Shortly after I publish this article, I’m going to lead a goal-setting workshop for a commercial real estate brokerage company, the third one I’ve done this week. All around the world, brokers are actively planning for next year.
Indeed, we are right in the middle of “goal-setting season,” the time of year when brokers look back on their progress to date, think about their future aspirations and then write the goals that will define their success in 2022.
Goal-setting season is a period of optimism. After all, everything seems so possible when you’re in planning mode. But some brokers make a key mistake during this time: They only focus on what they are going to do and not on what they are going to stop doing.
As ambitious, achievement-oriented people, brokers are known for adding things to their plate without taking existing things off. Why? Some brokers see it as a defeat if they stop doing something, like “giving up.” Brokers tend to be independent personalities, rugged individualists who think they can do it all. Brokers know they need to persevere in an eat-what-you-kill environment, so they don’t like to give up on past goals and priorities.
Those are positive traits, essential for long-term success in real estate, but they are traits that can burn you out if you’re not careful.
Since there is great power in purging, I’m going to share several ways you can declutter your real estate practice.
Let’s start with lead generation. Fifty percent of sales leads never receive proper follow-up. That is probably the greatest waste of resources in the brokerage world. If you let leads fall through the cracks because you’re focusing on less important things, by all means, stop doing it.
You might want to look at your prospect qualification practices. Stop wasting time on people who will never become clients. For whatever reason, many brokers latch onto prospects who look good on the surface, but deep down, you know they’ll never do business with you.
Now that more and more in-person events are taking place, we need to look at networking. Some sales people never miss an event. They are on every board and committee and are always running from one meeting to the next. Why do they over commit and run themselves ragged just trying to keep up with all of it? Prospecting! They are afraid, they’ll miss out on their next dream client if they are not at every event. While I’m a big proponent of prospecting through networking, you must be efficient. If a time-chewing obligation is not regularly producing convertible leads, don’t trick yourself into believing you have to be there.
Many CRE agents are looking for silver bullets, anything that could save them from researching the right prospects and picking up the phone to call them. If you have been hoping that social media can generate all prospects you need, you’re probably coming up short. If this describes you, I suggest you stop it right away.
Would you like to know the single most important thing to stop? Counter-productive thinking. No matter how successful you are, you probably cling to some negative ideas. Every broker is at least occasionally afflicted with self-doubt. Whatever negative things you harbor in the deep recesses of your brain, now is the time to flush them.
So, as you determine your goals for 2022, you don’t have to add, add, add without taking things off your plate. Dropping outdated priorities is almost as important as identifying your next priority.