How to Review Your Last Year in Real Estate to Set Goals for the Next
This is the first in a short series designed to provide you with a framework, tools and downloads to review your real estate or note business last year and plan for your business for the coming year.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when announcing New Year’s goals and resolutions is that they’ve failed to fully analyze their business from the previous year.
Don’t do this.
If you try to set real estate goals without the information you need about your past performance you’re killing your chances of succeeding with your new plan. In this post you’ll learn how and why to review your year and you’ll get tools for doing it as well.
Open up a new document or gab a pad and pen and let’s get to work creating your upcoming year.
Step 1: Gather your critical business stats
If you’ve never done a deal before that doesn’t mean you skip this step. If you’re new you’re going to use some guesstimates and available market info. You can’t proceed without a baseline don’t skip this.
The first step in making goals and plans in your real estate business is to gather all deal related information from last year. What’s deal related info? Its everything that contributed to the deals you did (or didn’t do). Here are the questions we need to be able to answer:
- How many deals did I close?
- Who were the parties involved in those deals?
- How did I first find or how was I first introduced to the above-mentioned parties?
This is a great start… its also the bare minimum that you can proceed with. It would be waaaay better if you also answered the following questions.
- How many leads did I get last year?
- Group the leads by source.
- How many contracts or offers did I make?
- How many of the offers made it to escrow (or similar)?
- How many deals closed and what was the value of each?
And finally if you’re a real pro then you should also get together your activity (output) or marketing investment (expanse) information:
- List all the types of prospecting you did
- Estimate the amount of time you spent on each prospecting activity (be realistic dammit). I suggest you pull out a calendar and review it month by month. You’ll be amazed at what comes back to you. Of course it would be better if you tracked last year like you will this year….
- Gather and have ready your marketing expenses
Step 2: Add your stats to a spreadsheet so you can analyze your business
I’ve created an Excel Workbook with a tab labeled “Monthly Deal Analysis” that you can use to layout all the deals you did last year so that you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and so you can get an honest look at your business.
The “Monthly Deal Analysis” tab will help you get an honest look at where your deals are coming from.
The “Deals” tab covers the basic requirements (1-3) that I listed for you above. This tab will help you get a real look at where your deals are coming from both in terms of lead source and by customer or client.
The “Deals” tab will give you insight, deal by deal, into your past year. You’ll be able to determine who your highest value customers or clients are, where your most profitable deals are coming from and what your average margin (NET revenue) is per deal.
The “Monthly Deal Analysis” tab will give you insight into the month by month numbers in your business, but, more importantly, it will let you see the ratios that you have in your funnel so you can identify the things that are holding you back.
Not enough leads?
Not writing enough offers?
This tab will expose the weak spots in your business and give you a true view of your business on a monthly basis so that in the next stage of goal setting you’ll be able to set your activity and results goals more accurately and with greater confidence that you’ll achieve them.
This tab will show you what it takes to close a deal. It will show you what your leads, offers, and escrows are worth. It will show you what your ratios are at each stage in your business.
Use These Worksheets to Set Your Real Estate Goals
The exercises I’ve asked you to do above are the first steps in your annual planning and goal setting.
If you have no numbers because you are new to the business…
If you’re in a position where you have no numbers to look at yet then its time to take an honest look at yourself and your activities.
What has prevented you from doing your first deal? Is it a lack of knowledge? Is it capital? Is it that you really just didn’t try?
In most cases if you have been poking around at the real estate or note business and you have yet to do a single deal, then your problem is FEAR.
Your problem is probably that you’re not taking bold action because you’re afraid. Most of the time when you’re afraid its because there’s something that you don’t understand. Ignorance breeds confusion breeds fear. Fear kills motivation and activity.
Its possible that you still need to learn the business. If that’s the case then make a goal for your education (more on this in part 2).
If the truth is that you’ve already learned everything that you need to and since then you’ve been lazy or afraid then over the next posts in this series I hope we can help you get past that with a real actionable plan.