Have you been part of the majority of agents in the “plan-less” category? Perhaps you are now ready to raise your standard of greatness by creating a written plan. Before you get started, take a look at some of the pitfalls that could trip you up on the way. As you know, in order to be successful, you must “Plan your work” and Work your plan”. By developing this mindset you will reach your goals.


1. Not making the planning priority time

The time you need will not magically show up. You must carve it out. To fully design and create a plan, it will take at least a full day. Many agents will plan a retreat with their team, or just go away for a weekend without distractions to focus. Working on it piecemeal when you have some extra time is a sure way to fail. Time block an appointment with yourself today to work on this.


2. Not knowing the why

Miracles happen when you know your values and your working life embodies them. What is the real reason you want to produce what you want to produce next year? If you attained your financial goal, or the number of units you want to close, what would that give you and why would that be important to you? Is your goal to accumulate more stuff or to have a certain quality of life? The why, is the key to your motivation and your willingness to always be taking action step towards your goals. Keep asking yourself, “Why do I want this?” or “What will accomplishing this goal give me?” until you get to the bottom of what is really important to you. These reasons are your values.


3. Not planning in the personal first

Now you’ve thought about the why…. there is also the “who”. Your personal foundation must be deep and strong to soar high. Does your plan for the year include time for yourself, your growth, your family and your interests? The first piece of your planning is a determination of how much time off you will take next year and what your perfect work week looks like. If you did nothing else next year but worked on your own personal development, you would undoubtedly have an awesome year.


4. Not knowing your starting place

To successfully arrive at any destination requires knowing where you are beginning the journey and then what roads you’ll take. Gather the numbers from last year first. This must include more than just your total production and number of units. What was the source of each transaction? What was the cost of each listing? What was your NET profit? What was your close ratio on listing appointments? Each piece of information will inform you about where your strengths are and what untapped business is waiting for you.


5. Increase this year’s goal over last year’s

The normal agent sets next year’s goal by choosing a number that is somewhat above last year and then using some formula to tell them what their monthly and weekly actions should be. This is rarely exciting and energizing and usually results in having to work more, work harder or work faster, because you are not strategizing, by merely adding more actions or time to what needs to be done.


6. Failing to factor in reserve

Crises will occur and stuff will happen. In defining the production necessary to hit your goal, if you don’t allow for this, you’ll always fall short or frantically need to run on adrenaline to pull it off at the last possible moment. Assume you need 20%-30% more than you think to give yourself an ample reserve.


7. Ignoring the new opportunities

Last year’s success strategy is not the key to your future success. In fact, if you haven’t radically shifted your thinking and the way you deliver your services and reach people, you may not be in business much longer. Brainstorm and think about:

  • What new ways of marketing do you need to employ?
  • How can you partner with others that may be interested in the same target markets and may help create a win/win?
  • What new market segments or niches are, as yet, not being served?
  • Who do you have an affinity with that is a perfect new niche?


8. Not leveraging your strengths

The cost of finding new prospects is much higher than creating more business from folks who already know and love you. Get creative here! How are you encouraging and rewarding your best clients and customers for referral business? How can you increase their loyalty and increase the value you provide them? What other obvious assets could you capitalize on that you are overlooking?


9. Not thinking big

The money flows when we love what we do and we have a big enough game to play. Thinking small rarely inspires or gets the creative juices flowing. Abraham Maslow made a powerful observation: “If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life.” Humans are more stimulated by big, implausible dreams. When your goals become a game to play, rather than a measure of whether you are good or bad, you can let go of the attachment to a result. Then it’s a game where you can design some innovative and fun ways of expressing your commitment to excellently serving your clients. When the game is too small, it’s boring and hard.


10. Not creating a structure for fulfillment

Accountability and focus are both critical for good results and implementation. Even with a good plan, not having a way to stay focused will trip you up. Who do you need to help you stay the course? Perhaps, a partner to keep you on track? A coach who can see the big picture? If left to your own accountability systems, you’ll be prone to sell out on yourself. A good coach knows you can do more than you think you can and reminds you of who you really are, instead of buying into the reasonable or the excuses and circumstances.


So, become part of the elite…set aside the time, get your research together and get planning!

Make a Commitment: I will create my 2014 Business Plan by: _____________