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“What people remember is the beginning and the end… how we start and how we finish… therefore START FAST and FINISH STRONG.” Gary Ryan Blair

As 2019 heads into the final stretch, I like the idea of finishing strong. And while Gary (in the quote above) seems to have it right in most circumstances, he’s got it backwards today. Today we FINISH STRONG to START FAST. There is still business to be had; still things to do. There is a tendency in the real estate industry to shut down as the year comes to a close, but frankly, I have little interest in hitting the brakes. Someone once said the when everyone else ZIGS, maybe you need to ZAG. Well, when everyone else is shutting down, maybe it’s time for you to close out the year so strong that it catapults you in to 2020. It’s all about momentum, right?

So to help you in that task, here are 7 ideas for finishing the year in a way that makes the new year nervous:

1. Fix Hanging Chads. The end of the year, being a time for reflection, also becomes a fabulous time to get rid of those pesky tasks (or people) that have been looming over your year. Maybe it’s that marketing thing you were going to try. Maybe it’s that conversation you were going to have with your broker or an affiliate. Maybe it’s simply some loose end that needs to be tied tight, or cut off. No matter what it might be, get it off your plate for the coming year.

 2. Clear Your Space. Look at your office (home or otherwise), your car, or any of the places you carry out business and give them the once-over. Look for places and ways to be more efficient and more effective. Maybe your space could be reorganized, maybe totally redone. It’s just a great time to look at the WHERE part of your business with the idea of making the WHAT better through systems and organization. Think about ways to make the WHERE easier.

3. Stop Procrastinating. The years end is a great time to launch ahead by tying up three kinds of things: confusion, conversations, requests. Look at what’s murky in your business (and life) and clear it up. There may be conversations you need to have with others, requests you need to make. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want . Next time you think about doing something you’ve been putting off, notice what you say to yourself about it. It’s probably something like, “well, I can get to that later,” or “I don’t have the time right now.” Well, that same self talk that keeps you from doing that thing (or things) can be redirected toward doing it. Think about the benefits of checking things off the list. Does this seem like a repeat of #!? Yeah, kind of.

4. Reconnect. The Holidays are a great time to reconnect to those many people that have fallen through the cracks. Most everyone celebrates something between Thanksgiving and New Years AND most everyone is ripe for a little rekindling. Identify 10-20 people who would benefit from a little time with you and set a time to meet, to chat, to reengage. 

5. Do Something For The Bigger Good. The Holidays are also a time when the opportunities to volunteer time, energy, and/or money are countless. Use this time to help with the bigger picture of the world and find ways to make it a better place. The coolest part is how great you’ll feel by helping others.

6. Create A Focus. The key to the whole START FAST thing for 2020, is to come out of the blocks with a clear focus, a well crated plan. Work on your goals and then carefully create the plan that reflects your focus for the upcoming year. If you’ve never actually completed a business plan, there are many good ones available by simply typing “real estate business plans” into Google. Here are two: .  and

7. Commit to Yourself. You may be in the best shape of your life, the worst, or somewhere in between. Now is a great time to begin the process of transforming YOU. Look at your physical activity, your diet, your knowledge and mindset, and practice self-awareness to determine whether you are the you that you want to be (that’s a lot of yous in one sentence). There is no way you can be the agent, friend, relative, or acquaintance that you’d like to be without being the person YOU want to be.  So, clarify, then create a plan for your own self optimization in 2020.

BONUS: It’s a great time to Buy. As previously mentioned, many agents are hunkering down for the end of the year. They are also telling their Sellers that things are going to slow. This is a great time for your Buyers to use that misguided advice to create some leverage. Get them out there, get them buying.

It’s time! Use the close of the year to FINISH STRONG to START FAST. Abraham Lincoln said, “Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”