With a new year come new opportunities as well as risks, so commercial real estate brokers should set goals and plans as early as possible.
In this article:
- Create a Multi-Year Grand Plan
- Formulate a New Year Goal That Helps Achieve the Grand Plan
- Make Your New Year Plan S.M.A.R.T.
- Pattern the Plan with Action Steps
- Consult Regulatory Notices
- Greet the New Year with Preparation
- Brush Up Your CRE Skills
- Review with Key Players
- Always Remember to Loosen Up Once in a While
- Act Steadfastly on Your New Year Resolutions
Brand New Year, Brand New Quality: CRE Goal-setting
Create a Multi-Year Grand Plan
Having a one-year plan is not as efficient as it was before. If you or your team will follow what other CRE agencies and brokers do, like only making a one-year plan, then expect to have the same or similar results. If you want the coming year to be a better one, go beyond what the competition is doing.
Having a multi-year plan can make any entity, no matter the number of members, perform better. From 1985 to 1990, China was not part of the top 10 countries with the highest GDP. By this time, China is in the middle of its 7th 5-year plan for the economy. By 1990 to 1995, China is already the third biggest country in terms of incremental GDP.
A lot of academic interest, as well as business curiosity, has surrounded multi-year planning. The United States Postal Service, as well as other US municipalities, schools, and entities, have formulated 5-year plans, with one-year plans aiming to help the grand plan.
If you already have a plan for the next 3 or 5 years, then you are already ahead of the pack when it comes to strategy and planning. If you do not have one, then start crafting a grand plan as soon as possible.
Make the 5-year goal specific, like having 20 stable clients or an aggregate client value of $100 million. As long as you or your agency have formulated your what-ifs, then finding a specific goal is easier.
Formulate a New Year Goal That Helps Achieve the Grand Plan
To make a good 5-year plan, each year must have a theme that supports the whole grand plan. For example, if the long-term plan is to have 20 stable and recurring clients, then getting 5 for the first year is a good start.
A good plan considers many things. An accurate customer avatar should always be a consideration, as an inaccurate one will only make you lose opportunities while having the right one can level up your profit margins. Finding why the sales division is inconsistent can be an important issue that needs time and effort.
Make Your New Year Plan S.M.A.R.T.
People in the corporate and project management planning world use the SMART goal setting system. Known in the academia as MBO (Management by Objectives), this 50-year old strategy has helped businesses, small and large, reach their goals.
The SMART system means formulating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Your multi-year design should be concrete, not abstract. Also, adding certain criteria and standards should be present so that everyone on the team knows where they are statistically speaking. The goal should also be realistic to minimize worker burnout and stakeholder disappointment. Lastly, there should be a deadline to motivate the group in reaching said goals.
If you already have a multi-year goal, try to analyze if your goal statement has the SMART pattern. If everything is in order, then you’re on the right track.
Pattern the Plan with Action Steps
Having a specific and realistic goal makes a good business framework. With a goal, you can eliminate the unnecessary activities that may seem to add value but actually does not. An example is increasing the number of prospects but said prospects do not have enough equity or interest, lessening time and resources.
Once you have a SMART goal, make a checklist of action plans. For example, if your goal mentions getting 5 clients that can bring revenues of $500,000 per year, then there should be a checklist detailing how your team will achieve this. You can decrease marketing time by focusing on prospects, or minimize cold-calling and increase the quality of prospecting.
Consult Regulatory Notices
Every year, there are new laws as well as updates to existing regulations. For instance, if you work with clients for financing, with a bank or in-house, then check the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for insured capital and other important features. Getting a refresher on some regulations can help, like updates from the U.S. Department of the Treasury or federal, state, and local regulations.
You can also take the time to review risk and compliance. A short talk with the team can also help reduce the risk of committing any mishaps.
Greet the New Year with Preparation
Are your documents and letters properly dated? Have you already started changing and updating trademarks, copyrights or other branding concerns? Are there any contracts that need follow-ups?
The new year means new activities and new processes that are necessary. It can be cosmetic changes in your documents, i.e., changing the dates and years, or it could be a major update, like new processes added or deleting unnecessary steps.
An important tip when you or the group starts changing things is to double check if it is a necessary change or a cosmetic change. Focus on making the changes before the year ends. You will be surprised at how much easier next year will be when it comes to your CRE pipeline.
Brush Up Your CRE Skills
Continuous improvement is a must for any business, especially for those in the competitive CRE industry. A key reason why clients go with a CRE broker is due to their skills and competence. By improving your value, clients will choose you over others.
Networking is a skill. Attend conferences, read books, listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Put into practice all you learn whenever there’s an opportunity. Soft skills, like empathy, listening and persuasion, are immensely useful in closing deals and retaining clients, so constant practice helps.
Do not undermine the benefits bought by books, seminars, and conferences. You need education to appreciate education. Brush up your CRE skills, and the value you get will most likely be the best investment you can do.
Review with Key Players
To arm yourself with knowledge and information, go to the battlefield. Ask for suggestions from your teammates. Get honest feedback from previous clients. As long as you connect with the people who are part of the process, you will get valuable information that you may have ignored otherwise.
Always Remember to Loosen Up Once in a While
While self-monitoring leads to better business value, being a social chameleon can be immensely tiring, even for extroverts. Pushing yourself too much can lead to short-term work fatigue. CRE brokers, and anyone in the commercial real estate industry, in general, can feel large amounts of stress.
As a lot of people will say, work hard and play harder. Whether it be a short stroll for your lunch break during office hours or a much-needed week-long vacation, your body and mind need a rest if you want to be on optimal shape.
Taking a breather can provide you with a much-needed rest and allow you to recharge. A break helps one to step back and evaluate the situation to better come up with an action plan.
In fact, what your agency or CRE business might be missing is a structured rest. Refreshing your minds can help prevent burnout and improve efficiency.
Act Steadfastly on Your New Year Resolutions
Planning is great, but businesses live and die with the execution. Constant revisiting of goals, like a short monthly team huddle, can do wonders to your journey. Putting “bus stops” in your team huddles, like monthly goals and weekly plans, also add momentum to reaching your goals.
Getting started is usually the hardest part, but once you have begun strategizing and executing your plans, the easier it gets. So start the new year right and get to it at the earliest possible time which is now!
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