Breaking Down Your Goals

Sort your goals into categories, identifying them as short term, midrange, or long range. Some goals can be accomplished within a few weeks or months; other goals will take years to accomplish. Focus on what you can do today to further each of the goals you have set. The easiest way to do that is to break down your goals into doable segments. Let's start with the goal of selling twenty homes this year:

  • How many people do you have to contact to find one buyer or one seller?

  • How many potential buyers do you have to work with to find one that actually buys within thirty days?

  • How many listing presentations do you have to go on before you get a listing?

  • How long does it take for that listing to sell?

Telephone prospecting is just one of the ways that you can generate business. Telephone prospecting, especially with people you know, has proven to be a quick and effective way to generate business and it should be included in your goal-setting activities. “Cold calls” are telephone calls to people with whom you have no previous relationship. Your telephone strategy to achieve your goals of acquiring buyers, sellers, and listings should be comprised of either many cold calls or fewer warm calls (calls to people with whom you have a previous relationship).

A sample telephone prospecting plan may look like this:

Cold Calls

  • Make five calls a day for twenty days to receive 100 contacts.

  • Assume that from every 100 contacts you make, you receive one buyer.

  • Assume that one out of five buyers will buy within thirty days.

With this formula you will need to make 10,000 cold calls to sell twenty homes.

Warm Calls

  • Make five calls a day for twenty days to receive 100 contacts.

  • Assume that for every 100 contacts you make, you receive ten buyers.

  • Assume that one out of five buyers will buy within thirty days.

With this formula you will need to make 2,000 warm calls to sell twenty homes.

Question

What if one of my goals is to win the lottery?

By breaking down your goal into manageable chunks you may discover that winning the lottery is a 1 in 10 million chance. If this is the case, how many lottery tickets do you need to purchase to guarantee you the win?

A sample telephone prospecting plan for securing a listing may look like this:

Cold Calls

  • Make five calls a day for twenty days to receive 100 contacts.

  • Assume that out of every 100 contacts you make, you receive one listing presentation.

  • Assume that one out of five listing presentations culminates in a listing.

With this formula you will need to make 10,000 cold calls to list twenty homes. From here you need to figure out market time in your area to see how long it will take these listings to sell.

Warm Calls

  • Make five calls a day for twenty days to receive 100 contacts.

  • Assume that for every 100 contacts you make, you receive ten listing presentations.

  • Assume that one out of five listing presentations culminates in a listing.

With this formula you will need to make 2,000 warm calls to list twenty homes. From here you need to figure out market time to see how long it will take these listings to sell.

In a good market, you may be able to make fewer calls, half as many or less, to accomplish your goals. In a tough market, it may take more calls to accomplish your goals. The “warmer” your warm calls are, the fewer calls you will need to make to secure a buyer or a listing.

When breaking down your goals into daily actions, set aside time, every day, for telephone prospecting. In the previous example you may have “make five prospecting calls every day” as one of your goals.

Farming

This type of prospecting is designed to “cultivate” leads over a period of time. Generally speaking, farming does not generate leads quickly but if performed consistently, it will produce results over the long term.

Start by choosing a farm area. Your farm area can be a geographical farm, such as a particular subdivision, condominium complex, or neighborhood. Your farm area can also be a nongeographical farm, such as people you know, tenants, or business owners. Once you have decided on a farm you will need to “work the farm.” Sending regular mailers with information that your farm will find helpful is a part of the process. Geographical farms may include statistics on the neighborhood or news of an upcoming homeowner's association meeting. If you are farming a condominium complex, attend the homeowner's meetings and add their information to your mailers. If you are farming tenants, you may want to send them information about the latest loan program that can help them get qualified to purchase a home. When farming business owners, you may want to concentrate on good investments in the real estate marketplace.

No matter what type of farm you have, it is important to give all the prospects within the farm something worth keeping, along with your photo and contact information. If they keep and use the item you send, your prospects will view your picture and contact information repeatedly over a period of time. This will make your name recognizable and synonymous with real estate in their minds.

ssential

Examples of items you can give to the community you are farming are a monthly recipe card, a magnet with the local sport team's schedule, or a wallet-sized tipping chart. All of these items give you the opportunity to keep your name fresh in the minds of the individuals you seek as clients.

Farming will rarely produce results overnight. Most people receive piles of mail and may not notice your mailer unless they are specifically looking for a real estate agent. You can increase the value of your farming with follow-up calls and (in a geographical farm) by being visible in the neighborhood.

Door Knocking

When used in conjunction with a neighborhood farm, door knocking can increase your results. Going house to house and greeting people at their door, checking to be sure they received your mailer and asking them if they are in need of any real estate services, will make you the one person they think of if they are selling in your area.

Expanding on this by holding neighborhood block parties, delivering flags on the Fourth of July, or pumpkins at Halloween can establish your image as the agent who knows the neighborhood.

If you are farming a neighborhood, making a breakdown goal to expand your marketing activities beyond mailings will give you a consistent presence. These goals might include, “knock on ten doors every Saturday,” “deliver seasonal gifts to the farm every two months,” or “hold a block party once each summer.”

open Houses

Holding an open house can be a good way to generate leads. If you do not have a listing of your own, you can volunteer to hold an open house for one of the other agents in your office. Many sellers believe that an open house will sell their house. However, it is actually more of a lead generator for the agent holding the open house than for the seller. It is more likely that you will find a buyer for another property than for the property you are showing. You may also receive a lead for a listing, as other potential sellers often check out their competition before placing their house on the market.

Fact

To make the open house experience pleasurable for visitors and beneficial for you, serve cookies and coffee or some other goodies. Have a guest book for people to sign so that you can have a resource of potential client names.

To make the most of an open house, you will want to get prepared in advance. Send an invitation to the neighborhood to visit your open house on the day and time you have scheduled. This can either be mailed or delivered via door hangers. Bring flyers for the open house, as well as for other available properties in the area. Be knowledgeable about the market. People at open houses will often ask a lot of questions in order to size you up and decide if you are the agent they want to use. Bring maps and outline other potential houses in the area. Be sure to have visible open house signs directing people to the property.

When breaking down your goals you may want to include “hold an open house every Sunday afternoon.”

Floor Time

Like an open house, you are waiting for business. If you have the opportunity to take floor time (sometimes known as up time or opportunity time), this may be a time that you can receive a lead or two. You will likely be in charge of the phones, taking messages for other agents, or setting up appointments for showings. Hopefully, you will get a call about some of the office advertising or someone who is interested in real estate will walk in off the street to ask questions. In your goal breakdown you can write, “take floor time twice a week.”

Business Contacts

Getting to know business owners who may refer prospects to you is a long-term source of business. Perhaps you regularly frequent a certain coffeehouse or retail shop. Let them know you are in the real estate business and see if you can take the owner to lunch. Ask them for referrals as you send referrals to them. Be sure to cultivate those relationships, not only for the quality of the relationship but for the potential of referrals as well. In your breakdown of goals you may want to write, “take a business owner to lunch every week.”

Look at your goals that aren't related to real estate and break them into manageable chunks, too. As an example, let's break down the goal of going to Europe in October.

  • How much does it cost to go to Europe? Think about:

    Airline tickets

    Hotel

    Meals

    Spending money

  • Add up the expenses of the trip. Assuming the trip costs $5,000 and assuming that October is ten months away, you will need to set aside $500 per month toward your European vacation.

  • How long will I be gone?

  • Who will handle my business while I am away?

Let's break down the goal of losing fifteen pounds by the wedding:

  • The wedding is in three months.

  • I need to lose five pounds per month.

  • This is 1.25 pounds per week.

  • In order to lose 1.25 pounds per week, I need to increase my exercise by twenty minutes per day and cut calories by 300 per day.

  • This means walking every night after dinner and no dessert until after the wedding.

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