Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You have a basic business growth strategy in place, but you struggle to execute on marketing strategies that provide measurable results. If you said 'yes', you're not alone. This is a common situation for real estate pros (partially because there is no formal marketing training involved in the process of earning a real estate license) and it's extremely frustrating - but what causes it? Often times, this issue originates from setting vague goals.
While it's encouraged to have a one-line statement that explains your overall business mission, you can't rely on that mission alone to help you achieve measurable growth. You need to have realistic, actionable goals to help you get there. That's where SMART goals come into play. Most of you have probably heard the term SMART goal, but do you know what it means and why it's important to building measurable business success? Let's take a look.
Real Estate Marketing Advice:
Using SMART Goals to Grow Your Business
a SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.
What SMART stands for:
You must explicity state what you're trying to accomplish with your goal. Do you want to increase website visits? Generate more buyer or seller leads? Increase your closes per month or year? Whatever the case may be, state your goal in detail to set yourself up for a strong outcome.
Now that you've identified what you want to generate more of, you need to decide how many more. Come up with a specific number that accurately defines your goal. You can use percentages (20% increase) or specific numbers (increase by 1,000 visits) to determine your number.
It's easy to set 'pie in the sky' goals that aren't realistic. Understanding what you're capable of based on past performance, budget alloted to advertising and internal resources is absolutely critical in defining achievable goals. Use this part of the acronym to check yourself and make sure you're being realistic.
Every SMART goal you set should relate back to your overall business mission. If your goals don't support your mission, you are mis-aligned and need to re-evaluate. Misalignment will happen as a business evolves, and goal setting provides a good checkpoint to make sure you're staying on task.
To effectively set a measurable goal, you must include a time frame. For best results, use a combination of past data and insights on your marketing strategy to predict approxmimately how long it will take to achieve your goal and incorporate your results into your goal setting.
How to incorporate SMART goals into your real estate business:
If you're new to SMART goals, ease your way in. Spend some time thinking about what you'd like to improve about your business and set one or two short-term goals that will help you do so. This will allow you to get a feel for how SMART goals work and will give you a benchmark on how accurate your time and outcome predictions are. As you become more comfortable with SMART goals, you can incorporate them into your monthly, quarterly and even annual marketing analysis.
You can also use our free Marketing Metrics worksheet to streamline your reporting.
SMART Goal Formula:
- Increase _____ by X% (starting at this amount ____ and go to this amount ___) by this date ______.
- Short term goal (weekly or monthly):
-- Increase website visitors by 10% (50 per week to 55 per week) by July 10th, 2015.
-- Increase seller leads generated by 10% (20 per month to 22 per month) by August 15th, 2015.
- Mid-Length Goal (quarterly):
-- Increase new seller leads by 10% (30 each quarter to 33 each quarter) by the end of Q3, 2015.
- Long-Term Goal (annually):
-- Increase closes by 25% (20 per year to 25 per year) by December 31, 2016.
Incorporating well defined goals into your overall real estate marketing strategy will not only help you predict future growth by giving you access to in-depth, historical data - it will also get you excited about meeting and exceeding measurable accomplishments on an ongoing basis.
Do you use SMART goals in your business? Share in the comments!