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Ask the Expert: How to Tackle Goal Planning

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Setting goals is a productive and efficient way to move your business forward. But it’s one thing to set goals, and it’s another to achieve them. In the following Q & A, Frederick Herot, Vice President of B2B Marketing of REALTOR.com® and Top Producer, lets us know how a little planning can go a long way.

Q: How should real estate professionals tackle goal planning in order to best set themselves up for success?

A: Search on “goal setting” and you will get an outpouring of scientific studies defining what separates failure from success when it comes to creating and attaining a business goal. The following are the most important take-aways for real estate professionals:

1. Goals need to be a little bit challenging but not so difficult that the goal appears unattainable; otherwise, you risk failing from frustration.

2. Participatory goals work best, that is, when you are involved in deciding and setting goals versus goals being handed down to you.

3. Vagueness is the enemy. This means you have to get specific about goals for listings, sales and commissions. It absolutely can’t be “try to do better this year.”

4. Some agents flourish independently because of their own drive and tenacity…but not everyone is a self-starter. Brokers can mitigate this by using goal setting as a solution to bring new and struggling agents to success.

5. Progress must be measured and feedback needs to be persistent and constant.

6. Tangible actions need to be aligned with the goal, such as specific tasks that need to be completed within certain timeframes.

7. We all need resources to reach our goals, such as adequate training and the right tools.

At Move, Inc., we looked at these success factors and realized that if we are to be a good partner to brokers and their agents, we need to build programs that help them use our solutions toward achieving their individual objectives. Put simply, if we can help agents reach their sales goals, brokers will reach theirs.

With this in mind, we created a program to partner with brokers and their agents to help them attain their goals. There were close to 5,000 brokers and agents who participated in using tools we provided to set business goals. Here is what we have learned so far:

Agents are willing to reach. The average real estate professional does not seem to be bothered by having to stretch for a higher goal. Typically, agents will set goals to achieve 50 percent or more than their sales volume for the previous year.

Participation is welcomed. An amazingly high number of agents submitted their goals in order to learn what was needed to achieve them. In fact, we have gone through this exercise with more than 10,000 agents and brokers. Agents are willing to work together to define their goals, and thereby, will own them.

Goals need to be specific. Real estate professionals need to calculate the specific actions they need to take to reach a goal, such as the exact number of new prospects they need each month, how frequently they need to call prospects and the conversion rate necessary to close them. We built an intuitive tool that asked just enough questions to be able to calculate activities needed based on the answers. Try it yourself: www.realtor.com/goals.

Have the right tools. Once someone learns exactly how many new prospects they need each month, the number of follow-up connections they need to make and how conversion rates are affecting their business, it becomes clear to us which tools and services are needed to help them reach these goals, such as webinar training, seminars, free mobile tools and applications, and the support to connect all the dots.

Learn from results. At the end of our goal-setting program at Move, a synopsis of best practices based on the participants’ goal information is prepared and delivered via email. Make sure you analyze your results in order to adjust your goal-planning program for greater success and increased business. Obviously, each broker has their own specific initiatives they use to drive their business and brand. In some cases, we have tailored the program to be more specific to the broker so that the agent objectives are in fact truly aligned with the broker’s goals.

For more information, visit www.TopProducer.com/BrokerGoals.

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