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The Rookie’s Guide to 2023 Goal Setting: How to Achieve HUGE Goals This Year

Real Estate Rookie Podcast
42 min read
The Rookie’s Guide to 2023 Goal Setting: How to Achieve HUGE Goals This Year

Before the most well-known real estate moguls were moguls, they were rookie investors with a dream. While it took vision to get them to where they are today, they wouldn’t be successful without goals and a plan to achieve their goals. Tony and Ashley, two investing tycoons in their rights, use today’s episode to reflect on their goals from 2022 and start thinking about goals for 2023.

One of the most important parts of goal setting is the plan to get your goals accomplished. A goal without a plan is just an unattainable dream, but with a plan, your dreams can become your reality. So how do you intentionally set a goal? You turn your goal into a SMART goal. SMART goals are more achievable since you measure them, and when you start seeing results, it encourages you to keep going and accomplish them.

Goals give you something to work towards, but sometimes you don’t meet them, and that’s okay. The beautiful thing is that they can roll over. Missed your goal this year? Try again next year! Tony and Ashely both fell short on a few of their goals for 2022, but that didn’t discourage them. Develop a growth mindset, and a missed goal can turn into an opportunity. So join Tony and Ashely, pull out a notepad, write down your goals and make 2023 the year that everything changes.

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Read the Transcript Here

Ashley:
This is Real Estate Rookie, Episode 239-er.

Tony:
It’s easy to be busy, but it’s harder to be productive. And in order to be productive, you need to make sure that the activities, that the busyness you have is in pursuit of a bigger goal. But if you are just doing a bunch of things that may or may not be tied to this goal that you have around your business, around your life, then you’re just busy. You’re not being productive. In order to be productive, it has to be in pursuit of that thing that you wanted. And that was a big realization that I had this year. Man, I love that definition of having a plan versus just kind of dreaming.

Ashley:
My name is Ashley Kehr. And I am here with my cohost, Tony Robinson.

Tony:
And welcome to the Real Estate Rookie podcast, where every week, twice a week, we’ll bring you the inspiration, information, and stories you need to hear to kickstart your investing journey.
And I want to start off today’s episode by shouting out to someone in our rookie audience, they go by the username Mighty Paul. And they left us a review on Apple Podcast, a five star review. And it says, “Such great information listening every week and most times on repeat. I work as a medic, and in now in my downtime I can focus on researching rental properties. I started listening in July of 2022, and I’m about to close in my first long-term property that already cash flows $250 per month after all expenses. And the process of researching for my first short-term rental, couldn’t have done it without you guys. This is going to change my family’s life. Thank you so much.”
Man, Mighty Paul, that is amazing and congratulations to you on starting in July. And we’re in October, or I guess November now in this recording, and you’ve already got your first property and looking on your second, man. So congratulations that’s amazing.
If you haven’t yet, leave us an honest rating and review on whatever podcast platform it is you’re listening to. The more folks we reach, the more folks we can help. All right. So Ashley Kehr, what’s up? How are you doing today?

Ashley:
Good. I’m excited for today’s episode. It’s just me and Tony today, one on one. And we’re going to be talking about goal setting and what happened in 2022, what were our goals, where did we succeed, where did we learn, what were the lessons, and how were we going to change our goals for 2023. Are we going to be pivoting? And we’ll talk a little bit about the reason for goal setting and what a goal is and how to create a SMART goal. So Tony, do you have your goals ready?

Tony:
I do. And I’m excited to get into this conversation as well. I think so many people in real estate investing, and rightfully so, but they focus on the mechanics of being a real estate investor. But they don’t focus on the foundational pieces, which is literally their own mindset, their own… Just like how they’re positioning themselves mentally to action all those things that they’re learning.
So being able to take the time to focus on what the goals are and how you can start pursuing those things that are important to you is a step that I think a lot of people miss. They just start listening to the podcast or reading the books or watching the YouTube channel, but with no real clear picture around what it is that they’re working towards. We can get into to 2022, but one of the big realizations that I had this year is that I was building a business that wasn’t necessarily in support of the life that I wanted for myself.
We had been scaling so fast that we almost had no time. And I’m chuckling because Eric, before this call, he was like, “Hey, I sent you guys an email. Did you guys get it?” I was like, “Yeah, I read it.” And I was like, “I have no idea what email you’re talking about because I’m so backed up on everything.” And when I think about how my business has started to overtake certain parts of my life, it’s kind of making me pause and say, “Okay, wait. The reason why I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship was because I wanted to be in control.” And right now it feels like my business is in control of me and not me in control of my business.
Anyway, the reason I say that is because if you don’t have those conversations with yourself early on, when you’re at the beginning phases of your business, you can end up in a situation where you’ve built this business that is almost taking away from the life that you wanted and not necessarily supported in the life that you always wanted to live.

Ashley:
Yeah. I think that’s actually one thing that I’m pretty good at, is making sure that I don’t get overwhelmed to a sense where I don’t have the time. I will definitely procrastinate things, I will take on too much. But I do know certain times to say no and to not do it. I’ve definitely missed a lot of deadlines. I’ve definitely been behind on things, for sure. But I’ve been very careful as to how I’m scaling because I know for sure that I don’t want to work 24/7. I know that. I love working, I really do. But if I’m forced to work for many hours a day and to just grind nonstop.
I did that as a property manager and I hated it. And that’s why I wanted to build my own rentals because there’s lots of flexibility as to how you can outsource them, what you can choose to do. I want to be spontaneous and I want to be able to choose what I want to work on. And one of the things I love to do is build a business and then just hand it off to somebody else to kind of take over. And for the other investor that I’ve worked for a lot, I’ve done that for him multiple businesses. And that’s my favorite thing, I build it up and then I give it to somebody else. So I want to be able to do more of that too, even for myself.
But before, Tony, before we even get into talking about last year or this year’s goals, let’s talk about what a goal is. So I love this example from Tarl Yarber. I was on a webinar with him once and he said this, and I repeat it constantly to people, where if you have this dream of building this beautiful house, you imagine the white cabinets, the granite countertop, the walk-in closet with custom shelving and drawers, you have this vision in your head. Are you going to go and hire a home builder that has a dream of building your home? He wants to do it, it’s a dream. Or are you going to hire a builder that has a plan?
He has drawings. He has contractors. He has a timeline of when it’s going to be completed. He has a budget built out for you. So look at that as an example right there. You want to build that home. You’re going to go after the builder that has the plan, not the dream to build your home. So if you have a goal, if you have something that you want, you have to figure out a plan to actually get you there. Because if not, that goal’s just a dream. If you don’t take the time to implement these steps and take these action items to actually get to that destination you desire, whatever that may be.

Tony:
And first, I love that example and Tarl’s such a smart guy. I was actually chatting with him last week for a little bit. Every time I talked to him I learn something new about real estate or business or whatever it is. He’s such a smart guy. But I think what you said, Ashley, about a dream versus a plan, ties back into the issue that I was having around. It’s like if you don’t have a clear… I guess let me say it this way.
It’s easy to be busy, but it’s harder to be productive. And in order to be productive, you need to make sure that the activities, that the busyness you have is in pursuit of a bigger goal. But if you are just doing a bunch of things that may or may not be tied to this goal that you have around your business, around your life, then you’re just busy. You’re not being productive. In order to be productive, it has to be in pursuit of that thing that you wanted. And that was a big realization that I had this year. Man, I love that definition of having a plan versus just kind of dreaming.

Ashley:
Okay. So as you guys are figuring out what you want in life, and this can be you want this dream car, you want that dream house, you want a certain amount of money that’s coming in each month maybe passively so you can go and do whatever you want. You want to travel, you want some sort of lifestyle. You want to get married on in Mexico, this dream destination, whatever that goal is. Or maybe it’s not even something as an experience or an object. It’s more of just, “I want to be the number one home flipper in Buffalo, New York,” or wherever that is, “and I want to have the largest volume of sales as the real estate agent is in my area.” Things like that.
And I think it’s really important to not keep it all business and career-oriented. It makes you have a personal goal in there too. And I love it when people actually do a family goal. So you figure out something for your family, what does your family as a whole want to do by the end of the year? And maybe that’s a vacation or maybe that’s some kind of experience that your family wants to have together. Or maybe it’s just every Sunday for this whole year we want to sit down at the table and have dinner together. Something as little as that. But having that career business goal, your personal goal, and then even a family goal too.

Tony:
Yeah, I’ve heard it… First, I totally agree, Ashley, that I think oftentimes people focus maybe too much on just the money goals that they have. But it was actually Brandon Turner that had me kind of do a deep dive around the wheel of life. And it’s your health, it’s faith or spirituality, it’s your family, it’s your finances, it’s your business. And there was one other one that I’m thinking of. But anyway, it’s like this holistic kind of view of your life.
Now, I do think at times it can get challenging to try and tackle all of those categories at one time. To have one massive goal in every single category. I think what might be more impactful is what is the area that you feel needs the most attention and that will have the most impact. And maybe for some people, coming in 2023, it’s fitness. And maybe for someone else it’s family, they want to reinvest more time back into their family. But I do think having that holistic view and making sure that all of your goals aren’t just focused on your real estate business will definitely help you in the longer run as well.

Ashley:
And reaching that goal and building that strength in one category is just going to go and help you achieve those other categories or be better at them. So think of how you mentioned a fitness goal. If you go and start working out five times a week at the gym every morning, you’re going to feel better about yourself, you’re going to have more energy. People probably may even respond differently to you.
I mean, Tony, look at all the attention you got when you did your body building competition. And it’s not even about attention, but it’s people that maybe didn’t even know what real estate investing was about, but they saw Tony doing these body building competitions and his wife, Sara, posting his poses and flexing, and started following because of that. And they’re like, “Oh wait, short-term rentals? What’s this? I want to learn more.” So it could have brought value in so many different ways by having that goal, by going to the body building competition. But yeah, so I think they kind of all play a role in assisting each other.

Tony:
Let me ask you your opinion, Ashley. When you think about goal setting, do you believe in setting the BHAGs, the big hairy audacious goals? Or maybe these moonshot type things that people probably think you’re crazy for saying out loud? Or are you more on the side of where, “Hey, I want to set a super reasonable goal that I know I can hit.” Where do you tend to fall on that spectrum?

Ashley:
I’m setting a goal for the week. I have a very, very hard time seeing 5 years, 10 years down the road. I’m not that type of visionary. I can see a vision but not very far down the road. And that’s where I always struggle is because I don’t know what I want down the road I guess. I can picture what I want the next month, the next year, how I want things to be, but as far as down the road. So I think that that really hurts me setting these big goals is because I can’t see, I can’t picture that vision.
I was just having this conversation with Darryl the other week. He is such a great visionary where he actually can talk all day long about what this property that we’re building out as the compound is going to be like. And he just sees this vision and I’m like, “Wait, okay. Yeah, that’s awesome. That sounds great.” But we have to do this this week on the property and I can’t see past it. And I think part of it is I don’t want to get my hopes up and I feel like that really kind of hurts me as a detriment to me.
I think about it when I was younger and we would be going to Disney World, we would be going on a vacation. Or it’d be my birthday or Christmas coming up, and I would be so excited I could not stand it. So I started training myself to not think about it, not get my hopes up because I couldn’t stand that excitement. And I would wait until the morning of or the day of and I would just let it all burst. So that’s definitely been something that has really made it hard for me to set goals in the future is because it’s hard for me to get excited about something so far away I guess.

Tony:
That’s such an interesting dynamic, Ashley, because I feel like I’m almost the opposite, right?

Ashley:
Yeah.

Tony:
Where I am so focused on 5 years from now, 10 years from now, a year from now, that sometimes I have a hard time focusing about today. It’s like today is so boring to me because the possibility, the opportunities are all tomorrow. And that’s where I need the people on my team, obviously, Sara’s my wife, and our business partners to help ground me in reality.
But just for as long as I can remember, and you went back to your childhood and I think back to mine as well, one of the first businesses that I started was a car washing business over the summer. And over the summer I would wash my neighbor’s cars. And I vividly remember, Ashley, telling myself and I had an Excel sheet open on my dad’s laptop and I said, “Okay. If I’m washing one car a day and I’m charging this much, this is how much I’ll make. If I can hire five other kids to wash cars for me, this is how much I’ll be making. And if I can hire 30 kids, this is how much I’ll be making.”
My mind just always goes to the extreme. And it’s always been the same way for everything that I do. So when we talk about our real estate business, cool. What we’re doing today is awesome, but I always find so much more thrill out of thinking what can we do five years from now.

Ashley:
See, I can do it with numbers. So when I paid off our personal debt, so we had a HELOC, we had farm equipment and then we had our two vehicles. That was the debt I wanted to get done, and that would be all of our personal debt. And I had my Excel Spreadsheet and I would just track. And the same thing, I would think about, “Okay. If I came up with this much more money a month, how much [inaudible 00:16:09] off?”
So number wise, I can play with numbers all day long. And that’s where the lady in the street but freaky in the spreadsheet comes in. That gets me excited looking at it that way. But for it to not be a numbers goal or monetary goal, then I can’t just picture that like, “Oh, I want my life to look like this.”

Tony:
Why is it? Or I guess maybe not why do you think that is. But is there a way, Ashley, for you to maybe take some of these other goals and reframe them or rephrase them in a way that is more how you paid down your debt? Have you thought through that?

Ashley:
Oh yeah, definitely. And that’s something that I’m working on for this next year as to do it. But yeah, I’ve definitely thought about that a lot. It’s like how I was so motivated to do that and that just pushed me so much. And I’m definitely somebody like set it and forget it, so I have to have this goal in front of me all the time to actually go forward and try to achieve it.

Tony:
Yeah. So I guess just one piece of advice for our rookies that are listening. When you start thinking about your goals for next year, I would encourage you guys to pick a goal that is a little scary. If you say the goal and you don’t second guess your ability to achieve it, I would assume that it’s probably too small of a goal.
You want to say the goal and you get a little bit of chills because you’re like, “I don’t know if I can actually do that. I don’t know if I can actually make it happen.” Because here’s what’s going to happen is. You’re going to start reframing your mind to say, “Okay. That goal seems big, that goal seems scary. But if I were to achieve it, what kind of things would I need to start doing? Who would I need to meet? What kind of things would I need to learn?” And you’ll start training your mind to think just a little bit bigger, just a little bit bigger. And if you do that over and over and over again, your capacity for dreaming big will dramatically increase.

Ashley:
So one thing that we have also learned from Brandon Turner is when… So this is probably four years ago now maybe. And you know what’s so funny is I found a screenshot of this on my phone the other day. And it was Brandon’s Instagram story. It was him in front of this huge framed fake newspaper article where he wrote this article of what his business was going to be in five years I think it was. And he ended up doing it in two years, I think, whatever that was.
So Brandon did this based off of the book Vivid Vision by Cameron Herold. And this book talks about writing out what you see for the future, for your business, for yourself in a detail. It’s almost like a story when you’re reading it. So Brandon had done this and he went through and implemented and did way beyond what he had even written in this article. So Brandon talks about a lot is doing SMART goals, and this is all part of his intention journal. You guys can get it at the BiggerPockets bookstore, and use code Ashley for 10% off.
But with the intention journal, he talks about SMART goals and then also MINS, your most important next step. A SMART goal is something that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented. So when you are setting your goal, you should have these five things be a part of what that goal is. So an example would be, “I am going to run two miles every day for the next three months.” Okay, that’s attainable. It’s immeasurable, it’s two miles. It’s time-oriented, it’s for a certain amount of months. And it’s specific, I’m going to be running.
So setting your goal using the SMART thing, it gives you, I guess, an extra layer of success. I guess it’s more achievable because you are implementing it this way. Where if you just said, “I’m going to run. That’s my goal. I want to run.” Okay, you’re most likely… You can’t measure how well you’re doing. I mean, you could run from your couch to your bed and say that you check mark, you did your action item for the day.
And then there’s MINS, the most important next step, which is what are things you’re going to do to be able to make sure that you’re doing those two miles every day. So the first thing is maybe you’re time blocking. Every Sunday night, you’re sitting down and time blocking when you’re going to be doing your run every single day, something like that.

Tony:
Yeah. Ashley, just to piggyback off of that. So before I became a full-time real estate investor, I worked in supply chain. And supply chain is all about productivity. In the world of productivity there are these phrases called lead measures and lag measures. So a L-A-G, lag, and then lead measures. And I love to apply the idea of lead and lag measures to everyday life because it is a fantastic way to make sure that you are continually making progress in the achievement of your goals.
I love to give the example of losing weight because it’s the best way to kind of explain this difference between lead and lag measures. So if your goal is to lose 20 pounds next year, that would be your lag measure. That is the metric that you take note of at the end of the year. However, there are actions that go into or that support your goal of losing 20 pounds. So when I was training for my competition, I’ve shared this before, I wasn’t necessarily tracking my weight or how much I could bench press or any of these other things.
What I was tracking on a daily basis were the lead measures or the lead activities that would get me toward my lag goal of winning at this competition. So the things I was tracking on a daily basis was, was I doing cardio twice a day? Fasted cardio and then post workout cardio. Was I eating all of my meals on time and not cheating and sneaking a cookie here or there? Was I drinking a gallon and a half of water every day? Was I taking creatine and BCCAs two times a day? These were the things that I was tracking.
And I said, “If I can do my cardio, drink my water, weightlift, take my supplements, and I do that consistently, then I know as long as I stick to that plan, eventually I’m going to get to my lag goal of winning that competition.” And that’s exactly what happened. So when you think about your real estate business, if your goal is to purchase that first property, you need to start working backwards and identify what are the lead measures that I can track on a daily basis that will move me closer towards that goal of getting that first investment property.
So the investment property is a lag. Good lead measures would be something like, “I want to analyze 20 deals a week. I want to submit at least one offer every week. I want to meet at least one wholesaler every month. I want to attend one real estate meetup every month.” And just start to think of the different activities that if you do those consistently will almost guarantee your success in that field. I know it’s easy just to have that big goal at the end, but also think about what are those things you should be doing on a daily basis and how can you track those.

Ashley:
Tony, do you want to take that great explanation of an example and lead into what some of your other 2022 goals were besides your fitness goals?

Tony:
Yeah. No, I’m excited too. That was actually one of my personal goals. And I actually wrote, “I want to get in the best shape of my life.” That was the goal that I wrote down. And the competition was one way to get me there. But on the business side, I’m going to share a four, a couple that I missed and a couple that we actually achieved.
So first, one of our big goals was that we wanted to get to 40 Airbnb listings, 40 owned Airbnb listings. We’re going to come up just shy of that number. I think we’re going to miss it by six or seven. We got a couple more properties coming online here right at the end, but we’re going to be just shy of getting to 40 there. Was it a bad thing? Not necessarily. I think 40 was a bit of a stretch for us. I think we started the year at 12 properties.
So getting to 40 we knew was going to be a big lift for us. But I mean, we’ve purchased almost two properties this year so we still made really tremendous progress. Another goal that we failed at this year was buying a hotel. I was very open with you guys that we were pursuing a hotel over the summer, ended up getting beat out by another buyer. It was a really tough pill for us to swallow, but a lot of lessons learned there that we’re going to apply to next year’s goal. So those were two things we missed out on.
Two goals we actually did achieve were both around hiring and people. So we had a goal to hire a finance manager. We’re actually just hired that person. She’s actually a bookkeeper, but she’s like a bookkeeper on steroids. And she’s really good friends with our CPAs. They’ve got a really good working relationship together and she’s just doing a really phenomenal job around helping us get our financial picture in order for next year. And then the other goal that we had around people was hiring an operations manager to help with the day-to-day management of all of our properties. So we did that.
And we hired three virtual assistants to support hers. Now we’ve got a team of four that runs the majority of our day-to-day operations. And those two hires have been super, super critical and helpful and just taking away some of that stress that I talked about earlier around the business taking up so much of my time. And specifically those goals are put in place with the idea that we don’t want this to be an 80-hour week job for us forever. So those are my goals. Two that we missed, two that we were able to make happen. What about for you, Ashley?

Ashley:
Yeah. So I’ve some that are along the same lines. One thing was that I really wanted to take on a new business partner in 2022. I wanted to have somebody take half of my workload or at least take a part of the business over, but I didn’t want to hire someone for this role. I wanted somebody who was going to be so motivated by it because they have equity into the deals, they’re going to learn along with me.
I really enjoy working alongside somebody, but there’s always that employee-boss kind of, I guess, scenario. And I wanted to give equity to somebody who was going to be committed to the job and that they were going to, I guess, not learn what we were doing and then just leave and go do it on their own because they’re already doing it with me. So I found that person and they became my business partner.
We started getting stuff under contract last year and then we ended up closing winter and spring of 2022 on the properties that we purchased together. So part of my goal was that I didn’t want to do any more hands-on rehab, and I also wanted to outsource all of the rehab and I didn’t want to manage the contractors. And I wanted to talk to as little people as possible. So I reached that goal. My business partner handles all of that. He does that whole side of things for me.
Okay. My next one was for him to be able to come on full-time. So he used to work construction in the Bricklayers Union. He was laid off in the winter. So that’s kind of where we went through this trial period. And it was like, “Okay. Are the properties that we’re going to purchase, that asset management I do, is there going to be enough work for me to put onto him where he can have an income that’s going to replace his Bricklayer’s Union job?”
So luckily, he lives very below his means, and he also is a veteran so he doesn’t need health insurance supplied to him. And we were able to make that happen where he was able to quit his job. I think it was in April when he got that call that they were going to call him back to work and he was able to say that he’s not coming back to work. One thing that I’m way better at is if something is for somebody else, I’m way more likely to achieve it than if it’s just a monetary goal for myself too.
So us pushing forward for him to have this life-changing event happen, that motivated me more than being like, “Oh, I have this much money now on my bank account,” or anything like that. So that was really exciting. So who wants to do that with me this year and take on another partner? We’ll do it again with somebody else.
But the goal that I did fell on actually, and I pivoted towards focusing on this a lot. So I like to stay steady and keep my foundation of doing BRRRRs, but also I really wanted to buy a campground. And I ended up getting one under contract. And we had our earnest money deposit and we had quite a while actually to do our due diligence on it. You ended up backing out the last minute because you cannot get title insurance on the property because it was a foreclosure and all these things had happened. And we were going to raise the money for it. Nobody wants to invest in a property that you can’t get title insurance on it. So we did not get that campground.
We got a second one where we received a letter of intent signed. We still have not received the executed contract back signed. We keep getting red line changed from his attorney and then back to our attorney. So I don’t know if the deal will go through. If we will actually have, we definitely won’t close by the end of the year. But if we will be able to have an executed contract. But just something that has come up that we’ve had to pivot is that we did this LOI with him back in the spring. Interest rates were a lot different then. So we actually put into our LOI that if the interest rate on our bank financing went above 7%, the deal was contingent on that. Our interest rate had to be below 7%.
So right now, it’s kind of hindering right there if when we get this executed contract, if our interest rate is going to actually be above or below 7% too. So that’s something we’ve been trying to work with is how do we go and renegotiate if that is the case. Because it’s definitely going to change our cash flow a lot the higher the interest rate, and do we need to decrease our price now, things like that. So maybe reach that goal in 2023 with this campground, but we’ll see.

Tony:
Yeah. I can feel it as we’re both going to get it. You’re going to get your campground, I’m going to get my hotel. I’m manifesting that for 2023. So I just want to talk a little bit about our 2022 stuff, grow a little bit deeper before we move on to next year about what were the steps we went into, I guess, kind of coming up with those goals and how we actually executed on those.
So for me, I’m going to talk about my operations team because that was the one that I think had honestly the biggest impact on us this year. When I talk about why that goal was important to me, again, it goes back to the fact that I know that I want to continue to scale, but I also know that I don’t have the bandwidth to manage 40, 50, 100 different properties. And our long-term goal is to own a billion dollars worth of real estate with our company. And obviously, if we want to get that big, me, Sara, and Omid, as the three amigos, can’t possibly manage that.
So we knew that we need to start putting the people in place to absorb that kind of growth. And we got really, really lucky finding our team. Our operations manager, her name’s Kellen, she actually attended one of our events, the first event that we threw, our first short-term rental ride along we did back in March. She attended that event. She actually attended the BiggerPockets STR Bootcamp that I hosted earlier this year. So I knew her. I knew she was eager to learn. She had her first short-term rental herself and I knew she was looking for new job opportunities. She wasn’t necessarily happy where she was at. We approached with this opportunity, she said yes. And it was amazing.
We had this idea of we wanted to hire and then we kind of stumbled upon the perfect person. But before I even reached out to Kellen with this job opportunity, earlier in the year, Sara, Omid, and I all sat down together and we created an org chart for our business. And we identified all of the different positions that needed to exist within this business. And at the time, it was all of our names plugged into those slots on your chart. And I went through and I actually created a job description for every single one of those positions. But remember, it was all of us doing all the work.
But as we started to reach out to people to step into some of these roles, I was able to share the job description with them and then they already knew what the expectation was. And I would take my name off of the org chart, Omid’s name off of the org chart, Sara’s name off of the org chart, and replace it with the person that we hired. So we did that I think three times throughout the year. We hired an acquisitions person, operations manager, and all of our virtual assistants and our bookkeeper and our finance manager actually a few times last year. But that was a process we followed to try and find the right person.

Ashley:
I guess I can kind of go into the campground one as to the steps that we took to get these campgrounds under contract is first we let brokers know that we were looking for a campground. I talked about it on the podcast constantly. Any event I was at, I talked about it. And we actually got a ton of campground sent to us. And that’s where we were like, “Oh, we really need to define our criteria because this is going to be overwhelming analyzing all of these campground deals that are coming in.”
So that was kind of our next step and that wasn’t even part of the plan. We didn’t even have that in place. So it just shows that your goal, your path to that goal probably is going to have to pivot change, and you’re going to learn things and you grow off of it. And also, analyzing a campground, that’s like a whole different animal. I mean, there’s so many different revenue streams. So many different expenses, permits, all these things.
And we actually ended up finding on Upwork, which is a virtual assistant job task board, I guess, where you put the job description out there of what you need and you can hire someone virtually to complete it. We actually found someone to do the deep deal analysis. So we would go through the financial statements and I would run an analysis on it, but then we’d actually have this guy go even further and do the market research on it and implement that. So that was definitely a learning experience as to using who, not how and not taking tons of time to actually build my own Excel Spreadsheet.
I mean, I think we paid him maybe a couple hundred bucks and he built out this huge phenomenal Excel Spreadsheet for us to used to analyze these type of deals. But then we did direct mail too, and that’s how we actually got the second campground that we got. The LOI was doing a direct mail campaign. So we made sure we wanted two deal sources and one was brokers. And when you’re doing commercial real estate, brokers are a huge resource and really beneficial for you.
And then doing direct mail, a lot of campground owners are mom-and-pop. So I think it was maybe two years ago this statistic came out that 88% of campground owners only owned one campground. So it kind of showed to me that it’s not these huge syndicators coming in and buying campgrounds yet. I think it’s on its way definitely there, but it’s still a lot of mom-and-pops that are owning them, which was a huge attraction to me. So that’s what we did. We sent out the direct mail campaign to them.
So that was our action items was. We made sure to send out 500 mailers, while it ends up there’s not 500 campgrounds in the area that we were looking for. So that’s when we decided to pivot a little bit and say to look at lake houses too. And to kind of add into that mail campaign in the area where we were looking at too. But that’s kind of the steps we took to actually get it under contract.
And we had our different roles and responsibilities. So Darryl was in charge and that was like fine-tune. We want the campground, who’s going to do what to get that? And so Darryl would be, his name was on all the mailings, the postcards. And so he was the contact person. He would get all the information from the person and then I would go behind the scenes and I would go on to PropStream GIS mapping systems and I would do my data research on that.
Then we would decide yes or no, we want to pursue it. And then he would go back to them and he would set up the showing and we would both go together, tour the campground, get the information, and then we would go into our deep dive analysis and I would build up the offer. So the one that we did get under contract and go into due diligence, that’s where Darryl came in with the actual onsite due diligence. And then I did all the work of due diligence that can be done on the computer, such as pulling the property taxes, getting an insurance quote, things like that.
But just how you had said about doing the org chart and defining what the roles were, we had done that for ourselves for that specific goal. Because in our business now it’s mostly doing BRRRRs, doing rehabs, and he’s the project manager and overseeing that. So actually going after the campgrounds was very different in a sense I guess too.

Tony:
Yeah. I think it’s interesting that we both set these goals to go off these larger commercial properties and both of us failed at that. And I think so often the people look at Ashley and Tony as the cohost of this big real estate podcast and think that we can’t do no wrong and that everything just goes right for us all the time. But just everyone who’s listening, we are rookies in that space.
You are a rookie in the campground space, I am a rookie in the hotel and motel space, and we’re both rookies at raising syndication funds and doing all those things and creating these complex models. So once you get to a certain point, it’s almost like you have to start over again to reach that next level. I’d just like to point it out because we run into challenges and issues just like every other real estate investor.

Ashley:
Yeah. If you want to purchase a BRRRR property or a long-term rental or even a short-term rental in the rural area of Buffalo, New York, I am your expert. Other than that, I am a rookie at all other things.

Tony:
[inaudible 00:40:37].

Ashley:
Even on the podcast, I still can’t form words correctly. So Tony, let’s talk about our new goals going forward for 2023. What are yours? And do you even have them defined and written out yet? I can’t say that mine are totally ready.

Tony:
Yeah. I mean, definitely we have it on the calendar for us to get away for a day and a half really to plan 2023. So that’s coming up here shortly. But I can say I have a good idea of what some of the big themes will be for next year. A big one will be, like I said, purchasing at least one commercial asset. So we do have a goal of buying at least one hotel or motel next year. I think our goal will probably be to target maybe a smaller market. We went into a big primary vacation destination that’s first go around. I think next time we’re probably going to target maybe a secondary, tertiary vacation market that’s maybe not as competitive as what we were this first go around. So that’s one big goal for us.
We want to continue to build out our team. We need a property launch coordinator that we’re looking to hire. So basically someone that flies from city to city, to get all of our properties set up. We’ve kind of been managing that remotely and sharing the responsibilities amongst the team. But if we’re setting up two properties a month, we need someone whose full-time job is to just focus on ordering everything and managing the shipments and getting the design squared away and all those things. So that’s a big hire for us going into next year.
And then the biggest goal that we have is we want to change the way that we are currently purchasing real estate. So right now, a lot of our deals are one off partnerships with different investors. But our goal is to probably transition into more of a fund model where we just raise a bunch of money all at once and then deploy those funds over three to five months, buying up a bunch of properties at one time. So I think that’s the next iteration of our business is going from Alpha Geek Capital that’s just this one off deal to Alpha Geek Capital that’s a fund buying multiple deals at once.

Ashley:
I’m glad you mentioned that you guys have a day set aside for you guys. Because I didn’t want to forget to talk about this is meeting with your partners and even your guys as significant others, and talking about what the goals are for the company as a whole and making sure that you guys are all in alignment. That you’re aligned, that you’re taking in the company in the same direction.
Because the worst thing that could happen is Tony could say like, “Yes, in five years I want to be at a hundred billion.” And Omid could say, “What do you mean? I thought next year we’re going to sell everything. We’re just going to live off the money we’ve made off of it. No, I only want to work one more year, not five more years.” So I think making sure that your goals are aligned with your business partners is super important.
So actually next week I’m taking my kids to Florida and Darryl’s taking his son to Florida. And we are going to use the time to not have to work at all and we’re going to have a nice vacation with the kids, have fun, but we’re also going to do it as our goal setting. So the airplane rides or just hanging out by the pool or whatever. And what we’re going to do is we’ve set kind of limitations as we can’t talk operations.
So nothing that’s going on and the day-to-day now, what problems are or any things like that. It’s just going to be what our goals are and what we want, and then how to get there and kind of planning it out and talking it out through that. Not like, “Oh, I just got this email. Let’s do this.” Or talking about anything that’s happening right now in the business only down the road. So kind of putting that limitation.
We’ll see how that goes if that actually works. But I think if you definitely try to do that is don’t talk operations or the day-to-day because it’ll just derail you from actually seeing that vision and setting those goals too. Because you want to set those goals with a clear mind that there’s nothing impounding that right now.

Tony:
We’ll get into the resource here in a bit, but I think that’s an important thing that a lot of people miss is that you need some sort of regular cadence to review your goals. Because most people set their goals at the beginning of the year and then they never look at them again. But you need to have some kind of mechanism in your life and in your business to constantly remind yourself of what your goals are.
So for me, my life goals not my business goals, my personal life goals, I have them as a screenshot on my iPhone. It’s like every time I open my phone, I can see what my goals are on a personal side every single moment that I pick my phone up. On the business side, every time we meet on a weekly basis, we have our goals listed there as well. We could do a better job of reviewing them and then we meet quarterly to reset goals for the next quarter. So you’ve got to find that rhythm in your business to circle back when on those goals. Otherwise, everyone will forget about them by the time the end of January rolls around.

Ashley:
Yeah. Every Tuesday, we either do a Zoom call and it’s just me and Darryl. We do a Zoom call or we sit down in person, but every Tuesday we do it, changes its time or whatever. And sometimes it’s even late at night after I do my bootcamp call we do this. But it’s helped us so much tremendously implementing this, where every Tuesday is where we’re going through the weekly agenda, what are we each doing, how did last week go. And that’s where we’re talking the day-to-day stuff and everything like that.
But you’re right, there needs to be that separate meeting for your goals and staying on track for that. So I think if you’re doing that weekly meeting, just aligning with each other, seeing what each other’s doing, taking care of that, you can mention your goals and keep each other accountable. But I think that your operations has become such a distraction to actually focusing on your goals.
Because something in your operations, your day-to-day is going to seem so much more important or impertinent than something that’s farther down the road and you’ll get distracted. So setting a quarterly meeting or maybe a monthly dinner or something, or even a breakfast meeting where it’s just like, “Okay, here’s our goals. Where are we at?” And then having those action items to actually track them to see where you are at meeting those goals.

Tony:
Ash, do you have any other goals you want to highlight for 2023 or should we keep rolling with the resources?

Ashley:
Yeah, I don’t think I actually gave any of mine. I just said that-

Tony:
Oh yeah.

Ashley:
… I’m going to do the meetings. So a goal would be to keep those Tuesday meetings. Okay, for 2023 is really going to be about building out my systems and processes even farther. So last year there was definitely a lot of that with the rehab is, using monday.com to build out these Monday boards. So this year, I’ve actually hired a consulting company and they’re going to help me even take my Monday boards to the next level.
So this year, I am going to be spending money on other people doing things for me. Me, I know how I want things. I just don’t want to sit down at my computer and build it out. So that’s really been something that’s been holding me back is because I don’t want to take the time to sit down and actually do it. It’s all in my head. And that’s kind of where me and Darryl and even me and Joe butt heads sometimes because it’s like, “I have it all in my head. What do you mean you’re not understanding or you didn’t do it this way?”
So this way it’s all drawn out and it’s all planned out, plus I want to hire my own property manager. So I used to have run two property management companies, one for another investor and one for my own properties. Then I gave it all to a third-party property management company and it’s just not working out well. So I’m going to be hiring, by the end of February, in-house property manager that’s going to be running all of this. And so I need to build out my property management systems. Again, this is something also that the consulting firm is going to help me.
So the consulting firm is going to be doing a lot of work for me, but also this is holding me accountable to getting it done. So I’m paying them money to do this, and that is motivation for me to follow through with this and get it done. Because it would be very easy to just be like, “You know what? I’m going to hire my friend who I think would make a good property manager just because I’m introverted and I don’t want to interview people or talk to people or read resumes or anything. So I’m just going to do that because it’s easy.”
Well, I’ve done that before and that doesn’t work out well. So that’s part of my new goal is like, “Okay. If I want to do something, I need to find the person who can do it.” So I’m finding somebody who can hire me a property manager, train them, and put in the systems and process in place that I want. So that’s a big thing right there. And then hire some more key people. I definitely need an assistant, so that’s somebody else that they’re going to be hiring for me too.
And then I don’t really have any of my business goals yet, just because we’re going to be doing that together. But one thing I do want to do is when I become the property manager again and self-managing and have this property manager in place, I want to have a better grasp in maximizing my cash flow on my properties. Because with this property management company, I’ve felt like I have had no control over the expenses and just the rental income and the amount of time the vacancies are like. I’m super excited to see how, in 2023, I can just blow this property management company out of the water by being more efficient and effective with running my own properties again. So that’s another big goal.

Tony:
Well, let’s finish up, Ashley, talking about just some resources that folks can use, people in the rookie audience can use to help them as they think about setting goals for the next year. I’m going to share… The first thing is we’ve talked about cadence. I think everyone needs to set some kind of cadence for regularly reviewing their goals, otherwise you will lose touch with what those goals are. But the second, I guess, multiple resources or a few books that I would love for all of our rookies to read. So the first book is called Traction by Gino Wickman. A lot of investors and business owners that I look up to have recommended this book and preached by the benefits of following its system. So if you guys haven’t read Traction, definitely go pick it up.
Another fantastic book is called Clockwork, and this book is by Mike Michalowicz, who was a guest on the Real Estate Rookie podcast. He’s also the author of Profit First, which I’ve spoken about a ton. He’s also the author of Get Different, which is the book that we had him on the podcast for, about marketing. But Mike is just a fantastic entrepreneur. And the book Clockwork works really well with Traction to give you systems and processes to have a goal, but then have the systems in place to continually take action towards those goals. So both those books I think were really big for me at the beginning of 2021 that kind of helped set me up for success in 2022.

Ashley:
Yeah. The author of Traction also wrote Rocket Fuel, which is also a good one to read too, in addition to that. And then we had talked about Vivid Vision too by Cameron Herold that you guys should look into reading. And then The Intention Journal by Brandon Turner, which is on the BiggerPockets bookstore. I think are all great resources to help you build that momentum.
The only thing I will caution you guys about is don’t spend so much time focusing on getting your goal perfected and how you’re going to reach it that you’re actually in analysis paralysis, where you don’t actually take action on anything because you’re too busy trying to define your goal or to figure out how to pivot it or anything like that.
So pick your goal, create your action items, and then just start doing it. Just start doing it that next day, that same day, whatever those action items are. You don’t have to wait until January 1st, start doing it now. Propel yourself, get going. And then also think about what type of person you are too. So if you’ve never taken a DISC profile or an Enneagram test… And Tony, what’s another one that you do? The…

Tony:
Myers-Briggs is another one.

Ashley:
Myers-Brigg. Yeah. And find out some information about yourself because you may actually learn what is the best way for you to actually achieve something, like how does your mind work? And there’s people… I look at James Stenard and AJ Osborne, where it’s just like get up and work. They don’t need to go to Mindset Retreats. They don’t need to do all these different… I don’t even know what to… I guess mindset stuff.
Because they just get up and work and that’s how their brain is wired and that’s what works for them. But then there’s other people like Brandon Turner who talks about… And even Tyler Madden, where it’s a lot of mindset for them where that actually helps them so much. Where if they just went and grinded constantly, they would get burnt out. And so this mindset stuff helps them. So try to figure out different ways that may work better for you.
There’s also the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. So if you are someone that needs to that time to clear your brain to actually think of things, the Miracle Morning would be great for you. For me, I found it just like I was wasting time. It did not work well for me. It was basically procrastination from actually getting my work done. And so I could not do that. I probably tried to do it three times and it’s not helping me at all. And it was just like, “I want to get up and I just want to start my work and do it.”
I’m definitely not a grinder as far as AJ and James’ level for sure. I do like to sleep a little bit and do other things on vacation or do whatever. But yeah, so think about that about yourself too, is to what actually works for you. Because what works for me, what works for Tony, what works for other people may not work for you. So don’t think that you have to follow someone’s specific goal setting and achievement lifestyle. There is no perfect recipe. Doing a cold plunge every single day isn’t going to make you a millionaire overnight. So make sure that you’re just figuring out what are the things that you and your body needs.

Tony:
Great breakdown, Ashley. I love that. I love that. I mean, I think those are all the big resources I have. We talked about cadence, we talked about the books. I guess the last thing I would say, and Ashley, you touched on this a little bit earlier today but it might be worth reiterating, is as you think about your goals for this next year, don’t just think about what you need to do. But also think about who you need to become and who you need to meet or hire to help you achieve those goals because I think those are two things that are often overlooked.
People just look like, “What book do I need to read? What property do I need to buy?” But if you want to build a massive business, maybe you need to become a better leader. Maybe you need to become a better people manager. Or if you don’t want to do that, you need to find someone who is a people manager who can lead people. Ashley, you said that you didn’t want to do rehabs anymore, so you needed to find someone who had the skill set to manage the rehab crews. So as you think about your goals for next year, also think about the who component, around either who do you need to become or who do you need to hire or partner with to help you achieve those goals?

Ashley:
Yeah. And also look at what you enjoy and what you’re good at. Can you make more money doing that more of the time than trying to teach yourself these other skill sets? So for example, cleaning my house. It would take me all day Sunday to clean my house. I have a house cleaner that comes in and it takes her about three and a half to four hours. The money I pay her, I can make in maybe two hours, one hour. One hour probably even. And she does it way faster than I could do it. I would waste a whole day.
So I think looking at that time trade off, is it more beneficial to you to go and work so many hours and hire some of those things out you don’t like to do or you’re not good at? And I think a very easy one is giving out household chores. My friend has somebody come, I think it’s a high school student, comes and folds her laundry every week. I mean, she might even come twice a week and she just pays her to do that. And that’s like one less thing she has to worry about, and that’s more time she has to put into her real estate business. And the same with me for cleaning.
If I had to worry about keeping my house clean, then that would take up more time that I have to enjoy my family and I have to work. So say, I know that I have to work this amount to pay the house cleaner. Okay, that’s easy. Let’s go ahead and do that. So kind of play out those scenarios and see if your time is actually more beneficial, doing what you’re good at and what you enjoy. And then it just becomes affordable and easy to hire these things out that you are wasting time at and it’s actually costing you more money because you’re not even doing a good job at it.

Tony:
Love that advice, Ashley. I mean, I feel like we’ve given our rookies a pretty solid foundation for making this next year a super successful one. Any other final thoughts or ideas from you?

Ashley:
No, I don’t think so. Thank you guys so much for listening this week. And we hope that you guys are getting ready to set your goals for 2023. Send us a DM or chime in on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group, or make a comment below if you’re watching on YouTube and let us know what your goals are for 2023. We would love to hear them. I’m Ashley, @wealthfromrentals. And he’s Tony, @TonyJRobinson. And we’ll be back on Saturday with the Rookie Reply.
(singing).

 

Watch the Podcast Here

In This Episode We Cover

  • Intentional goal setting and how to turn a goal into a plan
  • Tony’s and Ashely’s 2022 goals and how they worked toward them (and what DIDN’T work)
  • SMART goalskey performance indicators, and how to use lead and lag measures to assist you in reaching your goals 
  • Failed efforts and how to use strategic pivoting when you don’t accomplish your goals
  • Tony and Ashely’s 2023 goals and what they’re going to do to accomplish them
  • Goal-setting resources and tips to help you achieve your biggest goals this year
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Ashley and Tony:

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.