Achieving Your Goals in the New Year

By: Megan Anderson, Vice President of Public Relations

Setting goals can be easy, yet so often just a month into our New Year's resolutions we find ourselves giving up or cheating on our goals. Have you ever wondered why that is? Perhaps one reason is that achieving a goal requires us to do something we’ve never done before. And doing something new can cause old fears and self-doubts to rise.

In this article we will explore steps to stay on track with achieving your goals, including gaining clarity and creating a roadmap. We’ll also discuss tips for avoiding burnout as well as crucial tools from MBS Highway that can help you achieve your goals.

 

Let us start by defining what a goal means. A goal is something we hope to achieve. It is a desired outcome that needs some sort of intervention in order to reach it, like a habit or said another way a behavior. When it comes to changing a behavior, there are two crucial aspects to understand: clarity and motivation.

Clarity is the logical cognitive aspect to the behavior/habit change. This part of reaching your goal requires skills, knowledge and ability to actually take action and complete the behavior. This is where creating a roadmap is critical, because you can plan the actions needed to achieve your goals.

Motivation, determination or will is a desire to be better, to do whatever it takes to reach that goal. And as we will soon find out, a large part of achieving that goal is having the belief you can achieve it.

The following steps can help you gain clarity and create a roadmap for achieving your goals this year.

Step 1: Write down the goal you want to achieve and include a deadline. Be specific.

For example, Jane’s goal is to make $200,000 this year. 

Step 2: Get clarity. Ask yourself:

  • Why is this goal important to me?
  • Where does my motivation come from to reach this goal? 
  • What habits might need to change to help me reach my goal?
  • Do I have the knowledge and skills required to reach my goal?
  • What challenges might get in the way? 

Step 3: Create a roadmap for achieving your goal, noting specific steps and timeframes along the way. Note any challenges or bumps in the road you can anticipate and actions that could help you course correct if needed.

Carrying on with our previous example, if Jane’s goal is to make $200,000 this year and her average commission on a loan is $5,000, with some simple math, Jane knows she needs to close 40 loans this year.

Furthermore, if Jane’s application to closing conversion is 50%, she will need 80 applications and if her lead to application ratio is also 50%, she will need 160 leads throughout the year. On a monthly basis, this means Jane should aim for 13 to 14 leads a month to reach her goal.

In addition, Jane also knows that most of her leads come from agent referrals and her social media channels. To increase her leads on social media, Jane also blocks time to create additional content and engage with her audience.

These are the foundations for Jane’s roadmap this year. 

Step 4: Avoid burnout by tackling challenges and reframing for lasting results. 

Continuing with our example, Jane knows that when agents ask her about market predictions and whether now is a good time to buy a home, she hesitates and lacks the ability to explain what’s happening in the market confidently. Over time, the more Jane is put in this situation, the more uncomfortable she feels. And the more uncomfortable she feels, the more her clients and partners sense that and lack trust in her. This decreases the number of clients her agents refer, which lowers her chances of reaching her income goal for the year.

In addition, the more Jane feels she can’t do something well, the more her self-worth and motivation diminish. Over time, this will lead to burnout and decrease the effort she puts towards her goal.

But what if instead Jane decided to tackle this challenge by studying the market and taking a course like Certified Mortgage Advisor, which gives her the knowledge and tools to feel more confident when discussing the market with clients and partners. This will help Jane build rapport and trust, increasing her conversion ratio and the number of leads she receives, ultimately helping her achieve her overall goal of making $200,000 this year.

To understand motivation and burnout, we must understand opportunity cost. Let’s say in the above example that 50% of Jane’s business comes from social media platforms. That means half of her income goal for the year needs to come from social media leads.

As part of her social media roadmap, Jane discovered she needs to host a Facebook Live once a week and increase her video and audio quality. Jane knows that driving to a recording studio would mean missing important time with her family, which is not a trade-off she wants to make. Instead, Jane invests in higher quality equipment for her home office and plans a schedule that allows her to interview local experts directly from her own office space. She also invests in a part-time assistant who helps her edit, manage and post her social media content, so she can focus on staying in touch with the leads she receives.

Let’s say that Jane, like many of us, hates prospecting at industry events. She finds herself worried, nervous or even annoyed that she’s wasting her time and won’t receive any business. Framing the event this way is certainly a drain on her energy and over time, people will pick up on her vibe. Her conversion at these events will be minimum at best, and it certainly won’t help her achieve her overall income goal for the year.

Jane is committed to reframing her perspective because she knows she needs to gain new referral partnerships to achieve her goal. Jane knows that she typically lands one solid new referral relationship for every 10 agents she meets at industry events. Let’s say Jane is heading to an event where 50 agents are scheduled to attend. Instead of dreading the occasion, Jane tells herself that she has the opportunity to make five new referral relationships, putting her one step closer to reaching her goal!

Jane could also reframe the event as an opportunity to share crucial knowledge. She could gain confidence with prepared talking points, such as explaining that she has access to tools that can help agents overcome common points of friction in today’s market, given tight inventory and high demand. Just some of these top tools on MBS Highway include:

  • Real Estate Guides that provide a snapshot of market conditions and the financial opportunity in any county or zip code.
  • Buy vs Rent: The only comprehensive solution for a specific market that includes rental increases and appreciation gain.
  • Cost of Waiting: Show your customers the cost of delaying a purchase or refinance.

Reframing is often described as changing, “I have to” to, “I get to.” Over time it has the power to change your neural pathways, creating new lasting habits.

Another way to create lasting habits is to use positive reinforcement. I recently got a Goldendoodle named Snoop. You may have seen him on the MBS Highway Morning Update video, where we break down anticipated market and rate movements, economic reports and media-driven objections and help our members protect their pipeline.

You can watch a sample Morning Update video here.

We started dog training classes with him at seven weeks old and they teach positive reinforcement techniques. This is where you give a cue like “sit” or “paw,” and if they give the response you want, you reward them with a treat. You teach the habit loop of, “I say this,” “you do this,” and, “you get this.” 

To create lasting habits, remember to reward your new behavior consistently, no matter how small. Celebrate your first video post, your first closed social media lead or new referral partnership. Reward the times you avoided burnout by putting in the work to overcome the challenges. Celebrate the time you set aside to renew and engrain your clarity, motivation and knowledge. And always remember – you’re worth it.

Want access to the tools that can give you the confidence and knowledge to thrive this year? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of MBS Highway and see for yourself the kind of impact they will make.