Are you ready for 2021? Let us help you. In part 2 of this blog, we'll share how to keep track of your new goals and adjust when things happen.
The Importance of Goal Tracking
After you’ve set your 2021 goals and projected the numbers you need to hit to actually meet them, the next step is to implement the plan and track progress so you can ensure the numbers you set and projected are actually real. If they're not, and you find that you overpromised a bit, you’ll need to readjust the plan to ensure you actually hit the goal.
For example, let's just say that your plan was to go after a hundred leads per month and you hoped to list 10 percent of them. What I always do when I'm setting goals like this is to track my progress daily. Whether you’re using a pen and notepad, recording information on a CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce or using Excel spreadsheets, the key is to track your results.
If you set a yearly goal and put in your numbers — and then you never revisit them again or analyze to make sure you’re achieving your goals — it’s pretty much like checking your bank account at the beginning of the year and never checking it again! Think about what would happen if you did that. Honestly, you’d probably bounce several times and you definitely wouldn’t have as much money by the end of the year as you hoped.
So it's really important to track your progress and to make changes based on how things go. As one example, suppose you don't get 10% of your contacts to respond — maybe you only get 5% — and then the goal for the month is lagging and the trend continues. You need to know these things, right?
Maybe at that point, you need to double your lead source to hit your goals or add a new stream of business. As things change, tracking them ensures you see the changes and can respond to them.
I’ve also realized time and again that real estate agents usually believe they're doing more than they are. It’s easy to skip over tracking, run blindly and think you’re getting in touch with everyone — but you aren’t. We've all done it. And then at the end of the week, although you FEEL like you worked your butt off, you have very little to show for it. Tracking your progress means you know exactly what you did and didn’t do, feelings aside.
How to Track
Now, let's talk about a few ways to do it. If you have a CRM, set up a process within your CRM to keep track. The second idea is Google spreadsheets or an Excel spreadsheet. Those are fine if you're logging in and you're religious about plugging in information manually. Lastly, if you're not really good at being on your computer or you're running around a lot, I would recommend an actual notepad, like a yellow legal pad. I use legal pads and even moleskin notebooks all the time. Just write down your activity each day, then at the end of the week, review the days to see if you’re hitting your goals or not.
Ask yourself, “Did I make the calls? Did I send the letters?” If the answer is no, you probably have double the workload the next day. That's just how it works, if you want to hit your goals. So at the end of every day, diligently review your activity and your numbers. Yes, we’re human, and it’s hard to do this on a daily basis, but the more often and the more regularly you do, the better off you’ll be. Think about your lifestyle and come up with a schedule. I personally like to do it on Fridays because I want to get my numbers done before I take some time off and relax a little bit on the weekends. But pick days and times that work for you.
Should You Have an Accountability Partner?
In addition to reviewing your strategy and numbers weekly, I highly recommend you also do it once a month. Review each of the weeks, add them up, and see how those numbers shake down — then make adjustments. If you have an accountability partner or a coach or somebody that holds you accountable, share your numbers. I’m not saying I think coaching is not necessary, especially if you’re a naturally disciplined person. It’s expensive, but if that's what holds you accountable, a coach may be worth the money. It all depends on you.
If you don't have the money for a coach, sit down and share with your wife or your husband what you're committed to doing and be accountable. If you don't want to be accountable to your spouse, find a family member, friend, coworker, another agent in your office, maybe your broker or somebody on a Facebook group to hold you accountable. Team up with somebody who's going to push you and who's going to hold you accountable.
Just keep in mind there are many ways to track your numbers, to hold yourself accountable and to make sure you keep up. So that's what I'm encouraging you to do, if you truly want to achieve your goals.