The New Year is an opportune time to focus on the strategic direction and financial health of your real estate agency. Like with new years’ resolutions, we recommend making some simple resolutions to better your business.
When the property market is going all guns blazing, it’s hard to pull your head above the water and take a birds’ eye view. There’s never a better time than 1 January.
Here are our top tips on a prosperous year ahead:
Identify your weaknesses – then outsource them
Even if your real estate agency is doing extremely well, there’s always room for improvement. Start by looking at the areas in your business operations where you know you’re not the most equipped. If you struggle with the books, talk to your accountant well ahead of the EOFY and ensure that your paperwork is in order. Look around you and speak to the people who specialise in that field. At Commission Flow, we’re always happy to help with advice where we can.
Review the previous calendar year
Take an honest, objective view of the past year. Pinpoint both the highs and lows and put in place tactics and strategies to leverage your findings. Where can you make improvements to your profit margins? Are you converting enough prospects into sales? Are your sales where they should be? What is your staff churn like, in comparison to the year before?
It’s these questions that will help shed some light on where your real estate agency can emerge as a winner this year.
Invest time ‘on’ your business
After you’ve completed your review, now is the time to give your business strategy a dusting. Re-visit your marketing plan and business development activities and highlight your key focus areas for the year ahead. Ensure your real estate team have buy-in to the process and ready to take some ownership too.
Brush up on your compliance obligations
Why wait until June? Six months out of EOFY and you might want to revisit your compliance and tax obligations, talk to your accountant or perhaps even speak with the Australian Taxation Office to ensure that you have everything in place for June. Dealing with your agency ‘housekeeping’ during quieter periods will relieve the stress later down the track.
Are you backing up sufficiently? Ensure that your agency has a secure data back-up system. If you’re not currently using any software for this, consider a product such as MYOB LiveAccounts or something else that will automatically back up for you at regular intervals.
Get on top of your books
Get into the habit of spending a small amount of time every week to keep on top of your accounts. Compile as much information as you can to prepare for tax time. Start working back over the last six months and prepare records of your accounts payable, receivables and payroll. It’s much easier to pick up mistakes along the way rather than delving into a year of accounts at tax time.
Review your systems and processes
Creating efficiencies in your real estate agency is much easier than you may think. Review the systems you currently use and investigate if there’s a better solution. Are you using a virtual assistant? Are you leveraging your MYOB package? Is your accounting package up to date? Are there any manual processes and procedures that could be automated? Can you create some templates to streamline processes further?
Enlist cash flow support – before it’s required
Make a commitment to seek professional help ahead of time – rather than waiting until the last minute and looking for financial assistance out of desperation. Planning ahead will ensure that you can take the time to choose the right finance partner and establish a good relationship from the start. Perhaps you feel that the bank isn’t providing you with the best deal on your short term borrowing or overdraft facility – now is the time to spring clean your cash flow arrangements.
Don’t also forget that with an advance commission arrangement, such liquidity isn’t only for crisis aversion – more and more real estate agencies are using this service for forward planning and so that they can invest this money into areas that will assist the growth of their business. If you’re not familiar with how advance commission works, you might want to read this blog post on the why, what and how you can use a commission advance to further your business.
If you thought this blog post was useful, you might want to also take a look at our previous blog posts on cost control or finance tips for real estate agencies. Alternatively, if your agency might be in need of cash flow support for the coming year, talk to our friendly team about our same-day commission advance service.