March 27, 2009
March 20, 2009
In our second post on Business Planning, we're going to focus on utilizing S.M.A.R.T goals, understanding the difference between goals and activities and prioritizing tasks.
The whole issue of "goals" is hard for many people, regardless of their career path. Some people build their entire life around goals while others never will "set a goal" for one reason or another - usually fear of failure or unwillingness to hold themselves accountable to the results.
In real estate, it really is an "independent contractor" mentality so being able to hold yourself accountable to the goals within your business plan will be important. The biggest obstacle is creating clear goals, IN WRITING, that can be followed and measured. These goals should be what I refer to as SMART goals:
- S is for Specific - Can you clearly tell by reading the goal what is to be accomplished?
- M is for Measurable - Will you know when you have achieved the goals? Surpassed it? Fallen short?
- A is for Attainable - Who determines this? You do. Not your manager, coach, spouse or partner. It should be something you truly feel you can accomplish, even if you have to reach to get there
- R is for Reward - What are you doing this for? What is that "special something" that will get you up in the mornings? That will make you make those extra phone calls or knock on those extra doors?
- T is for Time Frame - When will this goal be accomplished. Remember a goal with out a time frame is nothing but a dream.
Look at your current goals and ask yourself if they pass the "smart" test. If they don't, what can you do to re-commit to them as SMART goals? Saying you "want to lose weight" isn't specific, isn't measurable, there is no reward tied to it and there is no time frame. So what do you have, 1 out of 5? I believe weight loss is attainable by anyone. Just don't eat for a day and you will have lost a few ounces, right?
Now let's take that same concept (weight loss) but make it SMART - "I will weigh 175 pounds by May 31st, 2009 and when I accomplish this, I will buy a new pair of exercise shoes."
- It's specific - What am I doing? Losing weight.
- It's measurable - How will I know if I accomplish it? I can get on a scale and check my numbers.
- It's attainable - Where am I at now and how far do I have to go to get there? I currently weigh 184 (but truly feel about 195).
- What's my reward? A new pair of shoes. I personally am still recovering from knee surgery so I have been walking instead of running.
- What's my time frame? The end of May. That means I have a little over two months.
Quiet on the set...and...Action!
Now I must decide on some basic activities that I can do to get me closer to accomplishing my goal. In the example given, walking each day, eating healthy, drinking more water and general weight training might be great things to do on a weekly basis that should help me stay on track. I should also get on the scale every once in a while to track my results.
The same thing applies to Realtors. Too often we try to "make 10 calls a day" or hold "3 open houses each month" and consider those our goals. Those aren't goals, those are activities. They help us get closer to our goals of a certain # of closings or specific net income. Look at your Business Plan and think of what your "SMART goals" are and then determine what basic activities you should be doing to accomplish them.
"Do What's Due First"
When it comes to prioritization, most Realtors make everything urgent and everything important. Stop and breathe for a second when I tell you that not everything in this business is urgent and not everything in this business is important. As soon as you can learn this lesson, you'll be a step ahead of many people.
Every time you decide to do something, ask yourself this question - "Will this activity get me closer to the attainment of one of my goals?" If "yes" then proceed, if "no" then look for something that is more urgent or more important and either delegate the pending activity or schedule a time to do it later. If you have two tasks or activities that are both important and/or urgent and will help get you closer to accomplishing a goal, determine which one would affect you the most if it wasn't done. Many times the fear of pain is a great motivator than the opportunity for gain.
In our next post, we'll look at a list of basic activities that could go into your daily, weekly and monthly schedules and help you attain more of your goals.
Until then....build relationships...solve problems....and have fun.
March 17, 2009
Welcome to March Madness. This blog has been selected by the Virginia Association of Realtors to compete in their Blog Brawl – a “NCAA style” match-up of some of the best real estate blogs out in cyberspace. I appreciate those of you who voted for me to make it into the “friendly competition.” There must have been quite a few because the “bracket seedings” were determined by number of votes and I am the #2 seed in Zone #2.
Now that the games have begun, I need your votes to advance to future rounds. Visit the site at http://varbuzz.com/nrebb2 and look for the match-up between my blog (TheRealtorsToolbox.blogspot.com) and the #7 seed (realestateweenie.com). The blog is written by Teresa Boardman, a Realtor from St. Paul, Minnesota.
It looks to be a very entertaining blog with a "hot dog" theme. I'll "relish" the chance to compete against Teresa. I am not worried about falling behind in the voting because I can always "ketchup." Whoever gets the most votes can proudly say "I'm the Wiener!"
You can read about all the rules here but what is really important are these three points:
1. You must vote in every pairing for each zone (I am battling in Zone #2), and you only have to vote in one zone if you want to.
2. You can only vote once per IP address. This is important: Why? Because many business offices share a single IP address, and your fellow agent in the next workspace may have already cast your office’s vote. Tough cookies. We recommend voting from home, your local Internet cafe, random wireless hotspots: Heck, anywhere you can get an Internet signal to cast as many votes as you want.
3. You have until Friday, March 20 at 8:59 a.m. to vote. Round 2 of voting will begin the afternoon of Friday, March 20 and stretch through Tuesday, March 24 at 8:59 a.m.
Thanks in advance for your help. Not sure where this will lead to but it should be fun.
The next time you've had a long day of travelling and you're ready to get home to your own bed, hope and pray that you get on this guy's flight.
March 16, 2009
March 15, 2009
~ Richard Stine
- You can picture your “destination”
- It utilizes S.M.A.R.T goals, prioritized tasks and basic activities.
- Share it with a manager/coach
- Review it often.
- Remember where you’ve been and where you are going.
March 13, 2009
"For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news."
March 7, 2009
A tough market requires a tough approach. This is when we all must look back to our beginnings to revisit the fundamentals of what made us successful in the first place. When we first broke into the real estate industry, we focused on launching our new careers, paying attention to the details and following up on every opportunity or lead.
This will be the third recession I've lived through in this business. If I was selling today, I would be asking homeowners for a 7% commission and for the ones who wouldn't pay, I would move to the next opportunity because there are many of them out there. In a hot market, your marketing campaign consisted of a sign and an MLS posting and buyers lined up to see the property and in most cases there were multiple offers and houses sold above asking price. Salespeople actually started to think that was normal!
I wish you great success this month.
Chris Leader President, Leader's Edge Training
With this achievement under his belt, Chris took over the management of one of the largest offices in Toronto. His success in that endeavor led him down the path to the realization of his true calling, training. Before the age of 35, Chris turned his successes into a platform for education across the industry and became a top trainer for a major international training company.
Today, Chris is a highly sought-after speaker, trainer and industry consultant. His boundless energy, wit and exemplary business expertise have allowed him to train some of the industry's best professionals. Chris' dream was to launch his own training company, and so Leader's Edge Training was born. Chris now provides state of the art training for real estate professionals, mortgage professionals and managers all over North America.
March 5, 2009
The concept of getting a "yes" in sales is easy when you're the one looking for the "yes" but how about when you're the person who has the power (or position) to give the "yes"? How good are you are making people feel wanted or needed?
Here's a wonderful post from marketing guru Seth Godin's blog that really hits home on people's ability to provide "truly remarkable service" with one simple little word.
Restaurants are built on their ability to deliver the same quality food and service on a consistent basis, day in, day out. Imagine going to your local McDonald's one day and having them serve you a Big Mac without the "special sauce."
Today is the first day of of The Realtor Toolbox's second year. I don't think when I started that I planned to be an "iron man" of blogging like Arianna Huffington, Matthew Drudge or Seth Godin but am happy that I have been able to post almost 50 articles, thoughts or ideas. I am the first to admit that I could stand to get a little more "consistent" and will make every effort in my second year to keep adding to "the toolbox."
Thanks for your loyal following. If you haven't already done so, add your email to the box on the right and you'll get each post delivered to your in box as their posted. Some of you may prefer to subscribe to the RSS feed which is great too.
Here's a thought for you today - How consistent is your service? How consistent is your schedule? How consistent is your success?
Until next time...Build Relationships...Solve Problems... and Have Fun!