Being a real estate agent isn’t just a job—it’s a business. And to achieve the level of success most agents dream about, you need to treat your real estate business like a business. That means you’ll have to master the art of setting measurable real estate agent goals. You’ll also need to develop the type of habits that will bring your goals into reality.
We’re here to help. At The Close, we feel strongly about setting the right goals to advance your success. We believe in SMART goals. We’ll explain what SMART goals are, why they’re better for your growth, and how to establish strong real estate agent goals with some examples you can use as inspiration. We’ll also give you actionable tips on how to develop the habits of a successful agent.
As a bonus, we also included a helpful tool for you to use throughout this year—The 2023 Real Estate Marketing Calendar will keep you motivated and on top of your goals.
What Are SMART Goals?
When setting SMART real estate goals, it’s important to ensure you’re applying the right type of goal-setting strategy. Following the SMART model will help you draft concrete goals with deadlines, which makes you more likely to stick to them.
The word SMART is an acronym for
Setting specific and measurable goals with deadlines encourages you to visualize the concrete ideology needed to achieve your goals. Use your goals to establish a game plan for your business to scale to the next level.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
How to Set SMART Real Estate Goals
Setting your SMART goals takes a bit of practice, but we’re taking you through the process one step at a time.
When setting your goals, target a specific area of improvement and what exactly you want to accomplish. Instead of saying you want to make more money, invest in more education, or sell more homes in 2023, make it more concrete.
Ex: Goal: Take a course on branding to learn how to promote my business. The course includes seven self-paced modules. I will complete two modules each week and then implement the steps I learned that week.
Ex: Goal: Post on social media every single day.
Ex: Goal: Earn my Accredited Buyer’s Representative / ABR® designation by the end of Q2.
These real estate goals include exact details, making them comprehensive with no room for doubt.
If establishing a killer social media presence is on your goals list for 2023, you can cut down on your learning curve and leave the heavy lifting to Coffee & Contracts. Each month, you’ll get access to templates for viral Instagram posts and stories, postcards, flyers, emails, and even video scripts for Reels. Leave the creativity to the experts at Coffee & Contracts so you can focus on building your business.
At this time Coffee and Contracts has closed its membership until Fall 2023, however you can join the waiting list now and receive access to their free resource suite and get an exclusive discount when they open their doors again.
Make Them Measurable
Always include a way to measure your success with your real estate agent goals. Track your progress and make adjustments to your activity to stay on track with your longer-term goals.
Ex: Goal: Make 20 phone calls per day five days per week to prospects, leads, sphere of influence, and cold calls. Set two appointments per week. Add two new clients per month.
Ex: Goal: Sell 20 homes in 2023. Increase GCI by 20% year-over-year (YoY) in 2023.
Set specific, trackable numbers in these goals to keep your progress moving forward.
Keep Them Achievable
It’s great to have audacious goals for year-over-year growth. But for short-term success, which inevitably leads to long-term success, include some smaller, more achievable real estate goals that you can easily see.
Ex: Goal: Hold two open houses per week. Follow up with every person who signs the sign-in sheet. Set one new buyer appointment per week.
Ex: Goal: Send out 20 handwritten cards per week to farm, sphere of influence, and network. Set one listing appointment per week.
These goals are challenging but still easy enough to produce positive results. If you focus on creating success habits like these each week, you’ll have plenty of small wins to build positive momentum toward your loftiest goals.
Setting goals that are not realistic will only set you up for failure. You want to challenge yourself, but you also want to create that positive mindset to keep you motivated toward your real estate goals throughout the year. So, set sensible goals that you know you’ll have to work toward but are rooted in reason.
Ex: Sell one more home per month than last year. (Or sell 24 homes by December 31, 2023.)
Ex: Take a course on how to create social media ads by June 1, 2023. Implement one new strategy each week after completing the course.
Don’t overpromise yourself, whether it’s in education, marketing, or your sales volume. Again, it’s great to be passionate and motivated, but the real secret to finding success in your business is setting real estate agent goals you can actually achieve. Those small wins along the way will keep you motivated when your drive starts to wane.
Give Your Real Estate Goals a Deadline
Everything that has a deadline will get done in time. If you don’t give yourself a deadline to accomplish your tasks, goals, or anything else, they will languish on the “to-do” list forever. You’ll get to the end of the year and think, “I should have made time for that.”
Give your real estate goals a deadline now, so you don’t regret the lost time later.
Ex: Goal: Host and plan a homebuyers event in each quarter of the year—February 15, May 17, July 16, and November 15—to educate potential home buyers in my area.
Ex: Goal: Send 100 postcards to my geo-farming area each month in 2023.
Ex: Goal: Complete 14 hours of CE credit by September 1, 2023.
When you start thinking in terms of deadlines, you’ll keep your goals top of mind and keep your foot on the gas until you reach the finish line.
Setting SMART real estate goals takes a little more thought, time, and practice, but the rewards are measurable and attainable goals that help you scale your business in a meaningful way. Focus on short-term and long-term goals—one year, five years, 10 years—incorporating your most ambitious goals into your long-term goals.
A well-rounded professional should also focus on more than just business. You can create SMART goals for every pillar of your life. Design goals around your family, personal goals for yourself, and even your spiritual health.
Reaching your goals starts with setting short-term goals and building life-long success habits. Creating positive habits will help you reach those long-term goals to build a successful business that ultimately brings you fulfillment. Remember, you’re not just working in a job, you’re creating an independent business. Treat your real estate business like a business and set real estate goals to elevate your business growth.
How to Develop Habits to Reach Your Real Estate Goals
If you want to achieve your goals, then you need to level up your habits.
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” In other words, to become a winning agent, you must possess the habits of a successful agent.
If you want to form solid habits, take a page from author James Clear’s book, “Atomic Habits.”
In this book, Clear provides actionable ways to break free of bad habits (e.g., not updating your customer relationship manager, or CRM) and adopting new habits (e.g., reaching out to your sphere regularly).
The Valley of Disappointment
Clear also shows how small changes to how you spend your time can make you 1% better each day or each week. These tiny changes compound and drive big results over time. The key, however, is that you stick to them. (More on how to do that in a bit.)
What happens to many people is that they start a new habit and don’t see the results they want immediately. During this “valley of disappointment,” as Clear calls it, many people give up (see chart below).
Habits compound over time. Therefore, you don’t see the results right away. However, if you have solid systems in place (and stick to them), then you will see the breakthrough happen.
The Power of Systems
For those who know James Clear’s work well, you might find it odd that he’s in an article about goals. After all, he has an article titled, “Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.”
However, he doesn’t find goals useless. Instead, he says “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
We suggest that you use your goals to determine what systems you must have in place. Because even if you had no goals (but did have great systems in place), you would most likely achieve a marked improvement in your business. However, if you have goals but no systems, the same can’t be said.
So if you know what your gross commission income (GCI) goal is for the year, think about what systems and habits you need in place to hit them. Then stick to them daily because success comes with consistency.
Tip #1 for Forming Better Habits
Become less focused on your outcomes and more focused on your identity.
For example, if you are currently fixated on the outcome of doubling your GCI, instead focus on changing your identity to someone who calls prospects every single day.
Also, acknowledge that issues might pop up in your life that make it hard to stick to your habit. Give yourself some grace … but not too much grace. Never miss more than one day of skipping out on your new habit/identity.
Tip #2 for Forming Better Habits
Know that you have a habit loop (or a cue that you automatically respond to).
For instance, if you check social media every time you hear your phone make a noise, then you know firsthand what a cue and response is like. Create an environment where you are more likely to stick to your desired habit (e.g., no phone in the room when you’re working on updating your CRM).
Your environment is filled with cues that are either working for you or against you. Know which environments are most conducive to your habits.
And when devising a new habit, follow this formula: “I will do x at this time at this location.” The specificity helps you start to identify that location as being a cue for your new habit.
Tip #3 for Forming Better Habits
There might be habits you need to form that you do not like (e.g., cold calling). Clear suggests, for instances like this, that you use a temptation bundling technique.
What this means is that right after you do something you do not like, you reward yourself with something you do enjoy. Doing this will flood your brain with the feel-good hormone dopamine. You will start to associate the dreaded habit with feeling good. The thought of doing it every day will become less and less awful.
Your Take on Real Estate Goals & Habits
Knowing what goals you want to go after provides direction. And habits help you get there.
Whether you’re thinking about what you want to achieve next year or are reading this during a mid-year reset, know that the small tweaks you make to your daily habits compound over time. Dream big but start taking action with reasonable expectations.
Lastly, we’d love to hear from you. What are your big real estate goals for 2023? And what habits do you count on using to make them a reality? Comment below and be sure to add any tips that you think would be helpful for others.