the Lame Duck weeks - 6.5 things you can do.

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

My last closing of 2010 should take place today, if the real estate gods are willing and the creek don't rise. (keep yer fingers crossed)

So I'm just gonna kick back, put my heels up on my desk, and revel in the nothingness of those two lame duck weeks, as we head into 2011 (Ohmigosh.. can you believe it?!  Two-Thousand-and-freakin'-Eleven!!)  After all, there's very little business that occurs between now and New Year's (as my clients with homes sitting on the market can attest), very few buyers out there, and very little action.

But, does that mean I should sit around with my feet up, my hands behind my back and a Macanudo in my teeth? (That's right Lawrence, I said Macanudo).  Of course not, there's still plenty to do.

1) this would be a good time to go through your files from 2010.  Clean them up (throw away any duplicates in the files, and get rid of any part of the file that you don't need to archive).

2) If you're planning on entering the 21st century any time soon, you might take those completed files from #1 and SCAN them into your computer, and then put them on a CD.  You can probably fit your entire 2010 on a single CD (don't just trust them to your computer hard-drive... that would be a biiiiig mistake), and for those of you lucky enough that you can't fit them on a single... put them on TWO CDs.

3) Shred old, sensitive materials.  Chances are your office has a shredder, make use of it.  Don't just throw those papers from numbers 1 & 2 into the trash where they could become fodder for identity thieves... especially since some of those files, might have a social security number on them... shred them.  If you want to do an office-wide shredding party, there are companies that will bring a truck-sized shredder to your parking lot and shred for you in bulk. 

If you really want to be community-minded.... hire the bulk-shredder, and open it up to your community (as a community service)... ie: "Bring your sensitive documents to our parking lot on Sunday from 2-4:00, and we'll shred your documents for free! 

4) Excellent time to put your sphere-of-influence, or mailing lists in order.  This is what Brian Buffini talks about when he discusses his A, B, and C people.  Who sent you business this year?  Who din't!  Shuffle, shuffle toil and trouble...  or something like that.

5) Great time to connect with existing and past clients.  Phone them, e-mail them, text them, show up face-to-face.  If you're one of those drop-by people, drop by!  Try to stay out of their way during Christmas, though... lessn't they're not Christian, and then they'll probably be happy to see you.

6) Clean your desk.  That's right, that piece of wood hiding behind those heaps and piles of paper.  Nothing makes you feel better than pulling the big trash-can out, and reorganize your drawers, and make that shiny wood surface visible again.  Besides, nothing gets your manager's adrenaline going more than when she walks by your desk as you're cleaning things out... and she says, wide-eyed
    "What're you doin'?"
    "Just cleaning my desk out"
(try to look grumpy).
    "Cleaning your desk out?  Any particular reason?"
    "I've decided to take my license across town to our competition... 'cause I don't like the coffee we have in the kitchen"

Nah... don't say that... the wide-eyed look is enough... don't torture her, she's had a tough year, too.

If you feel like taking on a bigger project, try cleaning out your TRUNK... (I know, I know... it makes me shudder, too... I'll wait 'till spring!)

7) Write a blog-post telling folks what they can do with those last two weeks of the year, and post it on Active Brain.... oh, wait... ignore that... that one's mine!

I'm sure there are more things you can think of to do in these two weeks... but I'm tired (yawwwwn), I'm gonna put my feet up and take a nap.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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  1. Pamela Stangler 12/17/2010 09:28 AM
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Ambassador
683,273
Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty

Alan  like your list much better than mine for these last 2 awkward weeks of the year.

December 17, 2010 10:20 AM
Rainer
109,890
Jenna Dixon
Assoc Broker, NW Metro Atlanta
DRA Homes (Atlanta, GA)

I think I will bathe in Egg Nog and nap endlessly as my eyes are tired from staring at all the twinkle lights.

Productivity of this sort is highly overrated!

Happy Holidays, Alan!

December 17, 2010 10:35 AM
Ambassador
984,337
Craig Rutman
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor
Helping people in transition

Great ideas for the lame duck weeks ahead, Alan. One thing I like to do is burn a disc of all the closing documents from my closed transactions. On it I also create a label of the purchased or sold home (complete with all my contact information), include the visual tour I made, and a thank you letter too. I mail it to my clients once completed.

December 17, 2010 10:36 AM
Rainmaker
855,957
Steve Loynd
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc.,

Alan, I have two closings today and two next week...so I'm not ready for file clean up yet...but your list will be part of of my New Years resolution.

December 17, 2010 10:37 AM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Malcolm - a nice fresh clean desk... (I am SO unfamiliar with the concept)

Virginia - stay away from them... they'll drag you down to their level.

Charita - feel free to partake.

Jenna - baby!  nice to see you back... the egg nog bath is an idea that could take off!

Craig - that's a great idea... I love it... put the HUD on there... perfect!

Steve - well, some of us iz biz-zay-er than others, come the end of the year... good for you... I think you have a valid reason to wait till post-hangover to attempt the list.

December 17, 2010 10:43 AM
Rainmaker
213,033
Elizabeth Arduain
Lubbock Texas Real Estate
The Diamond Group @ Keller Williams

All good suggestions........my assistant likes the clean up part........she always thinks its springtime.  Still have 4 more closings, if they don't move to January...........now my feet are up, until Amy comes back to the office that is.

December 17, 2010 10:44 AM
Rainer
109,890
Jenna Dixon
Assoc Broker, NW Metro Atlanta
DRA Homes (Atlanta, GA)

I miss the Rain.  I have had lovely emails from many friends here and since today didn't quite turn out I had some time on my hands to drop in and make sure you were still up to your old tricks!

December 17, 2010 10:52 AM
Ambassador
1,876,543
Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Alan, you are twisted.  Tell your Managing Broker that you are going to another Brokerage when they find you cleaning out your desk.  Oh how I wish we worked in the same market.

December 17, 2010 11:35 AM
Rainmaker
969,186
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Great checklist, Alan  ----  sounds like a solid plan for success in 2011.  

December 17, 2010 11:48 AM
Rainer
369,954
Tish Lloyd
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches
BlueCoast Realty Corporation

I'm forwarding this to CA (Cheeky Assistant) -- it's up to her to see that it gets done.  That's why she gets paid the big bucks!  Don't tell her, but, I'm going to have some egg nog and sit by a warm fire.  I don't think she reads your blog.  I hope she doesn't read your blog.  If she does, I'm in trouble. 

December 17, 2010 11:58 AM
Rainmaker
656,727
Eileen Hsu
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Shred old paperwork is a must in our market place, especially here in Manhattan New York we have condo and co-op board package sometimes it is 50 pages or more per pack, you can see it adds up and it is certainly not a environmental friendly way to do a deal.

December 17, 2010 11:59 AM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Elizabeth - for assistants, everything looks like a folder.

Jenna - and we're glad you did.

Michael - now we'll see just how much we can accomplish.

Tish - bad news for you... she reads me.

Eileen - sounds deadly.

December 17, 2010 12:43 PM
Rainmaker
474,564
Cindy Westfall
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon

Great list Alan! At least I can sip wine while shredding..the holiday spirit and all. I know my family would really appreciate me cleaning my office...and maybe I will see the wood grain of my desk as well.

December 17, 2010 12:53 PM
Rainmaker
420,591
Leslie Ebersole
REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs
Baird&Warner Fox Valley

A closing? Congrats. I think the cold weather has made people surly and unwilling to cooperate, starting with the buyers and continuing through to the inspectors, appraisers and attorneys.

Take a few days off and write more poetry. You're the Shel Silverstein of real estate blogging.

 

December 17, 2010 12:55 PM
Rainmaker
259,601
Jeanne Dufort
Madison and Lake Oconee GA
Coldwell Banker Lake Country

Today was my last closing for 2010 also, but I also was working today on a home inspection for a property we put under contract this week, and sent a counter offer back to a buyer's agent, and followed up with another agent working on an offer on one of my listed homes.

Its a fine time to be in real estate in Georgia's Lake Country!

December 17, 2010 10:27 PM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Cindy - I can see my desk again... damn, who knew it was wood-grained?

Leslie - thank you... I consider that high praise.

Jeanne - sounds like a fine time.

December 18, 2010 12:28 AM
Ambassador
541,463
Larry Story
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate
Total Care Realty

Alan,

Lame Duck season I am sorry but I do not have one of those.  I am still working the new buy side contract we just signed and working on the 9 new listings I got within the last 2 weeks.  It's raining short sales here.  I have had to turn some down because I will not do a strategic short sale. 

December 18, 2010 09:23 AM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Larry - glad to hear it... somebody has to be busy!!

December 18, 2010 09:50 AM
Anonymous #34
Anonymous
Anonymous

Amen!  Sometimes the "down time" is the best time to trudge through the menial tasks we take for granted when things are cranking away at break-neck speeds.  There are so many unforeseen nuances to our business, and in addition, are so easy to put to the side and slate for "tomorrow".  I agree 100% that we need to stay on top of the minor details, as they can snowball into major deals down the road, as well as avoiding future conflicts.  As always great post!

December 19, 2010 03:41 AM
Ambassador
983,560
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Alex - you said it, big guy!

December 19, 2010 09:53 AM
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Alan May

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