Take Control Your Future by Goal Setting

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Tony Robbins once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

In the property management business, the invisible things can overwhelm you.  If you are a small investor who manages a few properties yourself, you have an idea of what I’m talking about.  But multiply the unexpected problems you face by a factor or two hundred or more and you can appreciate how important planning and goal setting are if you want to get beyond just reacting to events and grow a property management company.

The key people in my property management firm meet every 90 days for what we call our “Quarterly Level 10 Meeting”. We use a program called Entrepreneurial Operating Systems (EOS), which is a set of business principles and real-world tools that help entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses.

Having SMART Goals

Each quarterly meeting we establish 90 day goals by department that use the “S.M.A.R.T” technique. “S” stands for “specific”. This means your goal must be specific. “M” stands for “measurable”, meaning how will you measure if you are succeeding or failing? “A'” stands for attainable.  Can you attain this goal? “R” stands for “realistic”. Is it realistic for you to think this can be done, and that you have capacity to get it done? “T” stands for Timely, and in our company we want to make sure we are executing on our goals every 90 days.

So for us, using the S.M.A.R.T system, we look at creating 3-7 goals for each department that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (can be done in 90 days).

After we have gotten each department their goals, we then select 3-7 from all the department goals, and use them as company goals. Individual goals we ask for a 90% completion rate, and “company” goals must be done at 100% rate. How we selected the company ones are by vote based on what we believe the 3-7 most important goals are that we as a company need to execute on.

For example, this is a real goal of mine for first quarter of 2013: Have a new 30-minute infomercial on TV, and producing leads under $300 cost per lead.

It’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This was an example of my Individual goals. FYI, goals are “rocks” in EOS lingo.

One departmental goal of my VP of Sales, was to “hire & train 8 plus more agents”. We as a company voted and this departmental goal became a company goals.

If you are a growing company and want to make sure you continue growing, establishing and following up on goals or rocks is important. They are also a lot of fun to look back on annually and see all that you did. It’s important when making these goals to challenge one another to make sure they are aggressive and not too simple. Before we allow a goal to be set, we all ask for the S.M.A.R.T part of it. If they can’t make us believers, it must be reworked.

Now, once you have these goals established, we have weekly meetings where this component comes into play. It’s called ‘Rock review”. Someone could call it “goal review”. In this weekly exercise, participants are only allowed to tell you whether the goal is “on or off track”.  On track means I am going to hit my goal, and off track means I need help. From that point an off track remark gets put on the “issue board” where a latter part of the meeting is dedicated to tackling issues within the company” via management team crowd sourcing.

Your Management Team

Your management team should consist of 3-10 of your most influential, innovative, and impressive team members. For example, I have ten. I try not to duplicate departments, but if I really have a great team member, that goes out the window.

This program and others like help an entrepreneurial business to always progress, not to let the daily challenges we face distract you from your goals.  This model of participatory goal setting and achievement makes the most of the great talent working for us and helps us to achieve more than larger and more established companies.

Always progressing is the goal, and this practice will help you do just that.  Whatever your business might be, property management, investing, financing, brokerage or other, I think you’ll find that setting goals in a systematic way will turn invisible potential into very visible achievements that will mark your progress towards success.
Photo: ogimogi

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About Author

Brenton (G+) is a professional landlord and a serial real estate entrepreneur, with diplomas from Harvard Business School in Real Estate Management, and Entrepreneurial Development from Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT).

1 Comment

  1. Your A and R stand for , essentially, the same concept. I would recommend replacing the A with Accountable- meaning you are going to account for how you do at reaching your goal- this accountability may be to yourself- but for maximum effectiveness, it should be to someone you know and trust. Knowing ahead of time who you are going to account to and when can help reach your goal.

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