Setting meaningful goals for your career is important. Without them you have no accomplishments to strive for, no way of evaluating your performance down the track and no clear priorities or direction for the year ahead.
Making professional goals will help give your everyday tasks, as well as both short- and long-term goals, more meaning, drive and motivation, and clarify your purpose as an agent.
One proven goal-setting method is known as SMART. Here's an outline of the steps you need to check off to set yourself up for success in 2016:
It’s all well and good to say ‘I will get more business in 2016’, but it isn’t a very specific statement or easily achievable goal. Many agents often make the mistake of setting goals that are too vague and are impossible to achieve and measure. Make sure you write down your specific goals so you can easily review them. For example, if one of your goals is to ‘get more business’, ask yourself what specific areas you want to improve and see grow. Do you want more clients, more leads, more online enquiries, fewer passed-in properties, more frequent commissions, more auctions, more referrals, more sales, more listings or more buyers? Choose the areas you want to improve and note them down to set separate specific goals.
If you’re unable to measure or quantify a goal, how will you know whether or not you’ve achieved it? For instance, if you set out with the goal ‘I want to set up a good and respected blog in 2016’, unfortunately it’s difficult to measure ‘good’ and ‘respectable’. So it’s important to clearly define the parameters of each of your goals so that you can measure your results and track your performance. Better goals for an agent blog could be something like ‘I will see a 100 per cent increase in newsletter subscriptions by mid-2016’ or ‘I will have X number of unique visitors to my blog page by the end of the month’.
Attainable and realistic
When setting professional goals, it’s important to push and stretch yourself to achieve bigger and better things. However, you need to ensure your goals are not too big and complex for someone with your resources and capabilities. If you set unrealistic goals, you will easily lose motivation, feel defeated and fail to see your goals through. While the goal ‘I will have as many Twitter followers as Kanye West by mid-2016’ is specific and measurable, it’s not remotely attainable. Based on the number of new Twitter followers you got last quarter, you might set a more realistic goal to ‘have a 25 per cent increase in Twitter followers in the first quarter of 2016’.
One of the most important features of any goal is that it has a reasonable deadline. Having a clear timeframe mapped out provides you with focus and a sense of urgency to get moving and make it happen. A couple of good examples of time-sensitive goals could be ‘I will contact X amount of people per week’, ‘I will add X number of new listings to the company website each month’, ‘I will close 40 sales by July 2016’ or ‘I will write a minimum of four blog entries each month’. Setting a time-frame for a goal also allows you to set up time to review your progress and decide if you need to extend your original deadline or determine what you need to do differently to meet the goal on time.
Taking the time to set your goals and frequently evaluating your progress will help to make it easier to stay motivated and reach your desired results for 2016 and beyond.