Coach’s Corner: 2021 Will Be The Year Of Relationships

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Ready to take your real estate business to new heights? Mark Johnson has tips to revamp the way you work in 2021.

Mark Johnson 
Chief Executive Officer, JP and Associates Realtors

This year has been one of the most challenging years I’ve experienced, yet as we wrap up 2020, what I’ve valued the most is relationships. So, for me, in the COVID and post-COVID world, the theme that resonates is relationships. 

Without being in a relationship with our clients and prospects, how would we ever know that they are exploring communities, commuting times, and lifestyles with a new focus? 

As clients redefine the amenities to satisfy their housing needs, the factors they are rethinking include the concept and functionality of “home.” Home — now and in the future — serves as the office, school, fitness arena, social gathering, and recreation space. Helping consumers navigate these options will separate the door openers from the value-added consultants. 

The game has changed, and sophisticated sellers will require their real estate professional to have command of the physical open house marketing augmented, with the virtual boost to reach the largest possible audience. 

We are going to enter into 2021 with about 50 percent less inventory than buyer demand! So, uncovering the “hidden” inventory will come from the people you know and are in conversation with more often. 

Preparing For a Successful 2021

First, as this article started, in a professional service business, relationships matter. How are you planning to deepen and broaden your inner circle in 2021? 

Second, is your mindset built on twigs or solid oak? When faced with a challenge, do you ask the question “how?” Consider reframing the question to “who?”  

When you are focused on the “how” of the problem or challenge, your mental state can shift to the worst possible outcome, and your behavior can easily follow. In the high-performance world, the “who” becomes critical. Who would I need to be, what would I believe about myself and others to make this outcome possible?  

Third – the business plan check-up. There are six mistakes you can avoid with this checklist: 

  • Doing more of the same thing and expecting a different result.
  • Not thinking BIG enough, if your plan is too comfortable, it’s probably too small. Everyone reading this – and has the desire – can DOUBLE their business in 2021.
  • Not being very clear on where the business is coming from today – and how you will continue or expand that – plus the new lead sources you will test each quarter to create new business sources in the new year.
  • Not breaking down the details into a DAILY ACTION and the DAILY NUMBER. How many conversations about real estate do you need to have to create one sale? 
  • Not having the leading and lagging indicators UP and VISUAL… an “in your face” reminder. Like a scoreboard at a sporting event. What’s the best leading indicator? Appointments. Who do you need to be to create one or more new appointments each day?  
  • Not being clear on the benefits – the why – and what happens when you do or don’t achieve the outcome.

Bonus mistake to avoid  – not breaking out your marketing execution into a separate and specific plan with the actions, expected results, costs, and a content calendar that keeps you focused and in action on your marketing. 

Fourth – the basics. Tidy, clean up, and freshen up.

Many of our associates are assessing their business cards and marketing pieces, Supra keys, yard signs, folders, and acrylic stands for listings. Don’t forget the annual headshot update or team photo. Others are adjusting their savings and investing goals higher, so they are in a stronger position when the market makes its next cycle. 

And finally, don’t rely on anecdotal evidence of what the market is doing, do your homework for your area, and be prepared. This is just one distinction between “the door openers” from “the value-added consultants.” 

As we enter 2021, remember that despite all the technology and this current hot market, buyers, sellers, and investors still value a trusting relationship with their real estate professional more than ever.  


Mark Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of JP & Associates, a rapidly growing full-service real estate brokerage. He is focused primarily on productivity and service. He has invested nearly 25 years in understanding the inner workings of high performing real estate agents, teams, managers, and leaders in major markets across the world. In prior assignments, he served as a Business Coach, in progressive leadership capacities for the 5th largest US-based real estate brokerage firm, in sales and marketing leadership capacities for a major consumer goods company, and served a stint in the US Army, Medical Service Corps. He was recalled to active duty during Desert Storm. Mark is a father of 3, lifelong learner, Spartan, and adventure athlete. He earned his MBA from California State University and a Behavioral Change Certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine. Several years ago, he decided to make “One Helluva Move” and not play it safe. Since that decision, he has climbed the world’s tallest free-standing mountain — Kilimanjaro; completed the Spartan trifecta, the LA Marathon, and the world-famous Iowa border to border RABGRAI ride, among other crazy adventures.

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