Top 5 SMART Goals for Real Estate Agents in 2021

Were you effective at meeting your goals this year? Check out our SMART goals list for 2020 to see how you did.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution only to forget about it within hours or days? In many cases, that’s because your resolution was too vague. “Lose weight” or “learn a new language” may be good goals, but they don’t do anything to create a path to the goal.

Alternatively, a SMART goal turns the path forward into the goal itself. That’s because SMART goals narrow the focus, make sure the goals are meaningful and doable, and require you to determine how you will measure your progress. In other words, S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

When you set a SMART goal, it is easier to plan for the goal and to determine whether or not you have achieved it.

What follows are five great SMART goals that can help you develop new skills, strategies, and platforms so that you can grow your business and your professional reputation. Achieve any of these and you’re sure to end 2021 in better shape than you’re in right now.


people gathered at table working

1. Develop one new content marketing platform.

If you’ve been relying on word-of-mouth and networking, 2020 presented unprecedented challenges to your marketing strategy. It’s important to ensure that you have an online presence, both to grow your professional influence and to make sure that you can market, even when you’re not able to host or attend events. Here are some possibilities:


If you enjoy writing, you may want to consider sharing your expertise through a blog on your website. Talk about your market and the home sale or purchase process. Let people know what you love about your area and serve as their guide to your community’s best features. Target a niche like military families or retirees in order to make your content even more relevant and searchable. Alternatively, you can share curated content to your website, via email, or on your social media pages. ReminderMedia’s Branded Posts platform is a library of thousands of articles primed for sharing with your sphere. It also allows you to schedule posts months in advance, and includes free caption ideas to take the work out crafting the perfect post.


If you love listening to podcasts, it might be time to start one of your own. You can host a podcast as a solo act, interview new guests every week, or partner with a like-minded colleague to cohost a regular podcast. Offer meaningful information and connect with your audience as you learn new things yourself.


Across most platforms, video content is king. If you haven’t already started a video channel, get out your phone and get started. You can talk about specific topics or just take folks along for a day-in-the-life glimpse into your workday. Want to repurpose your content? Have your videos transcribed, edited, and posted on your blog platform to get twice as much bang for your content development buck. And if you’re still not sure how to get started, check out this blog for producing engaging video content your clients and prospects will want to watch.


shaking hands

2. Cultivate a referral strategy.

If you work in a large market or one that is particularly popular as a relocation destination, you may want to put some time into your referral strategy. Here are some places to start:

  • Identify markets where newcomers are arriving from, then reach out online or on social media to connect with agents there.
  • Identify agents who specialize in a particular niche and connect with them to exchange referrals with you.
  • Explore a referral platform like Redifin’s Partner Program to work with clients in underserved markets.
  • If you work for a franchise, connect with referral groups specific to your company.
  • If you work for an independent brokerage, connect with referral groups through other industry organizations.

Create a SMART goal around referrals by defining the strategy or strategies you’ll employ, the steps you’ll take to make them work, and the number of referrals you’ll aim for in 2021.


woman with post it notes

3. Commit to professional development.

The real estate industry offers a host of ways to improve your skills and learn new aspects of the business, whether you’re attending face-to-face classes or online sessions. Here are some ideas for developing your expertise and your business.

Continuing Education

Perhaps you want to begin earning your GRI designation or simply want to learn more about social media management. Your local real estate association, along with a host of private real estate schools, offer a variety of continuing education options. Most of these classes have moved online since March, and state associations have created temporary rules allowing virtual learning to take the place of in-person requirements. There’s no time like the present to enhance your skills and hone your expertise.


Whether you work with a coach to develop your business skills, marketing skills, or understanding of a specific niche, coaching can offer you the personalized focus you need to take your business to the next level. Look for a coach whose temperament and personality meshes well with your own to maximize the effectiveness of the coaching relationship. Luke and Josh recently spoke with Shark Tank alum Kevin Harrington about the importance of a mentor, and he shared the secret to finding a mentor that can help push you to the top of your field. Check out his episode here.


You may want to learn a new skill, like starting a podcast. You may want to raise your profile through public relations or media management. You may want to get your financial house in order, leading you to schedule time with a financial planning professional. You may want to talk to an expert in real estate investment to learn how to get started. Many professionals offer consulting services that allow you to pick their brains, get your questions answered, and determine a way forward in your own development.


men meeting at desk

4. Put together a professional brain trust.

You may feel pressure to be all things to all people, but the reality is that we all need to take onboard the expertise of others from time to time. If you haven’t already developed your brain trust, or “kitchen cabinet” as it’s sometimes called, it’s time to define the group you’ll choose and begin a systematic approach to consulting with them.

You may want any or all of the following in your brain trust:

  • A mentor with extensive experience in the industry
  • A protege with fresh new perspectives
  • A financial expert with tax and investment expertise
  • A marketing or promotional expert
  • A legal or brokerage expert
  • A wellness or health coach
  • A counselor, clergy member, or other trusted advisor

Focus on a diverse group of backgrounds, perspectives, demographics, cultures, and opinions to help you get out of your own head and take on new insights.


business people meeting

5. Take on a new leadership role.

Put your experience and expertise to work in a leadership role within the real estate industry. You may choose to teach classes as a faculty member at your local association or create an online course to share your knowledge. You may apply for a committee member position at the local, state, or national association level or run for office. You may write up an article and submit it to a professional publication for consideration. This will put you in the way of a higher level of expert colleagues who can help you develop your professional life even more.

Written by Christy Murdock Edgar

Christy Murdock Edgar is a seasoned real estate writer and frequent columnist for Inman. Her expertise in the realm of real estate has helped agents all over the world improve their content marketing strategies.