In today’s dynamic real estate market, success isn’t accidental; it’s the result of a well-thought-out plan and consistent execution. Crafting a powerful real estate business plan for the year is critical to stay ahead of the competition, attract clients, and achieve your goals. 

But let’s face it – most business plans you can find online are tedious and boring and chances are good you never make it through the whole thing.  I’m going to focus on 4 key things you can do now to have a killer year.  

Start with Desire

This may sound odd but stick with me.  We’re conditioned to set goals.  Write down our goals.  Put them where we can see them.  This is all great but too often we rush to set the goal without tying it to a deeper desire.  Personal development and leadership guru Simon Sinek tells us to “find your WHY”.  If we set goals so that we can check that off our January to-do list (or worse, because someone set the goal for us…) but don’t tie them to something that’s meaningful to us, it’s impossible to stay consistent and grind through the days, weeks and months as we push to achieve a goal.  

Before setting a sales goal, an income goal, a weight loss goal, or even a goal to improve relationships, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. If I could end the year with just one thing accomplished, what would it be?  
  2. When I accomplish this thing, how will it make me feel?  How will it positively affect my life?  
  3. If I fail and don’t accomplish this thing, how will it make me feel?  How will it negatively affect my life?
  4. Am I willing to pay a price, to sacrifice, to change something about myself, my environment or my routines? Am I willing to get way outside my comfort zone?  If you can’t confidently say “yes” to all these questions – the desire isn’t strong enough and you should go back to the drawing board. 

Do this exercise 4 times, or until you run out of things that you’re sure will impact you in the most meaningful ways.  But remember – not everything can be a priority.  The result of this exercise will give you the 3-5 things you’re truly committed to making happen in your life.  

Backwards Planning

Once you are clear on what you want – you have to define success, confirm it supports the deeper desire you identified above and create a plan of action.  

Don’t click away yet!  I know plans aren’t always fun to create.  Maybe that’s why you’re here – the traditional business planning articles demotivated you and you’re searching for ideas.  

Try this instead: Backwards Planning.  The concept is simple.  Instead of standing at the starting line and staring down 12 months of “how the heck do I get to the finish…?”, start with the result and work back to where you are.  Ask yourself:

In order for (insert accomplishment) to be true on December 31, 2024, what MUST be true by October 1, 2024?  Spend some time on this – visualize the action or accomplishment that MUST have been completed 90 days ahead of your deadline in order for it to happen.  

Then move backwards and ask yourself what MUST be true by August 1, 2024 in order for me to accomplish what I’m committed to having done by October 1?  Each of these dates you set with “must be completed” accomplishments are your Reality Check dates.

The time frames between your reality check dates will get progressively shorter as you get closer to today’s date.  You should end the exercise by having a clear first step that MUST be completed this week in order to hit the metric you know you must hit next week, then two weeks from that, then 30 days from that – until you get to the goal completion date.  

It’s amazing how our brain processes the steps that must happen differently when we start with a completed accomplishment and work backwards.  When we’re done we have our metrics and their completion dates to achieve the goal that supports our deeper desire that will help us feel fulfilled.  If you hit a reality check and you’re behind on your metrics you know where you stand and what you have to do to catch up.  A goal is no longer 12 months away – it’s only as far out as your next set of must-be-completed actions, your next reality check.  


This is where the weak are separated from the strong.  Where your level of commitment is tested.  Where the mythical superhumans we watch on social media achieve everything they ever wanted through pure hard work and determination…

Unfortunately I’m not superhuman – and neither are you (or the social media heroes for that matter).  What we need to tackle long and short-term goals is a framework – a system that creates consistency and fosters discipline.  When we rely on resolve and will power without structure we create an environment where we are unlikely to succeed.  

A simple plan (simple doesn’t always mean easy) that keeps you accountable to the achievements you must complete at predetermined reality check dates (see backwards planning) is critical.  This can change everything.  

You now have your must have metrics laid out for the year.  The next step is to determine the action items you need to complete in order to hit the metrics for the next two reality checks.  This lets you stay one step ahead throughout the year.  This could be a list of items, a single, larger project to complete or it could include delegating pieces to team members with firm completion dates.  Determine these action items as soon as your last reality check is complete.

Now for the magic.  

Weekly Review:  At the beginning of every week complete a weekly review that includes your commitments for the week, appointments, meetings, personal obligations AND your action items for each goal you set to achieve your deeper desire.  Estimate how much time you need to complete each action item and put it on your calendar.  Honor your commitment to the most important accomplishments you could achieve this year by giving the critical action items dedicated time in your schedule.  

Set Daily Intentions: It’s easy to start the day in a frenzy.  Checking email, taking calls, and reacting to everything that comes at you.  Flip the script.  Take 5 minutes each morning to review your calendar for the day and the action item blocks you set at the start of the week.  Quickly reaffirm your commitment to the action items and make sure something didn’t come up that will derail your weekly plan.  

Dynamic Calendar: Some days run away with you.  An unexpected fire pops up that you have to put out or a kid gets sick – these things are unavoidable.  Instead of starting again the next day with what you planned, move the critical action item blocks around on your calendar so they don’t go undone.  If you know your reality check metrics and you’ve set your action items based on hitting that metric, you MUST get these things done.  It doesn’t have to be pure discipline – allow your calendar to be dynamic (not to cover up excuses, but to recover from unavoidable things that force you to adjust your plan.  


I said it – the scary, uncomfortable word that gives us anxiety about someone looking over our shoulder.  Maybe this brings up memories of a manager, sales director or owner that micromanaged your workflow and set your goals for you in the name of “accountability.”  

Or maybe putting your desires, goals, plans and action items to achieve them and reality check dates scares you because you’re worried about failing and having someone else know about it.  

Accountability can be twisted and used as a hammer but it’s most effective when it comes from a place of love, caring or friendship.  The people that love you want you to succeed, a high-level manager or owner wants you to hit your goals.  A great friend is pulling for you and will help you achieve.  But you have to welcome the accountability.  You have to request it.  And you have to be ready to listen when you’re failing yourself.  This is a critical distinction.  If your goals are based on a deep desire, something you care about – when you allow yourself to miss reality check deadlines, fail to plan your week – you put yourself in a position where you won’t realize the fulfilling result of success.  

Is it worth getting a little uncomfortable and taking some compassionate criticism in exchange for achieving the MOST important things that will affect your life this year?  

Take a risk, put yourself out there, ask for help, get some accountability in your life.  So many of us try to go at our goals alone thinking, “This is my thing – I’m going to achieve it.”  I promise you – when you achieve amazing things with the help of a person, team or group that’s in your corner and pushing you toward success, the success will taste every bit as sweet.  And you can celebrate it together.  

**Ascend Agents was created to give real estate agents a free community focused on improving skills, increasing income, creating the success they know they are capable of and having a group of supportive peers to celebrate success with. 

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