We roll out of August into Labor Day weekend without much thought about how significant the month of September really is to our business and the business cycle of those around us. September is a pivotal time in the business cycle because we have a big shift in perspective as to where we are in relationship to where we want to be for the year. Let me share with you a few observations that many professionals fail to recognize.
When we conclude the month of June, we all acknowledge that we are half way through the calendar year. No big deal, just half way along with plenty of time to get all the things accomplished that we had planned. Some people review their position at the half way mark, but most don’t. We recognize the time, but rarely do we confirm our position in relationship to our plan. Remember that business plan we wrote at the end of last year? Have you been reviewing it on a regular basis? Chances are, you will have trouble finding it, not to mention having any idea where you are EXACTLY in relationship to your projections. But no worries, it’s just June, plenty of time to get everything done we had planned to do.
Well, then we go through July and August. Sixty-two days of fun and frolic. Vacations and other areas of interest consume our time and as we approach Labor Day we find ourselves now two-thirds of the way through the year. Still not a big issue for many people, in their minds thinking that two-thirds is just a bit more than half way and nothing to worry about. Then it happens; September! Thirty quick days and we go from summer to fall and more importantly, from two-thirds to three-quarters of the year now behind us! The reality hits, “how did the whole year get past me?” For mortgage and real estate professionals this reality is even more of an urgent matter. In our business, transactions must close by December 31st to count in our numbers, so what is the lead-time to make that happen?
For mortgage professionals, it is likely that you would need to have an application in your possession by Thanksgiving in order to be sure you closed before the end of the year. For a buyer’s agent, you would likely also need to have your contract signed by Thanksgiving for that deal to close by the end of the year. But for that listing agent, when would you need to have an appointment set to speak to a prospect in order to get the house ready to be listed and to begin showing that property, in order to get an offer, negotiate the transaction, deal with the inspections, in order to get that house closed by the end of the year?
You see, it’s later than you think. September quickly compresses the calendar for us because not only do we go from two-thirds to three-quarters of the year being over, we change the discussion from vacations and back to school, to the end of the year and the question: “Do you really want to spend this coming winter in this house?” If that answer is NO, then you are almost out of time to get that done!
We need to talk with our referral partners, ALL OF THEM; to be very clear how little time is left to get the things done that need to be done. If anyone needs to buy, sell, refinance, or make choices about their investments and taxes, the time to get that moving is NOW! 2013 saw changes in the tax code that can really change the way people look at their money and their income. As we speak, a large number of people still haven’t filed their taxes for 2012 yet (The six month extension takes them into the middle of October), and here we are talking about planning for what we are going to do before 2014 gets here.
Stores are already putting up Christmas decorations. My wife is likely half done with her shopping already! The point is we have an opportunity to share information and create awareness. We have the ability to get out and share important information and engage our referral partners with specific actions they can take right now to increase their awareness and improve their opportunities to complete the year the way they had planned.
So enjoy the Labor Day weekend. Have a great time. Just remember that we leave summer into fall, but for our industry, this year is going to end sooner than you think! What are you going to do to be sure you reach your goals and beyond?
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