Success is all about realistic expectations, regardless of the industry in which you work. For some reason people enter real estate sales without giving careful thought to their income expectations. I think it is because they see real estate as being a lucrative profession. They see names on “For Sale” signs all over town and equate those signs with success. Then they rationalize if they got a position with the same agency, they too would be able to do the same thing. Many people work around very successful sales people that can never seem to get their career moving in a profitable direction. I place most of the blame on the qualifying broker for the agency because they haven’t provided proper training.
Real estate sales are a business. Agents are independent contractors, working for themself under the umbrella of an agency. Like starting any new business, the first step is to set realistic expectations which are done by completing a business plan. How can you know what you need to do until you know what you want to accomplish? You can’t! If you decided to go into the lawn care business, you would first have to determine how much profit you can make off each lawn, and how many lawns you need to cut each day to produce the income you need to meet your financial needs. This makes sense, doesn’t it? This process is part of creating a business plan.
For real estate agents in my “Productivity Coaching Program,” regardless of how long they have been in business, we begin by creating a complete business plan. We have to know where they are currently before we can help them get to the level of production they want to reach. This also makes sense, doesn’t it? Time will not permit me to go into detail about my 13 page business plan but I want to share the basics for creating a business plan.
Setting realistic expectations begin with determining a financial goal. That is how much you want to earn in your first year. We will also determine where you want to be in 3, 5, and 10 years from now. It is a proven fact, if you continue doing what you’re doing right now, you’ll keep earning what you are earning now, and this is not progress. So let’s get the first year right because it sets the stage for reaching your long term goals. Before moving forward let’s look at other general goals you need to set. Money is a necessity for survival but it’s not the reason for living. Be totally honest and objective with yourself when creating the following goals. Determine what is best for you and your family in each goal.
Career goals include the amount of income you want to produce in your first year in business. You need to determine how much you wish to be making in 3, 5, and 10 years from now. Other career goals might be to own your own agency within five years. It might be to become the top producing agent in town in three years. It might be to own 10 income producing properties in 10 years. Career goals are specific realistic expectations you want to accomplish in a specific amount of time.
Personal Growth & Development Goals are personal accomplishments. You might wish to become a better husband or father. You might desire becoming a leader in the community. List things that make you, generally, a better person, or will help you develop into a better person. Make sure you list a specific time frame in which to accomplish these goals.
Health & Fitness Goals is an area that few people give thought to until they reach their golden years. Our health is so important to accomplishing other goals. It might be your goal to lose so much weight within six months. A good fitness goal could include working out at a gym three days a week. List anything that will improve your general health.
Family Goals could include vacation time, trips, a cruise, or simply specific time allotted for family activities that will strengthen the relationship of all family members. Another family goal might be to begin attending family reunions or researching your family tree.
Additional Goals are for specific things that are of most importance to you; things you want to accomplish that aren’t listed in another goal. I include my religious goals in this area.
Self Improvement Goals are specific things I need to do that will aid me in accomplishing all my other goals. An example might be taking educational courses to improve selling skills, or writing skills that would help me communicate better through e-mails, or blogging. It might be as simple as wanting to get my broker’s license or taking a course to help in time management.
Each goal should be realistic, attainable and should include a specific time in which to accomplish that particular goal. Each goal should have short term (one year or less) and long term (3-5 year) goals. Goals are not just a “wish list.” They are things you wish to accomplish in a specified time. The business plan you develop will block time for accomplishing each of these goals.
Since developing a business plan is so important to the success of all real estate agents, and it is so detailed, I have decided to write about it in segments. If you follow this blog over the next few weeks, you will be able to develop your own personal business plan by following the instructions in each blog. So, take a piece of paper and complete the above steps including all the goals. Next week we move to the next step.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.