How to Set and Achieve Your Real Estate Goals Year In and Year Out
Use this 5-step goal setting system and free real estate transaction tracker to make this year your best ever.
The following article (originally published at distressedpro.com) is designed to provide you with a framework and the tools to review your real estate or note business last year and plan for your business for the coming year.
Here’s what’s on this page:
- Step 1: Gather your real estate stats
- Step 2: Complete the Real Estate Transaction Tracker Worksheet
- Step 3: Set Your Achievement Goals
- Step 4: Set Your Activity Goals
- Step 5: Put Your Plan in Motion and Track Results
Review Your Past Year in Real Estate, Set Goals for the Next, Execute
If you try to set real estate goals without the information you need about your past performance you’re murdering your chance of succeeding with your new plan.
In this post you’ll learn why and how to review your year and I’ll give you the tools for doing it well.
The whole objective of the following exercises is to give you a full view of where your business is coming from, what’s working, and how you can plan for the coming year.
What you’ll find, if you’re somebody who did some deals last year, is there’s going to be a pattern that’s going emerge.
The first thing to do, if you’re seeking to improve, if you want to double your business, is to understand your business.
Ready to get started?
Open up a new document or grab a pad and pen, and let’s get to work creating a plan for your upcoming year.
Step 1: Gather Your Real Estate Stats
The first step in making goals and plans in your real estate business is to gather all deal-related information from last year.
This includes everything that contributed to the deals you did (or didn’t do). Here are the questions we need to be able to answer:
- How many deals did I close?
- Who were the parties involved in those deals?
- How did I first find or how was I first introduced to the above-mentioned parties?
This is a great start… it’s also the bare minimum with which you should proceed. It would be waaaay better if you also answered the following questions:
- How many leads did I get last year? Group the leads by source.
- How many contracts or offers did I make?
- How many of the offers made it to escrow (or similar)?
- How many deals closed and what was the value of each?
And finally, if you’re a real pro, then you should also get together your activity (output) or marketing investment (expense) information:
- List all the types of prospecting you did.
- Estimate the amount of time you spent on each prospecting activity (be realistic!). I suggest you pull out a calendar and review it month by month. You’ll be amazed at what comes back to you. Of course, it would be better if you tracked last year like you will this year….
- Gather and have ready your marketing expenses.
Got everything together? Let’s go!
I’ve created two worksheets that you can use to lay out all the deals you did last year so that you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and so you can get an honest look at your business. I also created a video to show you how to use one.
These worksheets will help you get an honest look at where your deals are coming from.
The first worksheet covers the basic requirements (1-3) that I listed for you above. I built it as a Google Drive template (free, easy to use) so you’ll need to be signed in to your google account to use it. This worksheet will help you get a real look at where your deals are coming from both in terms of lead source and by customer or client.
It’s called the “Real Estate Transaction Tracker” (Get the downloads ↓)
This worksheet will give you insight, deal by deal, into your past year.
You’ll be able to determine who your highest value customers or clients are, where your most profitable deals are coming from and what your average margin (NET revenue) is per deal.
The second worksheet will give you insight into the month-by-month numbers in your business, although, more importantly than that, it will also let you see the ratios that you have in your funnel so you can identify the things that are holding you back.
Not enough leads?
The exercises I’ve asked you to do above are the first steps in your annual planning and goal setting.
You Must Evaluate Your Performance If You Want to Grow
Step 2: Complete the Real Estate Transaction Tracker Worksheet
I’m calling this template the real estate transaction tracker.
There are a few basic parts to it, which I’ll quickly go over below:
Identify Your Deals
I’ve added a couple of sample rows so you can immediately see what’s going on and how to use the template.
The first one is the name of the deal or the address. This is how you’re going to identify the deal.
If you sold a pool of notes or a single note you can just use whatever identifier you have, loan number, etc., but something where it means something to you.
Identify the Source of Your Buyers
The next step is if there was a buyer involved or seller and this varies depending on your business model you need to fill in the blanks. In the sample cases I’ve got “Joe Developer” so the question for you if this was your deal is “Where did this guy come from?”
So choose an answer from the dropdowns and pick where your leads came from for each and every deal. This will allow you to see the sources for all your deals all in one place.
Where Did Your Sellers Come From?
I’ve had a lot of success with direct mail in my real estate career so that’s what I use in the sample record. What are you having success with?
Next there’s the “Notes” field, this is just a field to refresh your memory so you can get a better understanding of each deal.
What Were Your Gross Sales?
What I want you to use for gross is the gross sales amount of the deal. If the property traded at $350,000 we’re going to put $350,000 in here. If the pool of notes traded at $500,000 or at a $1 million or whatever it is then use that number for the gross.
What Was Your NET Revenue?
The next number is the NET to you, this is the revenue to you. If you bought a house and flipped the house and you sold the house for a gross of $250,000 and you netted $20,000, then the $20k is the revenue that came to you and to your other business. If you’re a real estate broker, it’s your commission. If you’re a wholesaler, it’s your margin. So figure out NET on the deal to your and put it in there.
On the top right you’ll see an automatic calculation for your gross sales for the year of $850,000 dollars. This is the sample total deal volume.
What is Your Average Deal Size?
Then there’s your average deal size. This is a really important number because the average deal size is one of the numbers that you’re going to use in order to forecast and plan for making this year huge.
A lot of people will say, “I don’t really have the average deal size. I’ll do a $100,000 deal and I’ve done a million dollar deal.” If that’s the case then you just add them together and that’s 1.1 million, that’s an average of $550,000 per deal. You do have an average per deal, okay?
So now you can see your total commissions or other NET, your total margin. This is the total amount of money that you’ve made over all your transactions which is calculated automatically.
What is Your Average Revenue Per Deal?
From that, we calculate the average amount of money you make per transaction.
Finally, as you can see in the sample scenario I’d be making 6.47% on average on the gross sales prices of the transactions.
You MUST know all these numbers in order to forecast, plan, and improve. If you don’t have all the info you wished you did right now then make a commitment to start tracking from now on.
Step 3: Write Down Your Achievement Goals
It’s not enough to simply say you want something – you need a plan to get it.
Setting your goals is extremely important to get you going in the right direction but it’s not enough. You need a plan of action if you want to execute.
I divide my goals into two parts.
- Achievement goals
- Action goals (more on this later)
Our Achievement Goals drive and inform our Action Goals so let’s tackle those first.
Achievement goals are (unsurprisingly) what you want to actually accomplish. These goals are driven by:
- Who you want to be
- What you want to do (with your time)
- What you want to have
Achievement goals are about “be, do and have”.
Set SMART Real Estate Goals
I use the SMART framework. SMART is an acronym for:
Your goals should be all of these.
Your mind and subconscious will go to work to help you achieve your goals if you can provide very specific instructions. Your goals should be measurable so that you know when you’ve achieved them. Your goals should be attainable so that you don’t lose motivation. The goals should be relevant to your life and business. Your goals should be time-bound so that you know when you’re supposed to hit them.
Your Real Estate Goals Should Follow the 3 Ps
When you sit down to write your goals they should be
- Positive: Don’t write negative goals like “I won’t do this” or “This won’t happen to me” these kinds of statements sabotage your success. When you make statements your mind can’t help but focus on them and we don’t want your mind focusing on things you don’t want lest ye manifest them by accident… we don’t want that at all do we?
- Personal: Your goals should be about you and nobody else and they should be written that way. The words “I”, “me”, and “mine” so that you’re programming your mind to seek out and achieve specific results for you.
- Present Tense: Write your goals as though they are reality now. I know this might sound like hocus-pocus if you’re new to these concepts but here’s how this works. When you state the results that you’re seeking as though you already have them your belief in their achievement will automatically go up. You will trick yourself into manifesting your goals.
Take the following example:
By December 31, I earn $100,000 wholesaling residential properties to cash buyers. I make an average of $10,000 per transaction. I do 10 transactions for the year. I have 6 really strong cash buyers and I’m always able to find what they want. I have 5 banks who send me REO deals on a regular basis…
I think you’ll agree this goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Its also positive, personal, and present tense.
Reduce your larger goal into small achievable bite-sized goals.
Here are the critical numbers in the above goal statement:
- $100,000 revenue
- 10 transactions
- 6 cash buyers
- 5 good institutional sellers
What if instead of staring down a $100K goal, we broke this down into quarters?
- $25k revenue
- 2.5 transactions
- 1.5 cash buyers
- 1.25 repeat sellers
That’s not so bad! Now divide by 3…we’re talking about doing less than 1 transaction per month. Finding 1 new real cash buyer every other month and finding real sellers slightly less frequently than that.
And this takes us to the next step. Our Action goals.
Step 4: Set Your Real Estate Activity Goals
It’s not enough to just set results goals. That’s a dream with a deadline. Your activity goals are what bring it all together and makes your wish a reality.
You Need An ACTIONABLE Plan
If you have your ratios from the worksheets, then this next part should be easy to figure out. You need to determine how much OUTPUT, how much effort, you have to exert this month and this week – NOT this year – to achieve your goals.
What do you need to do to find your cash buyer this month? Are you generating real estate leads online? How many of them turn into real buyers? How many visitors of a certain type do you need in order to find the one?
What do you need to do this month and this week to dig up a real seller?
How many emails, LinkedIn connections, and phone calls do you need to make in order to get to the right people so that you can turn over JUST 1 good one?
If you don’t know your ratios (calls or emails to contacts, visitors to leads, etc) then you need to make some reasonable assumptions and then adjust once they’re disproven.
I make 5 solid connections to sellers each day. To do this I make 25 dials, I send 10 emails, and I make 10 LinkedIn connections.
Are these real numbers? Only your efforts over time will tell.
If you did this each business day then at the end of the first week you’d have made:
- 125 calls
- 50 emails
- 50 LinkedIn connections
- After 1 month you’d have
- 600 calls
- 200 emails
- 200 LinkedIn connections
In 1 quarter, 3 months, you’d have made
- 1800 calls
- 600 emails
- 600 LinkedIn connections
Remember the goal for the quarter was 1.25 real solid repeat institutional seller connections. Do you think after 3,000 “touches” you’d have found 1 or 2 real sellers? I’d suggest to you that if you even set a goal for half this activity (and you executed) then after a single quarter you’d be on a first name basis with more than half your goal for the year.
If all you can give is an hour a day to finding new business then commit:
I prospect for 1 hour each and every day. I make 10 calls, I send 10 emails, I make 10 LinkedIn connections
That’s 5 hours a week, 20 hours a month, and 60 hours over the course of the 1st quarter.
If you simply have no idea how you’d begin with this or what you’d say then you need some training. Otherwise make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to exert a certain amount of effort each day, document it, then review your results after a month and determine if the RESULTS goals you have will require more activity or not.
If you have a goal to make 20 dials a day then you don’t worry about the results. You pick the best time of day and you get out your script and you dial the phone (decision makers only please) 20 times. Then you’re done.
Step 5: Take Action: Commit to Daily Activity Goals, Take Action, Review Results Monthly, Adjust , Repeat
This is the secret to succeeding with your goals. I’d like to say “It’s not magic,” but the fact is that it is….
It starts by writing down quite clearly what you really, really want. Then you bring that desire into reality with MASSIVE ACTION.
Taking Massive Action
If you’re going to get outsized results you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone. I’ve never known anyone who achieved anything grand by simply doing the same things they’d always done at the same level of output. If that’s what you do then you are bound to get the same results you’ve always gotten.
Outbound Prospecting Goals vs Inbound Marketing Goals
Most healthy real estate business have a mix of both inbound marketing and outbound prospecting.
Outbound prospecting involves anything that you are doing where you are reaching out directly to the prospect. That includes:
- Cold emails
- LinkedIn InMail
- Letters and postcards
Inbound marketing includes anything that is originated from the prospect’s side of things. This is when you have content and/or marketing that drives traffic and leads. In the past inbound marketing exclusively referred to content marketing. Today content, social, and other paid online marketing channels are blurred and you should consider any of your (smarter) marketing to be “inbound marketing”.
In either case you should be tracking your efforts and spending and then measuring the results of each vs the cost to you in terms of either time or dollars.
Track Everything and Be Honest with Yourself
If you set goals and then simply hope they come to fruition then you’re not going to be happy with your results. Track everything that you do so that you know where you should be spending more time and money and what activities or expenses you should simply eliminate.
Compare your activity goals with your actual activity. If you’re not hitting your activity goals then you’re not likely to hit your achievement goals.
If you’re avoiding doing certain tasks or spending on certain items that you committed to then ask yourself why and determine if you’re going to be able to do what you need to do or if you need to change your plan.
Track your weekly activities.
Track your monthly results.
More than a week and you won’t have a complete and up-to-date picture of what you’re really doing with your activity goals.
Monthly is sufficient for reviewing your achievement goals.
Go Forth and Prosper in Real Estate!
You now have everything you need in order to set achievable goals this year that could change your life forever. The only questions are whether or not you’re going to use the tools you have and if you’re going to implement and execute a plan.
Use Prospecting Tracker to keep track of your prospecting activities and stick to your goals.
Daily Outbound Real Estate Prospecting Tracker
Use it to set goals for your prospecting volume. You may want to add direct mail and other avenues but the point is that you want to be prescribing and then executing a specific plan against which you can measure your own performance.
I hope you find all of this useful for you. I also hope you’re going to have an awesome year and double your business!
If you have questions please ask me in the comment section below or you can submit them to help -at – realtymotor dot com.
If you haven’t started your business yet then shoot to start this year.