2011 Goal Setting Questions for Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fathom Realty

Are you just playing on the Computer or Working?So many people are considering their 2010 performance – what worked, what didn’t… and how they are going to make a change in 2011. As I talk to our agents about this, there are a couple of questions I think we should all be asking ourselves:

1. Are you wasting your time in front of the computer?

I think Thom Abbott was the first person I saw who used the term “monkey brain.” He was referring to the fact that it’s so easy to sit down at the computer to look for leads, create blog posts, generate links… and all of a sudden you are reading an article that has NOTHING to do with generating leads, or creating posts or ANYTHING that is going to help your business!

How many transactions did you close in 2010 from Twitter, Facebook, Blog Posts? If you didn’t close any transactions, chances are that unfocused computer time is a money-waster. The challenge with online marketing is that it takes time to learn WHAT is effective. In 2011, consider working with a company, or an office, or a mentor that is already creating leads online or can show you how to create your own. If you are the only person in your office who KNOWS this activity can work… you need to look for a more tech saavy group.

2. Be a specialist, Pick a Niche for your marketing

Most top producers focus exclusively on two or three niches where they specialize. Common niches include geographical farms, new homes, estates, relocation, etc. If you are still trying to be everything to everyone, you are probably wasting money by spreading yourself too thin.

Do you REALLY want more listings right now? Is all of your marketing geared towards Sellers? But be careful about WHAT Niche you pick! One friend of mine decided last year to be the “Golf Course Specialist.” Why? Because the houses cost more! Does she play golf? No. Does she know why a house on a Tee Box would be better perhaps than one closer to the Pin? No. Focus all of your efforts on no more than THREE niches that you CAN be an expert in for the best return.

3. Do you have a productive farm and social network?

Have you closed at least four transactions from your geographical farm in the last 24 months? If not, it’s time to do more face-to-face follow-up or to replace this activity with something that is profitable. When you go to all of those Chamber events, are you talking to the same 4 people who don’t have the possibility of sending you any leads? Are you gathering cards and putting those folks in a drip campaign?

Be honest: Are your networking activities generating leads? If you network to generate leads, look at how many transactions you closed in 2010 from your networking activities. If the answer is “none,” you need to openly solicit leads (i.e., stop being a secret agent) or dump this activity because it’s both a time- and money-waster.

4. Create Better Systems!

Even BAD leads can generate business! Do you HAVE the drip campaigns in place to follow up with leads? When was the last time you really looked at your database to determine who you should contact on a regular basis? Move anyone who has been in your marketing program for more than 24 months to a specialized Drip Campaign and has not sent you a lead or done business with you. Spend your money and time on the people who refer you business and stop wasting time and money on those who don’t.

If You Are Good At Networking - the Do More Of It5. Spend Money and Time Wisely!

It’s my experience that each agent is different. Think about YOUR strengths. Do you naturally network well? Then look at the Meetup Groups in your area! Build on what you do well. Spend YOUR time on the activities you are good at and stop worrying about what someone else says you should be doing. Has your website produced more than one closed transaction in the last year? Are your listings current? Can potential sellers find you easily on the Web? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, upgrade how you are marketing on the Web.

A great strategy is to hire a virtual assistant to handle this for you. If you hate Web marketing, spend your Web marketing budget where it will produce better results – hire an assistant who can work 6 to 8 hours a month!

2011 is going to be a GREAT Year for those agents who are in the right working environment, who are FOCUSED on doing those activities that are actually generating leads, and who are DISCIPLINED in their approach to their Real Estate Practice… and it’s gonna’ be HARD for those who just aren’t in it all the way.

Christine Donovan brought up something that I wanted to clarify here. I keep all leads forever but I keep them in a different bucket. After two years, I delete them from my group that gets the most attention from me. I place these people on a specialized campaign. It's hard enough coming up with content to fill up a 2 year drip campaign and nearly impossible to come up with enough content to fill "forever" so I place them in a group that has no actual drip emails attached. This group gets all of my holiday emails and monthly newsletters that I write as I go. That way they are still receiving at least 12+ touch points per year and the content is more relevant to them and less likely to get you blacklisted. I share home tips, what's happening in the market and I ask for their business or a referral. Just because a "lead" didn't use me the first time around, doesn't mean they wont use me the second time around or share my name with a friend.

If you have questions about your creating leads from your real estate blog, or how to get your Listing seen by more eyeballs – call Josh Harley, Fathom Realty, 214-228-0301. I”d love to help you, and learn more about what’s working in your market! Are you on Facebook and Twitter? Let’s Connect!

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Josh Harley is the Founder and CEO of Fathom Realty. Josh is a serial entrepreneur, tech geek, innovator, disruptor, marketer, teacher, artist, U.S. Marine, and an Alaska-raised sweet tea fiend.

As the CEO of Fathom Realty, Josh helped earn Fathom a prestigious place on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. … not once, but three times in a row. Josh also made the Swanepoel Power 200 list of Trendsetters for 2017.

Inc 500


Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anthony Daniels 12/31/2010 05:12 AM
  2. Joanne Gillet &The Edge Of The Beach Team ---- Pawleys Island, SC 01/01/2011 02:00 AM
  3. Michelle Fradella-Barfuss 01/01/2011 04:30 AM
  4. Patty Keller 01/06/2011 02:21 AM
  5. Howard Weiss 12/10/2011 04:11 PM
  6. Jeffrey Jones 12/09/2012 07:14 AM
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Brad Hornshaw
Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett - Lynnwood, WA
Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments
Great Ideas Josh thanks being a new agent I need all the help I can Get
Jan 01, 2011 08:49 AM #45
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Josh, great article and if I may. I'd like to send this out to my agents!


Jan 01, 2011 09:48 AM #46
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Some great ideas.  Thanks for sharing.  Focusing on what works and getting rid of what doesn't work is very important.

Jan 01, 2011 12:00 PM #47
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

Hi Josh

You really made me think about all the things I do that don't seem to be leading me to more business.  I will take your advice and really analyze what I am doing, and why I do it.  Thanks

Jan 01, 2011 03:12 PM #48
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat


Thanks for the post!!   As a new real estate salesperson, I'm soaking up all the information I can get, and my brain has definitely been flitting from one place to another online.  I'm glad it flitted here.

Thanks for the ideas!

Jan 01, 2011 10:54 PM #49
Joseph Catalano
Joseph A.DelForno Inc. - Jersey City, NJ

Hi Josh ,

Great post to start the New Year with and excellent points on refining the activities we do so as to get the most out of them by concentrating on what works and staying away from what doesn't.

Jan 02, 2011 03:06 AM #50
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Good post.  2009 was a disaster for me.  In 2010 I made some choices about the kind of clients I wanted and have saw things start to pay off.

Jan 02, 2011 04:38 AM #51
Dennis Helmstetter

Great summation, reminder, pep talk - thanks

Jan 02, 2011 04:52 AM #52
Troy L Landrum Gilbert, Arizona CDPE, SFR
Canterbury Realty Group - Gilbert, AZ

Josh,thanks for the questions.  I too shall be answering these questions going forward.  It's also a great reminder of the non-productive tasks we do that waste time and effort.


Great job!

Jan 02, 2011 05:53 AM #53
Nicole Gottardo
Lyon Real Estate - Citrus Heights, CA

... and here I am reading a blog instead of prospecting!! ;) Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Jan 02, 2011 06:13 AM #54
Lyn Sims and the Blog Dog
Streamwood, Elgin IL Real Estate - RE/MAX Suburban - Bartlett, IL

I hate to be a smart alec but what happened to #4? Who cares if your BIC is tech savvy - you need to be.  As far as I see it, it's more for the agent that does understand it.  Let the dinosaurs of real estate roam free & complain.

Jan 02, 2011 07:21 AM #55
Victoria CB Trees
Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services - Chiloquin, OR
Principal Broker

Lyn, I wonder if he did that on purpose to see if we were really reading it... LOL!  I read every word myself, because he's hit it squarely on the head for me, but didn't notice the missing #4.

The problem with an office full of the dinosaurs that don't see the need for the technology is that they won't get on board to help pay for any of it.  There are just three people (including myself) in my office that will collaborate on anything "necessary" and much of it costs the same for 3 people or 10.  It would really be nice to not have to shoulder the cost, and the research time, between just a few of us. 

Jan 02, 2011 08:51 AM #56
Joshua Harley
Fathom Realty - Plano, TX
CEO, Tech Geek, Innovator, Disruptor, US Marine

@Lyn Sims and Victoria CB Trees - Oops. I had intended to delete that out because I wasn't sure how far to take it. The answer is simple and Victoria nailed part of it. If a management team "gets it" and takes the time to learn it and implement it, their activity and initiative will set the tone for the whole office. Imagine how low the cost would be per person if everyone (or a large group) in the office came together? For example, I provide my agents a LOT of tools and technology at no cost to my agents because the overall cost per agent becomes minimal. Ultimately it becomes a recruiting tool and in the end, also increases my company's overall number of closings which more than pays for the cost I pay to provide these tools to my agents.

Jan 02, 2011 09:30 AM #57

"Monkey Brian on Monday's" I've been there bro. Great article and keep bring it!



Jan 02, 2011 02:39 PM #58
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

Very nice post Joshua. 

Now that the new year is upon us, well - it is kinda too late to work ont eh plan, as implementation should start tomorrow - but ok. I like your pointers, I usually tell agents that it is hard to get too much detail... 

Jan 02, 2011 03:23 PM #59
Fay Kelley
Interdimensional Healing Light - New River, AZ
Alternative Healing With Crystal Energy

Timely and valuable information!   Thanks for your time and energy to create and post for our benefit!

Jan 03, 2011 02:57 AM #60
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

If you review where your past business came from, and focus on developing those lead sources, you should be successful. Instead of trying to develop new sources, stick with what has already worked for you. 

Jan 08, 2011 03:38 AM #61
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

they are so important and to have them written down and visualize is equally important. I believe you have to have a way to measure your progress.

Jul 21, 2011 04:38 AM #62
Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Amen.  Spending money and time wisely is one of the most important aspects to success.

Dec 10, 2011 06:46 PM #63
Michael Cather
Rodeo Realty - West Hills, CA
Real Estate Broker

Great article as we approach the new year.  Specializing in just a few areas and updating your contact database are two huge tips I got from this.  Thanks Josh!

Dec 04, 2012 12:06 PM #64
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