Set real estate goals you can crush — here's how

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Mindset & Motivation
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Success in real estate doesn't begin and end with a fancy new vision board at the beginning of a new year. If you're here, we’re willing to wager you run your real estate business with clear goals and specific thoughts on how to achieve them.

From driving increased sales to expanding your real estate education, there’s always something you can be doing better or differently to scale your business. But how are you tracking the actions on those intentions?

Every agent has real estate goals on their to-do list waiting to be conquered. And while everybody’s blueprint to success is unique by design, you can level up your skills and sales by forming achievable, pragmatic, and of course SMART, real estate goals and putting them into action.

What we’ll cover 

  • How to attack SMART real estate goals
  • 9 real estate SMART goal examples you can use today
  • An inside look at million-dollar goal-setting process

What are SMART goals for real estate? And how to attack them

Most real estate goal-setting resources will point you in the direction of SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. The reason the SMART goals method is such a ubiquitous tool in the real estate industry is because its tenets provide agents with a reliable and proven path towards progress.

Whether you’re setting short-term goals (3-6 months in length) or long-term goals (six months or more), using a system for establishing and measuring your goal performance helps support your ambitions with a solid foundation.

But it’s important to note that just because the formula is the same, doesn’t mean the goals themselves will be. Goals in the real estate industry are as diverse as the agents themselves. The goals you set for your own business will vary depending on your business needs, lifestyle goals, experience, market dynamics and more.

The common thread the SMART framework brings to the table is the idea that long-term goals are met through the pursuit of a series of short-term goals.

To recap, that means your real estate goal must be:

  • Specific - Short and to the point, with no room for confusion.
  • Measurable - If you can explain what it means when something is ‘done’, it’s measurable.  
  • Attainable - Keep goals ambitious but achievable.
  • Realistic - Don’t over- or underestimate your skills, time, or resources.
  • Time-bound - Add a clear deadline or milestone for each goal.

Do you have a bigger and better GCI in mind for next year? Looking to grow year-over-year (YoY) sales? Just want your Saturdays free so you can make it to your kid’s soccer game?

Whatever your goal may be, the below SMART goal examples can help you map out the smaller steps you can take today for a huge payoff tomorrow.

Real estate SMART goal examples you can start using today

Whether you’re following an EOS model, Atomic Habits approach, or a mix of growth philosophies and frameworks, it’s important to make sure each business goal has its own SMART formula.

Here are some examples of how that could look for some of the key areas in your real estate business. Whether you want to improve your social media, listings, open houses, or any other area of your business, the key is to set realistic goals using simple metrics like this.

Sales goals

  • Boost referral rate from 35% to 40% by end of year
  • Grow transactions by 25% from 20 to 25 this year
  • Increase GCI by 30% from 200,000 to $260,000 by Q4

Follow up goals

  • Centralize all lead sources in CRM by end of month
  • Follow up with leads for one hour per day Monday to Friday
  • Block two hours on Mondays and Wednesdays to reach out to expired listings

Marketing goals

  • Increase listing videos from one to two per week
  • Send gift or mailer to sphere once per quarter
  • Block three hours on the first Monday of the month to analyze marketing efforts

Unlocking $175 million in sales: The power of strategic goal-setting

On average, how many prospecting calls do you make a week, including new leads, follow ups, and your sphere of influence? Is this number bringing you closer to your sales goal? If you’re unsure, it may be time to reset.

The idea is to start from where you are now and build up from there. Chelly Herren, COO at The Hyland Group eXp Realty®, relies on her team’s YoY lead, activity, source, and deals reports to set prospecting goals and correlate them to sales.

Chelly and her team are big fans of Atomic Habits. And after serving 360 families with a $175 million sales volume, we’d say The Hyland Group’s goal-setting process is pretty dynamite.💥

At the end of the year, Chelly and her team go into an annual business planning process that helps them set clear goals for the following year. But the process wasn’t always this straightforward. 

Chelly and the leadership team pulled from a variety of sources on real estate agent motivation and accountability, including advice from industry mentors like Emily Smith of Wemert Realty Group in Orlando and insights from their expert real estate coach, Tom Ferry, to create their proven process.

Here’s an inside look at how it works.

Breaking down the math behind your top-line sales goals

To help her agents keep their goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based, Chelly asks her team to map out their existing performance data, including:

  • Average transactions from the prior year
  • How many days worked last year
  • Number of weeks they plan to work in a year
  • How many weeks they want to take off
  • Number of COI transactions
  • Top lead sources
  • Conversion rate

Once agents are clear on where they’re starting from (past sales data) and where they want to go (current goals for the year), Chelly checks in with each individual agent on a weekly or biweekly basis to help keep them accountable.

“The goal is to take their goals and help them break it down into smaller actionable steps and habits that they can then translate into day-to-day activities,” Chelly explains.

To set the right goals at the day-to-day level, Chelly helps agents break their goals down into:

  • Number of new leads
  • Number of calls made
  • Appointments booked
  • Deal closed

Then, they run the math. For example, if an agent on the team wants to work 48 weeks next year, their goals might break down like this:

Last year the agent claimed 117 leads. With a current goal of 48 working weeks at an average of 2.43 leads per week, this looks like:

117 / 48 = 2.43 average leads per week

Now the agent knows that they need a SMART goal for lead generation that looks something like:

“I will claim three leads per week, every week.”

Chelly is quick to point out that the process of working through the math presents a great opportunity for coaching conversations. “Was it enough leads? Was it too many? Do you think you’re going to need more or less leads to get to the goals you want to achieve this year?”

After discussing the specific (there’s that ‘s’ in SMART again! 😉) goals for the year, they move on to the next key action — calls.

How many calls will it take to get this agent to their goal? Here again, you want to let your past performance inform your future SMART goals and daily action plan.

3,252 calls made last year / 44 deals closed = ~73 average calls per deal

If the agent’s goal is 53 deals next year, we know they need to make 3,869 calls for the year. 

3,869 calls / 48 working weeks = 81 calls per week or 16 calls per day

Now the agent has everything they need to assign a SMART goal to their calling strategy, for example:

“I will make 16 calls per day, Monday through Friday.”

Chelly uses data from the Agent Activity Report and the Agent Goals Report inside Follow Up Boss to create averages for every agent on the team. From there, it’s easy to create the right SMART goals for every agent on the team.

FUB agent reports provide data-driven insights into your team's performance

Hard results matter, but don’t overlook your personal goals

It’s easy to become preoccupied by goals that have a direct impact on your pocketbook, but increased sales shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your goal-setting process. The best results in this, or any other business, is in nurturing progress in all areas of life. 

In addition to your business-related goals, write out a list of the personal and lifestyle goals you want to achieve, whether that’s spending more time with family, finding more ways to serve your community, or finally taking that well-deserved vacation.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the bandwidth to start this goal?
  • Is this goal realistic? Or are there other versions of this goal I can work towards?
  • How will I measure this goal?
  • How will this goal improve my life this year? In five years? In 10?

Remember, the success behind SMART goals is that they are not big, hairy and audacious — they’re achievable. Be honest with yourself, but don’t lose sight of the excitement and ambition connected to each one.

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