Like any salesperson, brokers work largely on commission. Your annual income is never a sure thing, which makes setting goals all the more important. While you may feel pretty steady based on years past, it’s important to be precise and thoughtful about evaluating what you’ve accomplished so you can plan for the future. Want to buy a new car this year? Contribute to your kid’s 529 plan? Bump up your retirement savings?
Setting goals can help keep you on track to achieve success for your clients and get you the income you want.
Start by evaluating—and quantifying—the past
A new year means a fresh start, but your history of past performance is an important baseline when you’re setting goals. If you haven’t already, take some time to analyze your 2015 business. If possible, go back a couple of years to chart your wins and losses.
Ask yourself these questions to get started:
- How many leads did you generate?
- How many listings did you secure?
- Did your deals, on average, close at, above or below listing price?
- How many clients were generated from cold calls?
- How much were you able to grow your social media following?
- What were your most successful posts?
- What was your total transaction volume and dollar amount?
- How many calls did you get based on that September marketing campaign?
There are more data points to consider, but the important thing is to avoid autopilot. Which strategies worked, and which didn’t? Maybe your social media presence isn’t generating many leads, but that email campaign got you a few new contacts. Direct your energy there instead.
Don’t have a good system to track this kind of information? Then creating one should be your top goal. Otherwise you may be pouring resources (time, money, energy) down the drain.
Define what you want and how to get there
We all want more deals, more money, more respect within the industry. Those are end results, however. They are not strategies for success. To reach those results, you must create realistic goals to hit along the way.
Start small. If you made, on average, three connections at each networking event, resulting in one lunch meeting, aim to make five connections and two follow-up meetings. If you increased your Twitter followers from 1,300 to 1,500, aim to increase that number by 10 percent in 2016. Post an extra article each day, or connect with five more people a month via retweets or direct messages.
Realistic goals can prevent you from getting discouraged over seemingly monumental tasks. If you happen to hit your numbers easily, then you can adjust.
Determine what you need
You’ve got the milestones you want to hit and the mini goals to help get you there along the way. Now you need to make sure you have the knowledge, time and resources to stay on track.
Once again, this comes down to being realistic. Do you have the budget to add another conference, lunch or business happy hour to your schedule every month for 12 months? Do you have the time to increase your cold calling by 15%? Do you have the social media acumen needed to develop the kind of Twitter following you want?
If the answer to achieving these goals is no, readjust your goals and get creative. Short on money? Apply for conference scholarships. Schedule 15 minutes a day to devote to cold calling (and block them on your calendar so you don’t schedule over them). You can start reading a publication that focuses on online marketing or social media, instead of Sports Illustrated, when you’re on an airplane or train.
If you want to improve your performance, it’s going to take work. Goals shouldn’t be easy, but setting challenging, attainable goals can yield major results within the commercial real estate industry.