Keep Your Brokers & Yourself Accountable to Your Goals & the Business Plan

Author: Nick Libert, EXIT Strategy Realty

If you’re like me and many of the brokers in my office, we have the best of intentions when we write down our business plan for the coming year in November and December. We reignite our passion for the industry, make ambitious “stretch” goals for our sales numbers, and then…well…file that piece of paper away. Come summer and autumn, if we aren’t hitting our sales goals, we dig around in our files and find that once-exciting business plan — and discover we’ve done very little on it.

Two years ago, I realized that this seems to be an industry-wide problem. We have great intentions, but fail to execute them.  It’s not a lack of planning—it’s a lack of completion. What goes wrong?  What can be done?

Check-In on Your Progress Weekly & Monthly

I began to experiment with monthly check-ins with my brokers who were interested in staying on track. We decided to bring our business plans to these sessions, so that we could track what progress we had made and where we still needed to work. These sessions became so powerful (with us all realizing that we were procrastinating, letting other things get in the way, or generally not executing the business plans we had made) that we began having them weekly.

By keeping a copy of your yearly business plan with you and breaking down your big projects (marketing campaigns, social media outreach, farming/prospecting, client events) into monthly pieces as well as weekly tasks, it’s harder to get off-track or discouraged. By having an accountability partner or small group sharing their own business plans and monthly/weekly progress, you lift each other up and allow one another to grow. I use a tool called 411 to track the four key areas of life — job, business, personal finance and personal, as the year progresses. The top row is your yearly goals, then monthly below, then weekly tasks.

Control Your Calendar

The second tool I recommend to a broker serious about accountability is time blocking your calendar. With so much being juggled in our current world, it is very difficult for the average real estate broker to manage their time well enough to get two hours a day of prospecting in — something most all industry experts agree is mandatory to build a healthy, growing sales business. Without accountability to a daily schedule, all of us fall prey to the temptation to put out fires first, meaning that lead generation gets put on hold — and, most likely, doesn’t happen at all most days. I print out my time blocked calendar and try to keep all my appointments in the areas they should be. I block out workouts in the early morning followed by two hours of true lead generation, then the afternoon can be less intense, with listing appointments and showings in the late afternoons and evenings.

Track Your Activity Daily

Finally, I’d recommend a daily activity tracker to keep accountable to what you are trying to accomplish daily.  The one I use with our agents breaks down activities from handwritten notes and phone calls to breaking bread and networking events.  This should make you aware daily (accountable to yourself and anyone you are coaching/partnering with) of what you should be doing to build your business towards those yearly business plan goals.  It’s that daily activity that will build your real estate sales volume up to new heights!

While it’s great to be writing things down and tracking your activity, it means nothing if you aren’t being held accountable. Consider forming a group in your office, or within one of the associations (like CAR) or groups you belong. A spouse, friend or lender partner can also be a great person to check-in with, gauge your progress and own up to any procrastination or roadblocks you need to overcome.

At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that plans are only as great as their implementation…and accountability will allow them to actually come to fruition!

Forms to Help Keep You Accountable

My 4-1-1 Goals Worksheet

Use this worksheet to help keep track of your goals and break them down into manageable mini-goals. This will help keep you on track and encouraged. Break your goals into four different categories: job, business, personal finance and personal. Start with your annual goals. What do you need to do monthly to hit your yearly goals? Then break the monthly goals into weekly tasks. Refer back to your 4-1-1 sheet throughout the week to ensure you’re on-target.

Time-Block Your Calendar

Are you managing your calendar effectively? Time blocking is a proven method to take control of your day and ensure you’re getting done everything you need to stay on-track for your goals. By planning your day in advance, with designated areas for all the tasks you need to do, there is less temptation for impromptu interruptions or putting out distracting fires. Indicate where you’re going to take time for lead generating and prospecting– which is necessary to grow your business. You can dedicate your afternoons to listing presentations or showings. You can even block out time to take care of yourself, designating a time for a workout or meditation to help you regroup and refocus on what’s important. Find the schedule that works best for you and your business, and then put it in action.

Download Nick’s 4-1-1 Goal Setting Sheet & Time Blocking Calendar PDFs.