The Secret to Growing Your Production in 2009

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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It’s that time of year again, where everyone makes lofty resolutions and goals… and then forgets about them before the month is out. This is the quickest way to the poor house in real estate, especially in today’s environment. Back in 1958, a Harvard study of graduates revealed that only 3% had written goals. After twenty years they interviewed the same people and discovered that the 3% with written goals were worth more financially than the other 97% COMBINED! It’s amazing that, in spite of such proof, most people don’t first write down their goals. What’s more, most people don’t tell others about their goals–another crucial step to achieving your goals. Sharing your goals with others creates a deep commitment that motivates you to follow through. But after this goal-setting groundwork is established, the main question I hear from agents is: “How do I know what to work on each day, week, and month to accomplish these goals?” It’s easy to get lost in the process just trying to keep up with each transaction. The greatest tool you could ever use to achieve your goals is a strategic plan, where you break down your goals into actionable steps and in the process create a…

Step-by-Step ROADMAP to Success

I’m not talking about creating a business plan. A strategic plan is about taking a good look at your business and what you want to achieve, and then identifying Strategies and Action Steps that will take you where you want to be. Here are three steps to take your abstract goals and get RESULTS in 2009…


Trying to schedule what needs to be done each week is difficult if you don’t know the major outcomes you want to see happen this next year. And everyone has different priorities for their business (and life). Ask yourself two questions: 1) “What am I committed to achieve in my practice?” And, 2) “What are the most direct, immediate, effective things I can do to reach these goals?” Where are the opportunities in the market that will help you achieve your goals? If the year is off to a sluggish start, it’s probably because your answers to these questions aren’t clear. Writing down the specific OUTCOMES you want to achieve will help you prioritize your time.
  • What exact income do you want this year?
  • What new markets or opportunities will you go after?
  • What new systems do you want to implement?
  • What skills do you want to acquire or improve?
  • How big do you want to grow your house list (SOI)?
In my own business each year I identify 4 or 5 major outcomes, and then assign a specific revenue or numeric goal for each outcome. The more detailed the better as it allows me to track my efforts and be accountable to an exact goal.

STEP 2: Prioritize Your STRATEGIES

Next, organize and prioritize the strategies you will use to reach each Major Outcome. This may surprise you but I take out a pencil and a sheet of paper, write the name of each major outcome at the top of the paper, and then list out all the things I need to accomplish to bring it about. These are the exact strategies I will use to accomplish these outcomes. Then, narrow and PRIORITIZE this list of strategies by asking yourself:
  • “What strategies can I use that will make the biggest impact?”
  • “Where could I best spend my time/money/energy to produce the greatest results?”
  • “What are the 20% of activities that will produce 80% of the results?”
When I was 27 I worked directly with some of the wealthiest, most successful businessmen in the world. One day driving in a car with one of my bosses (who ultimately became a mentor) he said to me… “The difference between those who succeed in this world and those who fail is…the people who succeed know how to differentiate the important from the unimportant as it relates to their goals – then establish and aggressively execute on the most important tasks. That’s why they achieve so much.” So what are your major business “outcomes” or goals for 2009? And have you taken time to break down those outcomes into Strategies you’ll use to reach them…then Action Steps to achieve each strategy? Here’s a simple framework that will help you. I’ve created a one-page Strategic Planning sheet you can print out to use not just for your business goals but also your personal goals for 2009 and beyond. Download it as a pdf by clicking here. If you want to identify the strategies to accomplish your income goals, you can first identify and list where the MAJORITY of your business came from the last year. Focus on making those sources grow. Then, list out your projected sources of business this next year. Cut down this list and prioritize in order of the impact each strategy will make to your bottom line.

STEP 3: Identify Your ACTION STEPS

I next take out a sheet of paper and list out the Action Steps needed to accomplish each individual Strategy (from Step 2 above). Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m breaking down the prioritized list of strategies into smaller tasks, or “action steps”… creating a “roadmap” to success that will simplify your life and multiply your effectiveness. Again, you want to prioritize your Action Steps by the most effective, direct way to achieving your strategy. By the end you’ll have just a few pages revealing the specific tasks to be completed to accomplish your goals. And you can start putting these tasks into your normal monthly and weekly schedule to get yourself on track today. The only thing left is to measure your accomplishment of your goals. Every 6 months, examine your goals to see what you achieved and what still remains. If necessary, take the simple “goal setting system” I’ve outlined here and make a revised plan for the second half of the year. If you follow this easy formula, I know you’ll have the direction you need to achieve your goals for this year (and each year hereafter). My warmest wishes for your success in 2009.

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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