Updated: Mar 5, 2021
This blog is written by Jen Josey, Real Estate Investor, and REIGN Coach. She is not a professional writer and writes like she talks so put your red pen away. Jen is extremely opinionated but reserves the right to change her opinion at any time because, well, that's the way she rolls. She may also use colorful language so don't be offended. Jen does not claim to be an expert, she is just sharing her personal thoughts and adding a perspective on investor topics that may benefit her readers. Jen also finds it strange to write in the third person. Enjoy!
Yes...everyone is doing it...time to suck it up and write your SMART goals.
I was a public school teacher for 16 years and dreaded the day-long professional development days when government funding was justified by injecting our brains with the next greatest teaching tool, think Common Core. You were trapped for hours in a room of teachers, knowing that whatever they were rolling out would be replaced with the next latest and greatest educational strategy next year. All we really wanted to do was get our classrooms ready for what we did best, teach.
On one of these professional development days, prior to the start of the school year, we puffy-eyed teachers were introduced to what was called SMART goals. The speaker was an overly excited representative from the school board who hadn't been in the classroom for over a decade but still felt the need to speak at us like 3rd graders. She weaved through the media center speaking about how SMART goals were so awesome while licking her thumb every four seconds to dispense worksheets to each table. When I got my spit-infused worksheet with SMART written down the left side, the only goal I could think of was how quickly could we get this over with.
The speaker asked us to take out our pencils and write the words to complete the acronym:
In my own brain, I had decided the acronym stood for Stupid Meetings Are Really Tiresome.
We were instructed to make a goal for our students and it would be posted in our classroom for the entire school year. Someone at the school board level did not think this through because we hadn't even met our students yet. How could we determine specific and measurable goals for kids we had never laid eyes on? Would it be attainable? Your guess is as good as mine. Relevant? To what? Time-bound? Ah...school year, got it. At least one letter was easy.
My frustration was based on all the unknowns and wasting brainpower on a project that would probably not even make it to my classroom wall. Little did I know, SMART goals were there to stay. The last decade of my teaching career required us to dig deep into our sleepy brains, still recovering from summer vacay, and create our SMART goals for the year. Of course, I would use the same goal, year after year, but I knew to tweak the numbers just a bit so I didn't look like a complete derelict.
After I left teaching, I didn't think about a SMART goal for years. It wasn't until my husband, Vance and I attended a local REIA meeting and the speaker, someone I greatly admired, passed out worksheets with the acronym, SMART written down the left side. The speaker, also a former teacher, began to talk about how awesome SMART goals were and how they were going to help focus our businesses. She asked the room if anyone knew what SMART stood for and I immediately perked up and flailed my arm around, just like the annoying student who thought they knew everything. Because I looked up to this speaker so much, SMART goals took on a whole new meaning. I found that it was so much easier to write goals for what I knew best, me!
Vance and I spent the rest of the meeting creating a SMART goal for our newly created business and here's what we came up with...
Jolific Homes will flip 3 homes and wholesale 10 properties by the end of 2017. We will acquire these properties via auctions, MLS, and networking. By achieving this goal, we will develop relationships with private money lenders, build a strong team of contractors and reduce our debt while profiting $50,000.
Jolific Homes will make 20 offers per month through networking, wholesalers, and MLS to build income and gain the skills and experience necessary to become successful real estate investors.
Vance and Jen will dedicate a minimum of 10 hours per week expanding their knowledge of the real estate investment business by completing Mastery Curriculum, attending networking meetings, and researching leads. They will continue to respect and support each other while keeping an open line of communication through weekly meetings.
We didn't meet all our numbers, but by creating a SMART goal, we were able to focus our business activities with a very specific and clear intention spelled out. Unlike my classroom SMART goals, I did print them and post them in our office in a spot where we both could see. We also keep our SMART goals in the same Google Drive folder of our weekly meetings to reference when we are in a slump. If we are running low on projects, we open the SMART goals and see that we vowed to write 20 offers a month when it's been weeks since we wrote our last one.
After our initial SMART goals were created, I took the same approach from my teaching days and simply tweaked the numbers each year. We discovered our wholesaling number was a bit high that first year since we needed more deals with more profit. We also learned that writing fewer high-quality offers produced more deals. Here is our latest SMART goal, which just finished a few days ago...
Jolific Homes will flip 12 properties, wholesale 2 properties, and increase our rental portfolio with 6 more buy and holds by the end of 2020. We will acquire these properties via direct mail, Facebook ads, MLS, and referrals. By achieving this goal, we will develop relationships with private money lenders raising over $2,000,000, build a strong team of contractors and reduce our debt while profiting $300,000. Jolific Homes will continue to be private money lenders using their self-directed IRA.
Jolific Homes will evaluate 10 properties and make a minimum of 4 offers to add 2 projects per month. Jolific Homes will grow their list of lenders, contractors, realtors, competitors, etc by adding a minimum of 15 new contacts to their database thru networking at a minimum of 4 networking events. Jolific Homes will maintain their website and continue to update social media on a regular basis.
Vance and Jen will dedicate a minimum of 3 hours per week expanding their knowledge of the real estate investment business by completing Mastery Curriculum, attending networking meetings, reading industry-specific books and webinars. Vance will complete the courses necessary to receive his BIC license by June 1st. We will then begin to add brokers to The Acorn Agency totaling 4 brokers by the end of 2020. Jen will begin speaking gigs in early 2020 thus increasing her REIGN membership to 1000. Jen and Vance will continue to respect and support each other while keeping an open line of communication thru weekly meetings. Vance and Jen will focus on improving their health by going to the gym regularly.
SMART goals became such an important aspect of our business that we schedule a 5 day, goal-writing trip to our AirBnB each Christmas. This year, we also created our Vivid Vision which is a very specific, shared vision of where our company will be three years from now. I highly recommend this book by Cameron Herold, it only took me a couple of hours to read. You may read our Vivid Vision by clicking here: www.reignmastermind.com/post/vivid-vision. We wrote our Vivid Vision first so we could align our 2020 SMART goals to where we want our business to be in 3 years.
Now, you are welcome to copy my SMART goals and tweak them to your liking but here's a breakdown of each letter of the acronym...
This is your "what"...what you want to achieve. Make sure your goals are focused with a tangible outcome in mind. You cannot be vague for then your direction will never come into focus. Instead of "We will meet lots of people" you should state, "We will meet 25 new realtors this year to generate an extra lead each month for sellers with distressed properties."
This is your "how"...how you will know you achieved your goal. This should be a clear definition of your success which will allow you to evaluate your progress. Typically this is a number that you should be able to track either daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever you decide. If one of your goals is to, "Wholesale 10 properties this year" you should add, "...by cold calling 20 people a day and mailing 10 probate leads a week."
This is another "how"...how you will achieve your goal. While you should choose a goal that is achievable, you should also challenge yourself just beyond your comfort zone. The attainable section should list the action steps needed to achieve your goal. When you start writing SMART goals each year, this is a great reflecting point to reference. In the past, you may have had a goal to "Add 3 contractors to your team each month by asking the pro service desk at Home Depot for their busiest contractors." Instead, you may "Meet 1 new general contractor each quarter who provides a list of their vetted sub-contractors who are all licensed and insured."
This is your "why"...why your goal is important to you. When you write your goals, you need to make sure they align with your core values so they will be worthwhile of your efforts. Instead of, "I want to flip condos" you would write, "I want to flip 3 condos a month with minimal repairs to provide a safe home for lower-income families."
This is your "when"...when your goal should be completed. Determining a target date establishes the discipline needed to reach your goals. The time frame should provide enough motivation to focus your action steps and be realistic enough to avoid discouragement.
I hope I have made you excited to write out your SMART goals and not roll your eyes as I did to the thumb licker that introduced this strategy to me many years ago. There are so many studies out there but most experts agree that when you write down your goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve them. 42%!! In the three short years, we have been writing our SMART goals, Vance and I have found this to be true. This past year, we met our main 2019 goal by the end of June! For 2020, we raised the bar even higher. One more study states that if you share your goal with others, that number to achieve those goals rises to 92% so thank you for reading this...I'm looking forward to that $300k!
My challenge to you, shall you grow a pair and accept, write your SMART goals and post them to the bottom of this blog for the world to see. All you have to do is scroll down and "log in" to leave a comment. Wouldn't you want 92% of your goals achieved? What are you waiting for??
Download a template here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PKmOLPVltc2irI5-KDJqZI3MJzw7-URt/view?usp=sharing
Make it a great day! Whoop whoop!
*Read more blogs by Jen Josey at www.REIGNmastermind.com.