I’m sorry, but Webster’s definition of a goal as “something you are trying to do or achieve” just doesn’t cut it in brokerage. Further down the definition, somewhere in the synonym category, you’ll see “the end toward which effort is directed: aim.” That’s a lot closer but still falls short of the mark for what I advise my commercial real estate brokers to set. When I say set a goal, I don’t mean “what you hope or want to achieve,” I mean “what do you want and what are you going to do to make it happen?”
In commercial real estate brokerage, you are your own boss. No one tells you when to show up or how much you have to achieve. It is important to focus on why you are doing what you do, and what you need to do each day to achieve it. Here are some things I’ve learned from training top producers over the years that you should keep in mind when setting goals.
Put a number on your goal. An income goal for the year is one of the most common for a broker. I’ve seen other goals like achieving a specific market share percentage. Other times it’s a number of deals closed. Whatever it is, put a number on it. You need to create a workflow based in math, which you cannot do without writing down numbers.
Break down the goal into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily pieces. These become your tasks for the day that take precedent over everything else that comes your way. For instance, if your goal is $500,000 in earnings, which means 15 closings, 18 listings, 50 proposals and 250 meetings, your goal is probably one meeting every day. If you don’t have a meeting today, you aren’t on track to meet your goal. If you still don’t have a meeting scheduled by noon, drop everything else until you can find someone to meet. Does this sound like overkill? Not to the person who will achieve their goal. Set the measurable, follow it daily, and hold yourself to it no matter what. Execution is the most important thing about achieving your goal.
Make it public.
How real your goal is will be determined by how much you believe in it and yourself. People who keep their goals private usually do so for one of the following reasons:
1. They don’t believe they can really do it.
2. They aren’t willing to commit to the activities required.
3. They’re afraid someone will make them feel stupid about their goal.
4. They’re afraid of failing.
Making the goal public demonstrates how much you believe in your goal and yourself. It also raises the probability that you follow through on the activities required because now others are watching you. Being open about your goal might make the taunting louder from those who would make you feel stupid. Embrace this —you’ll rub their nose in it when you achieve it. Making it public also makes you less afraid of failing; now you’re out on the limb so you are even further incentivized to do what it takes to achieve.
These are all fairly simple concepts, but it never ceases to amaze me how many brokers are not incorporating these measures. The reality is that so few people reach their goals because they don’t commit. On the other hand, I always find that those who do incorporate these measures hit their goals. Of course, they do — they’re committed to making something happen.
Set a goal for the coming year and follow my advice in this article. If you do, a year from now I am willing to bet you’ll be enjoying your achievement versus thinking to yourself, “It really would’ve been nice if I had only …”