If you think you could be even more productive in 2017, here are some ways to hold yourself to the challenge.

Many real estate professionals aren’t reaching their full potential because their daily patterns and habits are hampering their ability to do so. I’m on a mission this year to help as many practitioners as possible end a cycle of unproductive behavior. If 2017 is going to be the year you’re no longer too busy to actually grow your business, here are five commitments to hold yourself to the challenge.

Stop Chasing a Dream; Start Following a Plan

Dreamers are asleep. At some point, you have to wake up and start following a plan if you want to push yourself forward. Whenever one of my students tells me about a goal he or she wants to achieve, I ask for proof that the goal is achievable. Can you show a viable path to your goal? The best way to do this is to apply statistics and measurements of your previous performance to figure out what it will take to get to where you want to be. You can download a free business plan to help you do just that at jaredjamestoday.com/business-plan-giveaway.

Stop Relying Solely on Referrals

Referrals are awesome, and I want you to get more of them. But if they’re your main source of new business, your income will be vulnerable to the swings of the market. Think of it like this: If you run a referral-based business and I ask you to create a new transaction right now, what are you going to do? Stare at your phone harder and hope it rings? That’s not a strategy. Commit to daily prospecting and learning how to use Facebook Ads and direct targeted marketing to create predictable leads. Here are some prospecting ideas to check out:



Identify the 3 Biggest Problems You Need to Solve

Having problems in your business is not a bad thing. But you don’t want to be dealing with the same issues five years from now that you’re facing today. When your business develops new challenges, it’s a sign that you’re growing. If you’re going to solve problems as they arise, though, you have to be willing to admit when a problem exists. Here are some pointers on being more honest with yourself:



Become a Student

I’m a big believer in the saying: “First you ‘Learn,’ and then you drop the ‘L.’” If you want to be a top earner in your area — and remain one — then you have to understand that there is always something new to learn. Overall principles in real estate always remain the same, but the strategies behind them constantly change. For example, it’s always been a guiding principle of prospecting to “meet clients where they are” — but the strategy to do that has changed drastically. Fifteen years ago, you might’ve pulled out a phone book and cold-called people asking if they or someone they knew was looking to sell. Today, you’d do better to leverage a Facebook ad or a targeted marketing campaign around an active listing. Never stop learning and changing your tactics.

Do Something Different

The power of pattern disruption not only helps you convert more leads but also can effect positive changes for yourself. If you drive the exact same route home every day, have you ever zoned out for five minutes behind the wheel? We get stuck in our routines, and you have to shake it up. Block out time in your schedule for different activities such as prospecting and creating business systems, joining a coaching program that holds you accountable and gives you new ideas, or attending an event outside of your area that forces you out of your comfort zone. Create a plan and do nothing but focus on what needs to happen for your business to be everything you want it to be.

Jared James Enterprises is hosting its Annual Advance conference Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Center. Learn more about the coaching event at jaredjamestoday.com/annualadvance.