Your Business is Seasonal. It’s Time to Harvest.

On this 231st episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will hit pause on the NAR Settlement discussion and move into topics that are now top of mind for the brokers and leaders I am talking to at Jameson Sotheby's International Realty and across the United States and Canada. First and foremost, it's "Harvest Season" in most if not all markets. I'll take you through the questions I've been answering, the comments I am hearing and the advice I am giving during this particular and unique harvest season.


The overarching advice I am giving is: "You need to focus on the harvest during harvest season.” This essentially means that you shouldn’t have any major projects in the works during Q2 that will take your focus away from selling your listings and finding homes for your buyers. My farmer buddies that I grew up with spend 16-18 hours a day in a combine for that 2 weeks in October to get the corn out. When the kernel moisture, color and texture is ready for harvest, they've got to go hard because they have a limited time frame that’s normally around 2 weeks. They plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. Real estate brokers need their focus on planting year-round, but the harvest is way more seasonal and the timing is based on your hyper local market.


Here are some of the topics, reminders and advice I've been giving now that we’re at the height of the selling season, or "harvest season" :


  1. Put an emphasis on optimizing your habits and routines because during harvest season, you'll need them the most. On your Take Flight Progress Tracker, can you move from "stuck" to "in process,” or "in process" to proficient? Yes, I think "Habits and Routines" are areas that you can "advance" during your busy season.
  2. Your Q2 2024 list (Quarterly Business Planning) of quarterly initiatives won't have large projects that require focused thinking and deep work. Push those projects into Q3 and Q4.
  3. Will you need a deep bench on your warm list and hot list this fall? Yes! Make sure you are keeping your eyes open for potential clients that will "harvest" this late summer, fall or early next year. Those brokers that have the strongest processes around a "warm list" usually end up selling more real estate.
  4. Are you properly screening (interviewing) your potential clients prior to taking them on as active sellers or buyers? Are you taking a seller as a client if he/she wants to list above market and beat you up on your fee? Are you taking on buyers that have no idea what they want or what part of your market they even covet? What is your process for screening buyers and sellers during harvest season? How do you communicate with them? What are your boundaries? Remember, 20% of your clients steal 80% of your joy.
  5. Are you updating your CRM regularly? Do not get through harvest season without properly updating your clients' profiles or failing to plan reminders around future opportunities. Are you tracking your "seed leads?"
  6. How's your energy level? What's going on in between those ears of yours? Just thought I'd set a prompt on this call to push you to ask those questions of yourself. If your vibration is not good, you will repel opportunities. It's a law, just like gravity.
  7. If you get support from an operations position or have a team, how are they doing? How is your communication? Are you taking time to regularly meet? Do they have what they need from you?
  8. I would recommend having a NOTES app readily available to quickly jot down notes around process improvements in your business. My favorite is Evernote. You can use the Notes app that comes with your device or there are other options like NOTION. We'll use those ideas and reminders when we can get back to deep work.
  9. Do you have travel or down time planned once things let up? Remember July and August, in most markets, are some of the slowest months of the year as your clients become focused on travel, enjoying the seasonally beautiful weather in the top half of the country and, of course, back to school kicks in during August. Plan your listing launches accordingly.
  10. Do something every day that moves your life and business forward. If you lose momentum over a set period of time, it will take that same amount of time to re-create that momentum. If all you've got on a particular day is 50% of your best, give it 50%. Don't give it 10%.


In wrapping up, your productivity during this harvest season is a direct result of the level of consistent, quality effort you put into your business over the previous 6-9 months (the planting). You will not, nor will you ever, harvest if a seed was never planted. If you're having a really productive season, look at what you did over the last year and commit to becoming even better at those areas in the coming months. If you are not happy with your production, do a serious audit of your calendar over the last year, your lead generation efforts, your marketing and branding efforts and the other parts of your business that drive your productivity. If you are not changing, you are choosing. This harvest season will be either a celebration or a wake- up call. Take a look back at your business growing skills (planting, cultivating, watering and patience), and it will tell you all you need to know about why this harvest season is playing out the way it is.