I want to be able to look back on my year's in review articles and not depend on my memory to help me remember how far we've come.
That's why I want you to write your own ‘Year in Review' article. (If you do write your own, post it in the comments section so I and everyone else can read it!)
Alrighty then, let's do this!
What Went Well
Thing #1: We're expecting!
My wife is 4 months pregnant with a baby boy due in May 2018! ????
The pregnancy is going well and everything has been perfect. His name will be Roman and we're super excited to add him to the pack. (We're hoping our 3 dogs will be as excited about him too)
Thing #2: Bought a Mortgage Franchise
Earlier this year RE/MAX International bought a new innovative mortgage company startup called Motto Mortgage and begun selling franchises to current RE/MAX owners. After seeing what Motto Mortgage had to offer, we knew we wanted to be a part of it and purchased a franchise.
Motto Mortgage Complete will be launching mid-Jan 2018 with it's first location from within our existing RE/MAX brokerage.
What I love about Motto Mortgage is the emphasis they put on transparency and utilizing technology to provide a better experience for our clients and our loan officers.
Thing #3: Launched The Podcast
We officially launched the CompleteAgent Podcast earlier this year and published the first episode on September 19th. Since then, we've interviewed and published only 6 episodes but still managed to rack up over 1,205 downloads on iTunes.
The plan was to push out a few more interviews but instead opted to remodel the studio (something that we were putting off but knew needed to be done) in order to hit the ground running in January.
We've already got some great guests scheduled for the show and are super pumped to start recording in the redesigned studio space.
Here are the top 3 episodes:
- How This One Man Team Closes 75 Transactions Every Year w/Mario Guzman
- Running an $88 Million Dollar Real Estate Team w/Alex Rezende
- Using Tech & Storytelling to Build a Brand That Sells w/Daniel Martinez
PS: Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes if you're not already! We've got some big names coming in 2018.
Thing #4: Content Creation
This year we published 32 thoughtful, researched and comprehensive blog posts. Those 32 articles generated over 19,790 page views and 670 social shares. ????
One proud moment that came from my writing was having one of my articles published on Inman News and officially becoming an “Inman Author”. That was a cool feeling.
The most popular blog posts of the year:
- If You Need Some Motivation Right Now, READ THIS IMMEDIATELY!
- How to Create a Simple, One-Page Business Plan (Free Template Included)
- 28 Things Top Agents Wish They Knew When They First Started
- The Complete Realtor's Guide to Geographic Farming
- CRM Shootout: The Top 3 Real Estate CRMs & How to Pick The Best One
Thing #5: Trips & Travel
2017 was a great year of trips for the wifey and me. I'm so grateful that she gets me out of the office and books our trips because if she didn't, I might never travel!
Trip #1: Breckenridge, Colorado with some close friends.
Trip #2: Camping trip to Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX.
Trip #3: San Francisco, California for the RE/MAX Broker Owners Conference
Trip #4: Denver, Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park and for new Motto Mortgage Franchise Owner Training.
Trip #5: San Jose, California for the QuickBooks Connect Conference (and a quick trip to Yosemite)
We use QuickBooks and are big fans of QuickBooks Self-Employed for real estate agents. Also, QB always comes through with an awesome event and some big-name speakers like Shaq and Michael Phelps!
You can see more pictures here.
What Didn't Go Well
Thing #1: Business Financial Tracking & Management
Alright, now let’s talk about the stuff that sucked this year.
I’m a pretty optimistic dude, so coming up with a bunch of things that went wrong is tough for me. Not because I’m perfect (far from it) but because I tend to try to delete that stuff from my memory bank ASAP.
So problem #1 this year…. business finances.
This year being the first full year of CompleteAgent, I was in startup mode. Hustling. Getting down and dirty.
Luckily, I did have some systems set up for tracking the income and spending (QuickBooks) but honestly, my accounting system looks like this:
- Categorize transactions monthly-ish.
- Talk to my tax guy a couple times a year.
That's about it.
I will say that due to my other businesses (the real estate brokerage and mortgage company) I have a lot of experience with business finances but those businesses have employees that manage the finances for me. Not to mention that CompleteAgent is a different model that those accountants don't have any experience in.
So… what am I doing about it?
I've already started the hunt for an accountant who specializes in online-based businesses like CompleteAgent that I can bring on in a part-time role to help get my accounting bulletproof.
Thing #2: Content Planning
Ok, so our content planning isn't horrible but it's really not much of a content plan. Like at all.
Our publishing schedule looks like this:
- “Oooh… I'm going to write about this!”
- Write. Write. Write.
- Take a break.
- See the post-draft and start writing again.
- Push myself to finish the post.
- Publish the post and share it.
- Breath a little sigh of relief.
- Realize it's Monday again.
- Repeat steps 1-8.
That process has become stressful and I know it's not the most optimal method of creating consistent quality content.
What I want is a plan that allows us to be spontaneous with content when we need to be but also have an overall framework and schedule in place when there isn't a spontaneous content opportunity.
So here's my plan for that:
I created a spreadsheet where I give each month an overall theme on the content for that month. This touches all of the content bases by giving us a birds-eye-view of the content we're putting out over the year.
The general idea is that I'll be more easily be able to conceptualize how all the different pieces of content can flow together to best help our readers.
Thing #3: Product Launches
In my defense, the product launches didn't go well because there were no product launches. ☹️
Early this year I came up with the idea for the CompleteAgent BluePrint course. Then I spent the next 8 months (and counting) building the course.
It obviously should not take that long to create a course but the truth is I had a lot on my plate and my focus was on creating quality content that would be available to anyone FOR FREE.
Becoming a trusted resource and creating quality content took precedence over creating a product(s) and I don't regret it at all. After everything we learned this year, we'll be able to create an even better course that can help more people reach their goals.
What's Coming in 2018?
A few years ago I found a super simple goal-setting framework that I actually liked and have fully adopted.
All you have to do is pick out ONE big hairy goal for the year and THREE medium sized goals. Then after each quarter, you check on your progress towards the yearly goals and then figure out what you need to do before the end of the next quarter.
Then, every Monday, look at your yearly and quarterly goals and set one big goal and 3 medium goals to work towards for that week.
That’s how this goal-setting formula works.
One Big Thing. And Three Medium Things.
Yearly. Quarterly. Weekly.
By focusing on the weekly goals you get monthly results, and those, in turn, become big annual results. Focus on the weekly.
So here are my goals for the year:
One Big Goal:
- Launch The CompleteAgent BluePrint Course and Neighborhood Domination Course 2x this year, have fun doing it and help 1,000 agents reach their #1 goal.
3 Medium Goals:
- Get 100,000 subscribers on the CompleteAgent email list.
- Recruit 50 like-minded real estate agents to my brokerage.
- Close 250 loans with Motto Mortgage Complete.
Bonus Goal: Write & publish a workbook style book on dominating a neighborhood with geographic farming.
PS: What is your #1 goal for 2018? Leave it in the comments below!