The diligent will prosper. The lazy will be forced to get other jobs…

Slide1Do you struggle to find clients and new business at the beginning of every year? Have you gone months without a paycheck? If so you are not alone.

For 20 years I have seen a repeating pattern. Every year around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays real estate offices are empty. We’re talking Ghost Town empty. The hustle and bustle of the summers is over and real estate agents simply disappear. This time of year, however, is a great time to build careers and gear up for the next year.

When agents disappear, most are completing long holiday to-do lists. Decorating. Christmas shopping. You name it; they are doing everything but working in real estate.

November and December are great months to work on growing your real estate careers that’s why I always make it a point to work hard right now. Here are 9 items that I do every year during this time and I recommend the same.

  1. Send a Christmas card to every person in your database. I send the same card to my family that I send to everyone in my database.
  2. Prepare your Business Plan for the following year. I use the Tom Ferry Business Plan every year to make my year more productive.
  3. Review your Marketing and Adverting Expenditures and adjust them. I always cancel a few subscriptions to various programs or websites that I’ve signed up for around this time because I’m able to determine if they produced any business.
  4. Develop your Marketing Plan for the next year. It is so crucial to get your plan on paper ahead of time so you can follow through.
  5. Reach out to Vendors and thank them for the support they gave you this year.
  6. Update your Database with all the leads you have gathered this year. I keep leads in my binder and transfer them into my CRM tool so I can get rid of the binder each year.
  7. F.O.C.U.S. on your business. I’ve been listening to many podcasts and John Lee Dumas created this acronym that has helped me. He encourages his listeners to Follow One Course Until Successful. This is key during this time when there are so many other alternative activities we could be doing.
  8. Clean Out the Junk! I use this time to throw away old files, clear out the clutter, get rid of old marketing materials, etc…
  9. Contribute to your office activities. This is the season of celebrating so it’s a great time to give back. Be generous, say thank you, make people smile and show lots of love.

For those you who like checklists, here’s one you can use right now:

_____Christmas Card to Database

_____Business Plan

_____Review and Revise Marketing and Advertising Expenditures

_____Marketing Plan and Calendar

_____Thank Vendors

_____Update Database


_____Clean up

_____Contribute to Office Activities

Agents that want to have a great year always end the previous year strong. Click To Tweet The work we do right now in November and December will have a direct impact on how strong our business is going to be first and second quarter next year.

Don’t be lazy in your business. Set your schedule and go work, just like you would if you had a boss expecting you to show up everyday. Now is the time for you to make a difference for your family and your career!

Now that I’ve shared some of the main tasks I work on during this season, I’d love to hear from you. What do you do this time of year? Share your comments below.

Whatever you do, take action now. Print this blog post and use it as a checklist for you to follow. Make a commitment to be productive this season. Do something.


Aaron Zapata is a top-producing REALTOR® in Southern California and owner of IMPACT Properties (formerly Zapata Realty, Inc.). He holds an MBA from Cal State Fullerton and his team closes over $50 Million per year in real estate transactions. If you’d like to contact Aaron about selling or buying a home or improving your real estate career, you can email him at or call (714) 660-2122. He’d love to hear from you.


Proverbs 12:24 (ESV)

“The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.”

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