Hello again. Liz back with this week’s blog post! Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2014 has flown by incredibly fast! As the summer months come to a close, I am sure many of you are like me – thinking and planning for the last four months of the year. The last quarter of the year is always crazy busy for people – both personally and professionally. Between getting kids back to school, businesses trying to complete projects before year end, dealing with the chaos of the holiday season – the last quarter of the year is always a busy time of year for people. If you want to make these last four months productive in your real estate investing business, you must ask yourself some important questions to set yourself up for the most success. One of my favorite personal development gurus, Anthony Robbins, once said: “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Here Are the 5 “Better” Questions to Ask to Achieve Your Goals In Real Estate! It really is all about the questions we ask ourselves. When it comes to achieving goals, we must dig a bit deeper. We must go beyond the simple question of “what do I want to achieve by the end of the year?” My hope is that whether you are a newbie in the real estate investing game or a seasoned investor, you take fifteen minutes today and answer these thought-provoking questions! 1. It is December 31, 2014, What Has to Happen in My Real Estate Business for Me to Feel Happy and Successful About My Progress? I wish I could take credit for this question because it is brilliant, however, I can’t! I first heard this question from my brother in law, Tony D’Angelo. Related: To be Successful You Have to Be Passionate About Your Goals! Tony has been one of my teachers over the years and has always challenged me with questions to help me grow and expand myself. This is a powerful question because it helps connect you to what has to happen for YOU to feel happy and successful. You can achieve all the goals you want but if you don’t feel happy and successful about achieving them, then what is the point? Feeling good about your progress is important and quite honestly – absolutely critical to keep yourself inspired and motivated along the way. There is no question that achieving real estate success can feel overwhelming at times. That is why it is important to ask yourself about “what has to happen” to feel happy and successful about your “progress.” As a result of feeling good about your progress, you will want to continue and take further action. 2. What New Habits Do I Need to Create to Achieve My Goals? After answering the question above, this is a great follow up question. We often get wrapped up with “to-do” lists to help us achieve our goals. To-do lists are useful. However, let’s take a step back evaluate what habits will help us achieve these “to-do lists.” If you take a step back you will realize that habits run our lives. Successful real estate investors become successful by practicing effective habits. For example, here are some habits that might help move you closer to your goals: – If you are in the wholesaling game, perhaps you have to create a habit of sending out consistent direct mail. – If you are in the flipping business, perhaps you have to create a habit of driving around in your target area and researching the “ugly” houses you are interested in purchasing. – If you are looking to buy your first multifamily, perhaps you have to look at 25 properties per week – no excuses. – Perhaps you have to create a habit of tackling the “important but not urgent” tasks first. – Perhaps you want to create a habit of spending 5 hours a week on educating yourself in your investing area of interest. – Perhaps you want to create a habit of writing your goals down – Perhaps you can create a habit of monthly networking activities with other like-minded people Regardless of which habit you choose, just commit to yourself that you are going to choose one and then do it consistently for at least 21 days! 3. How Can I Use the Power of Leverage to Advance My Goals? When you learn and utilize the power of leverage in real estate investing, you will achieve your goals faster and with less effort. You can leverage other people’s time, money, and assets. Let me explain. Time – Time is the ONE limited resource we have! Do you have quality people in your network that are helping you find deals? You can’t possibly have enough time to locate every “diamond.” Therefore, it is smart to have people on your team that can help you save time. Money – Unless you have been endowed with millions of dollars, there will come a point that you have to seek private money to make your deals happen. Do you have a group of private money lenders or equity investors? If you don’t, who in your network might be a potential partner for you? If you do, how can you find more or how can you better serve your current partners? In reality, your private money partners are your customers. It is all about treating them exceptionally well and finding more private money partners to expand your business. Assets – When I refer to leveraging assets, I am referring to leveraging other people’s talents and/or skills. You can’t possibly have every talent and/or skill necessary to be successful in real estate. Therefore, you need to leverage people’s talents and skills to compliment your talents. The best partnerships and teams have people who fill in one another’s gaps. Bottom line – you can’t become successful if you don’t use the power of leverage. Related: Follow These Five Steps to Achieve Your Goals! 4. What Daily and Weekly Actions Can I Take This Week to Move Closer to My Goals? Real estate investors are usually good at setting those big goals such as: “I want to by my first property by such and such a date” or “I want to rehab my first deal by such and such a date.” However, in order to feel happy and successful about your progress by the end of 2014, you must look at each week and then each day and ask yourself “what actions can you take immediately to move you towards your goals.” We absolutely don’t have any control over outcomes. We do, however, have 110% control on how we spend our time and the actions we take (or don’t take!). If you want to buy your first property by end of the year, then what are the weekly / daily actions that will get you there? One of our major goals before the end of 2014 is to generate a significant amount of cash with the goal of paying down a line of credit. It is one of those “big, hairy, audacious” goals. However, I am committed and focused on achieving this goal and focus on what “daily and weekly” actions I can personally take to stay focused. Some examples of these include: (1) read over and visualize this goal being achieved. There was a terrific blog post that came out about the power of visualization and I would agree with this 100%. (2) I spend time each week looking for property to be candidates for a flip. (3) a new weekly goal that I am going to institute by next week is driving around our target areas and writing down addresses of houses we want to research to potentially make an offer. Goals seem much more doable and controllable when we break them up into small attainable steps! 5. What People Do I Admire in Real Estate and Want To Spend More Time With? I was talking the other day with a new real estate investor. He was sharing with me that his goal is to purchase his first property by the year’s end. He was also sharing with me that they were nervous about investing but had a target market established. I then asked “have you sat down with any other real estate investors in your target market to network with them and pick their brain about the area?” They answered no but told me that was a great idea. We have all heard the phrase that it is not what you know but WHO you know. There is a lot of truth to this phrase. Brian Tracy once said, “Success leaves clues.” One of the most helpful actions my husband and partner, Matt, and I took early on was to surround ourselves with other successful real estate investors. We would take people out to coffee, network with them, surround ourselves around them, and learn from them. It does not matter what your goals and real estate investing aspirations are, the chances of someone having the success you want is very likely. You can make a goal for yourself to take one successful real estate investor out to lunch once a month or once a week. Successful people are typically incredibly busy but also want to help people. Remember, you become who you surround yourself with. In closing, what questions am I missing? Good luck to making things happen before 2014 comes to an end. Also, please share any “aha’s” you had as a result of answering these questions for yourself! I would love to hear how these questions helped you!