This post is all about deciding what you want and making a plan for success. In other words, setting goals. I’ve been doing this for 14+ years now, and wanted to share a bit about what I do and how it helps me be successful.
#1: Formal Training Through My Brokerage. At Keller Williams we work big and then drill down to monthly, weekly and daily goals. I started with a course called Quantum Leap as a new agent and have taken it multiple times over the years. Gary Keller created this training course to help people set their five-year goals. His premise is that whatever big dream you have in your heart, you’re five years away from achieving it. It takes that amount of time to condition yourself, learn and hone new skills and make a plan–essentially build the foundation required to turn that dream into a reality.
The second formal goal-setting training I do is the Business Planning Clinic, in which I break down my five-year goal(s) down to three year goals and then from three year goals to one year. Once I’ve got my goals broken down to an annual schedule, I use KW’s CGI calculator, a mathematical calculation that breaks that one-year financial goal down to monthly, weekly, and daily activity goals. I literally come out of it with to-do lists for each day. (The mathematical calculation is based on your target income goal for the year.)
#2: Accountability Activities. Setting my goals is one thing, but I also need a formal accountability program to help me achieve them. If I never check in on my goals, I could get to the end of the year and be light years away from where I want to be financially. So…
Once per week my team reviews our goals vs. our actual numbers–i.e. where we planned on being and where we actually are. Ideally those two things match!
I also meet with my KW coach weekly to review those numbers and set my goals for the following week. You’ll note that I still work with a coach fourteen years into my career. Anyone can benefit from a coaching relationship, from new agents to seasoned ones. Coaches remind you of your potential and hold you accountable when you aren’t reaching it. Conversely, they often serve as a much-needed voice of encouragement, reminding you of your successes. Having to be accountable to another person for meeting or not meeting my weekly goals is powerful motivation.
On a monthly basis I participate in something called The 15th Protocol. All of the agents from our office meet on the 15th of the month to check-in to see whether they’re on track for meeting their goals for the month. The idea behind this is that if you aren’t in good shape by the middle of the month and don’t make any adjustments, you won’t meet your goal by the end of the month.
And finally, I meet with the other agents in the top 20% (of transactions closed) in my office and we talk about our goals and any challenges we’re facing. People allow themselves to be vulnerable in these conversations, because when you are honest and open about where things are difficult or not going well, other people can offer practical and emotional support. This is one of the things that makes Keller Williams different. In a profession that many people assume is hyper-competitive, we have a team-oriented mentality. The profit sharing model helps in this regard because we all sink or swim as a group. So people are generous with their knowledge and advice.
#3: I’m Clear About Why I’m Doing What I’m Doing. The goals I’ve been talking about are financial goals–I decide how much salary I want to generate each year and I work toward that goal. But the motivation behind my goals changes from year-to-year. Beyond what I need to earn in order to support myself, I am often motivated by a mission or charity I want to support. For example, I can’t go on a mission trip with my church (I’ve got family and work obligations that keep me here), but I can devote some of my salary to sponsoring people who can go and do that mission work. So, I might set a goal of giving $10,000 to sponsor three people on a mission trip and then I’m working toward my financial goals with that motivation behind it. It’s important to me to connect what I’m doing at work to whatever cause has spoken to me that year. I’m finding my “why,” if you will.
What charities or experiences would be meaningful to you? Ask yourself how you could best support them or make them a reality through your work. Then you’re starting to get closer to your “why.”
#4: Some of My Goals Are Not Financial. Sometimes my goals are relational. I might set goals related to how many new people I want to meet each week. Or sometimes it might be about serving a certain number of families. Other times my goals are related to the number of aspiring agents I can reach and coach. And sometimes I set goals for continuing education–trainings I want to attend or a specialized skill I want to learn that will help my business long-term.
#5: I Follow the SMART Guidelines for Goal-Setting. In terms of the content of my goals, whether financial or action-oriented, I follow make sure they are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
Okay, that’s it from me for now on my goal-setting process. If you have comments or questions, please share them in the Comments section below. I’m always happy to continue the conversation there, or one-on-one. You can contact me here if you want to talk more about this topic or about getting started with a career in real estate.