Updated October 2022
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution only to forget about it within hours or days? In many cases, it’s probably because your resolution was too vague. “Close more deals” or “Find more leads” may be good goals, but they don’t do anything to create a path to help you meet them.
Alternatively, a SMART goal creates a path forward. SMART goals narrow your focus, ensure the goals are meaningful and doable, and require you to determine how you will measure your progress. SMART goals are:
When you set a SMART goal, planning your goal and determining whether you have achieved it become easier.
What follows are 5 powerful 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 them and you’re sure to end your year in a more profitable state than you’re in right now.
1. Develop one new content marketing platform
If you’ve been relying on word-of-mouth and networking, you encountered unprecedented challenges to your marketing strategy during the pandemic. Let’s hope that a similar tragedy never strikes again, but it’s best to be prepared now that we know it can happen. 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 your services when you’re not able to host open houses or otherwise attend face-to-face events. Here are some possibilities:
If you enjoy writing or creating videos, then consider sharing your expertise in a blog.
There are a limitless number of topics you can write about, including, the appeal of the areas you serve 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 valuable content that others have created and you’ve curated. Share links to this content on your website, through email, or on your social media pages.
If you’re just getting started with blogging, then download our FREE e-book A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Blogging. It’s a great resource that offers some helpful advice to set you on the right path.
But if time is not on your side and you just can’t see yourself scouring social media or the internet for shareable content, then consider using our Branded Social Posts.
Branded Social Posts is a library of thousands of prewritten blogs, memorable memes, and Instagram Reels that we personally brand with your photo, business, and contact information. You can schedule posts months in advance to all of your social media channels. Best of all, when your posts are shared, your branding remains intact and goes along for the ride!
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 a new guest in every episode, or partner with a like-minded colleague to cohost. Podcasts are a popular way to offer meaningful information and connect with your audience as you learn new things yourself.
And we’ve got another FREE e-book download that can help you here too. Get our Small Business Podcasting: The Ultimate Starter’s Guide.
Across most platforms, video content is king. If you haven’t already started a video channel, get out your smartphone and get started!
You can talk about specific topics or just take folks along for a glimpse of a day-in-the-life of an agent. Want to repurpose your content? Have your videos transcribed (YouTube provides free transcriptions), 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.
2. Cultivate a referral strategy
If you work in a large market or one that’s particularly popular as a relocation destination, you need to put some time into your referral strategy. Here are some places to start:
- Identify markets where newcomers are arriving from, then reach out to connect with agents in those locations.
- Identify agents who specialize in a particular niche and connect with them to exchange referrals with you.
- Explore a referral platform like Redfin’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.
You can also identify strategic referral partners in your area. There are dozens of industries that serve your clients but who don’t compete with you for business–mortgage lenders, insurance brokers, movers, and lawyers are only a few examples. There are also businesses like restaurants, hair stylists, and auto repair shops that will jump at the chance to expand awareness of their brands. And then there are the service professionals homeowners always need, such as painters, HVAC repair technicians, electricians, and plumbers. Use this worksheet to help you identify the best referral partners for agents and track your outreach.
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.
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 prefer attending face-to-face classes or online sessions. Here are some ideas for developing your expertise and your business.
Perhaps you want to begin earning your GRI designation, or you have an interest in learning 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 the pandemic, and state associations have created temporary rules (many are still in effect) 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. Listen to the Stay Paid interview with Shark Tank alum Kevin Harrington about the importance of a mentor, and discover his secret to finding a mentor that can help push you to the top of the industry.
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. For example, if hosting a podcast is in your future, you may want to learn how to conduct an engaging interview. Maybe you want to learn about marketing your real estate business more effectively. Perhaps you’ve noticed more transactions (especially foreign deals) are being done with cryptocurrencies, and you need to learn about this growing trend in real estate. Or, maybe it’s the case that you’ve been thinking about learning more about real estate investment. These represent opportunities where speaking with a consultant can be to your advantage.
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 borrow the expertise of others from time to time. If you haven’t already developed your brain trust, it’s time to define the group you’ll choose and begin a systematic approach to consulting with them.
One step you can take is to join a professional networking group. (We’ve got a podcast episode all about that subject worth listening to.) But you an also create your own group with people you select for what they can contribute to your mutual success:
- A mentor with extensive experience in the industry
- A protege with a fresh new perspective
- 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 creating a diverse group with different backgrounds, perspectives, demographics, cultures, and opinions to help you get out of your own head and take on new ways of seeing and thinking.
5. Take on a new leadership role
Put your 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 could apply for a committee member position at the local, state, or national real estate association level or run for office. You might write an article and submit it to a professional publication for consideration.
Putting yourself “out there,” so to speak, will put you in contact with a high-level performers who can help you further develop your professional career and credentials.