Today is the last day of 2014. Before it comes to a close I want to review what went well, what could’ve been done better, and set some goals for 2015.
2014 – the year in review
2014 has been a big year.
At the start of the year I set out to write a blog post every day for the whole of the year. As best as I can figure, I’ve done that. Although I’ve missed a couple of days there have been others where I’ve posted multiple times. You can find all of my blog posts here, here, or here. Many posts were not published to social media because they were either off topic – if I ever ‘had’ a topic – or they simply, in my view, didn’t add any value. If I blog this year – especially on this blog – I’ll need to decide why I’m blogging and who am I serving. If it’s me then I can say whatever I want, if it’s for an audience I need to decide who that audience is and what value I can deliver.
During the early part of the year I saw that it was going to be in my interests to obtain my settlement agents’ licence. I did that, completing the required TAFE course by around June. I was granted my license in (I think) November. I now have both a real estate agent’s license and a settlement agent’s license.
The lease we had on our office in Maddington was coming up for renewal and I determined that I wanted to move out of Maddington. I saw our address as a negative and, early in the year, started to look for a suitable location. I was keen to buy rather than rent and searched in Canning Vale and the suburbs surrounding Victoria Park. A property on Welshpool Road caught my eye but we ended up buying a property at 170 Burswood Road.
Purchasing the office in our superannuation fund was a new experience. I spent a heap of money on legal and bank fees as I was required to change from personal trustees to a corporate trust. I also had to get a bare trust and a custodian something or the other, none of which made any sense. When the bank manager or accountant asked me to do something I smiled, nodded and wrote out the cheque. The experience has taught me that I can – and do – take on challenges that are too big, but I got through, so I guess it wasn’t too big after all.
The purchase of the office also meant that I needed to do a fit-out. Initially I planned to hire an interior designer but instead hired an architect. It was probably a bit more expensive but I’m glad I did. I spent around $100,000 more than I budgeted for but I’m super proud of how it looks. Surround yourself with a great team and you’ll produce fantastic results. I intend doing just that with our marketing this year.
Moving was a big challenge. Because our lease expired on 31 December I wanted to move in late November. Unfortunately, we experienced some unexpected delays and that pushed the move date into December. For a settlement agency, that’s not ideal. But move we did, on the 12 December. With the exception of our fax everything worked perfectly.
Unfortunately, we didn’t hit our targets for the number of properties settled and that’s something we’ll be working hard on in 2015. I let sub-standard performance go unaddressed too often; and that’s something I need to address this year. Results, remember!
I also failed to hit any of my revenue and activity targets for Real Estate Tribe. The reduced activity can be explained by the other things that took up my time during the year. I’m not going to beat up on myself too much here. As much as anything my lack of results shows that I can be flexible in the face of competing strategic demands.
At a personal level, I helped start a new soccer club. In February Victoria Park Soccer Club was born. Like a newborn it had no clothes and was wobbly on its feet. Our first few pre-season training sessions were “under lights” which pretty much meant we were running around a local park using street lights. There was a mad scramble to get uniforms made, a permanent home ground, buy equipment and get some sponsorship. And, even though we didn’t have the numbers, we took a punt and registered a men’s and women’s team. The women’s team went well. Although they won only about a handful of games they played as a cohesive and co-operative unit. It was a joy to watch. The boys were different. They, too, won less than a handful of games but their performances, with a few very notable exceptions, were ill-disciplined and dysfunctional. As their coach I found it hard to watch. Still, we got through to the end of the season. The girls turned up for the end of year windup, the boys didn’t. 2015 is already shaping up as a better year because we have a single training and playing pitch, unlike what we had this year.
During 2014 I, once again, set myself a chin-up challenge. This time I reduced the number to 20. Once again I failed. Still, I’m not daunted. I know what I can do and I feel that I’m getting stronger. The key here is persistence. If I hadn’t started this challenge I probably wouldn’t have the focus for 2015 that I have right now.
2015 – the year ahead
My three words for 2015 are Music, Strength and Results. To bring those words to life I’ve listed my goals below.
- Settle [number redacted] properties. I know the number. I just don’t want to publish it here.
- Pay off [number redacted] of company debt.
- Sell an investment property.
- Complete 125 hours of saxophone and harmonica practice (half hour/day x 5 days/week x 50 weeks/year).
- Lift more than 200 kilograms at the Deadliest Deadlift competition in November. (my current one-rep max lift is 150kg).
So that’s it. If you’ve got this far, have a wonderful New Year. May it bring you lots of happiness and contentment.