in the National Association of REALTORS Commitment to Excellence Program. It’s a certification program to elevate professionalism across our industry. A number of us have completed it already, and our goal is to have all of our agents complete it by the end of 2020.
A main focus for EXIT Real Estate Partners in 2020 is growing per-agent production. Focusing on the success of each agent helps lift the entire team. We aim to reach an average of 3 million dollars sold by each agent next year.
We’ve always valued philanthropic work and community outreach at EXIT Real Estate Partners. In the coming year we want to continue and expand our charitable work with Habitat for Humanity and various local organizations.
Strengthen decision-making skills
Samantha Odo, Precondo chief operating officer and agent in Toronto, Canada
Saying “No” more often.
I have scaled up my real estate business in 2019. However, I realized that I could have performed much better if I understood the art of saying ‘No’ to impossible clients. I kept on investing my energy on some clients who were not big fish, as well.
Instead, for 2020, I have a resolution to strengthen my decision-making skills and saying “No” to such clients as early as possible. That way, I could work on innovative ideas rather than draining out of energy for no use.”
Work on expanding my network
Jason Tsalkas, Compass agent in New York City
“1. Meet at least one new person per day, adding contact info into my flow of communication. One of the core attributes of being a successful agent is to grow your network. That’s 365 new contacts and more opportunities for referrals and business opportunities.
2. Hyperfocus on areas of expertise. As our industry grows and the areas of opportunity expand, we tend to try and have a presence everywhere because we want to be a resource to our client’s, serving them as best we can, no matter the area.
However, I think it’s important to remember that we should always have a hyperfocused area of expertise where our clients met us in the first place. Being the absolute “go-to” in one area can result in more opportunities just by sticking to your core expertise.
3. Being a broker’s broker. I have personally referred business to other brokers in other cities/states quite a bit. Clients and friends moving for work, family, etc. In 2020, I need to make sure that while I am referring business out, I am the counterpart of the broker I sent referrals to. I need to be that broker’s broker for all referrals within the metro NYC area.”
Increase both online and offline communications
Tracy McLaughlin, director of luxury estates, The Agency in Marin County, California
1. To have more in person dialogue with clients versus text and email to increase more personal communication.
2. Increase videos and content for social media.
3. Work on not taking listings where sellers are unrealistic about price.
Jade Mills, international luxury ambassador, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Beverly Hills: Reach higher
“My 2020 resolution is to continue to break records and to sell a fourth property over $100 million.”
Joyce Rey, global luxury specialist, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Beverly Hills: Reacher higher without losing humanity
“My new year’s resolution is the same every year, which is to be a better human being in every possible way, and that includes being kinder, more thoughtful, more patient and a better person. On the professional side, with my fabulous staff and wonderful team, I’d like to double our real estate production in 2020.”
Valerie Fitzgerald, global luxury specialist, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Beverly Hills: Stop money-losing SEO activities
“I’ve resolved in 2020 to not waste time and money with lead generation activities that just waste time and money. To no longer pay thousands of dollars a month for Search Engine Optimization when the results are only meaningless graphs. And to have a better understanding of how to market and communicate with millennials — the next largest buyer pool. My goals for 2020 are to make more money, sell more houses, laugh more, and say as many thank you’s a day as possible!”
Recruit more agents
Jim Psyhogios, designated managing broker, Baird & Warner in Orland Park, Illiniois
I want to share the Baird & Warner story and culture more to the agents in my marketplace. A successful agent always embraces the culture of the brokerage and remains curious and of course adaptable to change. If you love what you do the money will come.
Keep records updated, learn more, improve marketing skills, get more involved in community
Barbara Ireland, DJK residential agent, in New York City
Real estate professionals start new habits to ring in the new year:
- Take your listings to the next level. Learn to make and post your own real estate videos.
- Change up your existing listings with fresh new photos and a new listing description layout to give your listing a subtle brand. Make an effort to upgrade your listings with clear information for a consistent professional look and feel. Update your headshot.
- Make a new habit to update your client contact list weekly. Code each potential prospects with their apartment needs and lease end dates. Keep each profile updated so you can quickly send them your new listings.
- Attend the monthly community board meetings. Learning from your local community board could give you the edge with critical insight on what is happening in your key neighborhoods. It also helps expand your network.
- Learn more. Attend classes that can bring you to the next level in professional designation such as LREB (Licensed Real Estate Broker) ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) SRS (Seller Representative Specialist) SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource) Plan to take continuing education courses over the next two years.
- Work smarter and arrive to your appointments on time. Focus your day by scheduling each task so you don’t forget a promise.”
Exercise spirit of generosity everyday
William Petrick, DJK residential agent, New York
“The real estate business is driven by giving with the expectation of return. You help someone find a home or a rental with the expectation that you receive a fee for your assistance. But in this holiday season when so many give without any expectation of return, it’s a nice feeling to help without getting back.
My resolve for 2020 is to spend a moment each day — a text, an email, a phone call — to offer good information or ideas to people searching the market, especially those who don’t have a lot of financial resources — without it being a solicitation. Just help.
What’s that look like? This month I told a couple who were desperate for an apartment (as a baby was due soon) about a way-below market apartment in a brownstone Brooklyn home offered exclusively by the owner. No agents, no brokers. They got a home — I got to feel good for a day.”