“Dream big, think small” isn’t just a good motivational poster slogan. A recent survey showed that the most effective way for people to achieve all of their goals (rather than just some of them) was to create a detailed, step-by-step plan for each one. These super goal-completers also cited persistence as the most essential tool used to achieve their goals. The big dreams and ideas you have can quickly get diluted if you don’t have a clear idea of how you can achieve them and why you are doing it.
You can create a long list of real estate investing goals. But if you do not have a plan to achieve them – and a way to measure progress towards your dream – you might as well not have set a goal at all. Instead, take the time to determine what will happen when you reach your goal, what needs to happen to accomplish it, and how you will measure each step along the way. It might be helpful to write down each step of your plan to visualize the direction in which you need to head.
Start by thinking SMART
The SMART method is one of the most common ways to set goals in any industry, including real estate. When starting with goal setting, it’s easy to remember to keep them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. You can focus your time and resources more effectively by keeping your objectives realistic. Keep your dreams big, but when it comes to goals, set them down in black and white with an eye for attainable and manageable workloads to get to where you want to be.
SMART stands for:
Specific: Concrete details are essential to know precisely what your goal is.
Measurable: You need to determine whether or not you met your goal with specific metrics.
Actionable: Your goal needs to be something that a person can take on—it should not rely solely on external circumstances.
Realistic: Can this goal be accomplished? It shouldn’t be too big or too small; it should be just right
Timely: Your goal needs a deadline to know how long you have to accomplish it and can track your progress along the way.
If you’re going to be successful in real estate investing, you need a plan. Let’s dive into how to set achievable real estate goals that will set you up for big success.
Get specific about your what and why
Real estate investors who start by answering a few key questions are far more likely to succeed than those who dive in headfirst. Of course, the most important questions are: “Why?” and “What?”
You can have all the knowledge, resources, and a great team—but until you know your motives, you’ll never be able to find success in real estate. So before you move forward, be clear on your motivation for getting involved in real estate. Are you looking to retire early? Fund a vacation home? Do you want to change careers and make real estate your full-time focus? Knowing why you’re doing what you do is the first step in achievable goal setting.
Create goals that are as specific as you can get. Define each part of them, and assign actionable steps to take to meet each objective. It can be helpful to create a log or checklist and break down your goals into tasks. Studies show writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them, so taking this extra step can be a huge benefit in the long run. When drafting each objective, be sure to ask yourself:
- What is your goal?
- How will accomplishing that goal help you improve professionally?
- Who can help you accomplish this goal?
- Which resources will be required to do so?
- Will achieving this goal bring you closer to your long-term goal?
- Is this goal achievable in my current financial situation?
- Is this something you can work on every day?
Set measurable targets
Next, you can break down your goals into measurable objectives. For example, create targets for the next one, three, and five years. Break it down further if that is too far out for your current goals. What do your next four quarters look like, or drill down even further to monthly or weekly targets.
Setting measurable goals will help you take stock of your progress, which will keep you motivated. You’ll know if you are improving or falling behind, if your work is taking too long, and when the finish line is approaching. You can assess how much progress you’ve made and how much work remains by identifying goals with metrics and KPIs, which will help you meet deadlines. If your goals aren’t measurable, you won’t be able to assess your progress, and you’ll find it harder to stay motivated.
Focus on attainable achievements
If you genuinely want to achieve your objectives, they must be realistic; otherwise, you can easily get overwhelmed, and eventually, stop making goals. Are you just getting into real estate investing? Then a goal of 25 BRRRR investments in your first year is probably not realistic. Build objectives that challenge you and the resources you’ve allocated, but are still doable. Consider the following questions:
- Can you take on this goal financially?
- Do you have enough time to meet your objective?
- What roadblocks will you face?
- What does “success” mean?
- How will you measure progress?
- What’s the deadline?
- How will you adjust if things go wrong?
The key to setting successful goals is identifying the steps it takes to achieve them. Spend some time thinking about and working through potential negative scenarios. You will be better prepared for roadblocks or touch situations if you’ve brainstormed what could potentially happen and how you would address it. For example, if you want to make a certain amount of money, what will you do if the market isn’t as good as last year? What are your backup options?
Stay relevant and accountable
If your goal-setting process involves simply making a list of the things you want to accomplish and hoping for the best, it’s time to rethink your approach. If you want your goals to help your business, they must be achievable and relevant.
Long-term goals are important, and while your big dreams can help keep you motivated, relevancy is more important in terms of contributing to your bottom line. Setting relevant goals is all about ensuring that said goals matter to the current state of your business efforts. Basing your goals in the reality of where you are at in your real estate investment path will ensure they are grounded and achievable in a reasonable timeframe.
Accountability is frequently the deciding factor between those who simply set or attain goals and those who exceed them. Therefore, to ensure that all real estate professionals are on track, they must be held accountable.
As with any personal or professional goal, dedication, discipline, and focus are required to achieve it successfully. It entails continuing to do the work even when it is no longer novel or exciting. Finally, you’ve to keep putting in the work and hours, even when it’s the last thing you want to do.
To attain your goals, you need to create an environment that encourages productivity. The more productive you are, the more likely you will accomplish your goals promptly.
Give yourself deadlines (and meet them!)
You have to approach each goal with an action plan. When you have a list of goals, you need one more thing: deadlines. Deadlines are what keep us on track. This is the step where most people fall short, but the deadline is essential to your success.
Make a plan of action for achieving each goal. To stay on track, review your goals on a daily or weekly basis. Once you have a plan, assign a deadline to it. If you don’t set a deadline, you’ll never be able to focus on what needs to be done now. The plan should include steps that will help you achieve your larger goal and incorporate smaller, measurable actions that will help you determine whether or not you’re progressing toward achieving your goal.
When setting your deadlines, stick to the SMART rule—make them specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic with a time frame for achieving them. If your goals are large and complex, break them down into smaller steps that are easier to manage.
Achievable goals can be the difference between failure and success
Real estate investing can be a lucrative business, but it can also be challenging. Many new investors get into the market and set their sights on making millions in just a few short months or years. While there’s nothing wrong with big dreams, setting realistic real estate goals is better to ensure your success in this industry. No matter what type of goal you choose, there are some methods that people can use to achieve their objectives.
When it comes to setting goals, real estate investors take a variety of approaches. Some people set a goal of buying or selling a certain number of properties in a certain amount of time. Others set financial goals for themselves and attempt to meet them within a certain time frame.
Real estate investors can set attainable real estate goals by networking with other investors who are pursuing similar goals. They can compare notes on their previous experiences and share ideas on how they were successful. This keeps them accountable and provides them with someone else who is working toward similar goals so they can support one another.
Another way you can set attainable real estate goals is to make detailed plans for how you will achieve those goals over time. Say you want to buy two properties in six months and sell three properties in a year, for example. Break down your big goal into manageable chunks that you can cross off your to-do list.
Setting smaller goals will help you feel like you’re accomplishing more, even though you’re not meeting your bigger goal. When you reach one of these smaller milestones, it may feel like a small victory, but those victories add up to something big.
As we’ve mentioned throughout, the keys to successful goal setting are focus, specificity, and action! So take time to consider all five elements of SMART goal setting and take steps to ensure you create achievable real estate goals that will help you succeed.
Interested in investing with Ark7? Sign up to browse through our property listings in the hottest locations like Seattle, Austin, and Berkeley.