If 2019 was not as good as you wanted it to be, don’t give up. Take some time to set goals for 2020, focus on what you want, and don’t quit working in December.

As we approach the end of the year, you should plan for 2020. By now you should have analyzed how you did in 2019 and set your goals in writing for next year.

Studies show that simply committing your goals to writing exponentially increases your chances of hitting those goals. So, here are four tips to help you start next year successfully.

1. Think big

Yes, you need to look at what you did the past few years, and plan accordingly, but don’t let anyone tell you that your goals are too ambitious. I once had a manager call me and ask what my goals were for next year.

He was planning the company budget and needed to plug in a number for each agent. I gave him my goal, then hung up and called him back after thinking about it for a few minutes. I raised my figure — and his reply was: “This number doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a number I have to give the owners of the company. Don’t set it too high or you might make yourself sick trying to hit it.”

Yes, this manager was so lame he didn’t even sit down with us in person to counsel or advise. He didn’t want the numbers to be too high — because he wanted to be sure he hit them as a manager. I didn’t back down. I told him my number was high but I would hit it — and I did.

Don’t let anyone step on your fire or ambition. Don’t set “cannot miss” goals that make you comfortable. Move outside that comfort zone, and reach for the stars. If you’re in a company where the manager doesn’t inspire or motivate you to achieve your best — move on to one where you will be challenged and supported.

2. Focus

Once you’ve set your goals, focus on what it will take to achieve them.

Break down your yearly goals into quarterly, monthly and even weekly chunks.

If your goal is to sell $12 million GCI, that’s $3 million per quarter and $1 million per month.

What will it take to sell that number in your market? Is that one sale a month or four or 10? What will it take to make those numbers work? Know your numbers (your past track record) and work backwards.

Once you know what it will take to hit your goals, make a daily plan. How many appointments do you need to make each week to hit those numbers? How many listings must you take and how many buyers much you close?

I see agents who have great intentions and who say the right things in planning meetings, then walk out of the office and never make it happen. These agents lose focus on what is important, and then blame either the leads or the system for their failures.

Focus on what you must do to make the goal. While others in the office might be playing on Facebook or complaining about how internet leads stink, just keep your eyes on the target and set those appointments.

3. Zig when everyone else is zagging

It’s the end of the year. Some offices are practically empty right now, with agents focused on the holiday season and end of year festivities. An agent last week told me he was cruising the entire month of December. He had hit his goals for the year and was finished, mentally.

While everyone zags, you should zig. If they’re slacking and going Christmas shopping during the day, hang out in the office and keep on working.

Want closings in January and February? Don’t take off the month of December. The phones and showing requests may slow down, but you can be the one available when someone does raise their hand. Buyers this time of year, in fact, may be more serious than those who come out in spring and summer. Be there for them, and you might keep that pipeline flowing through the winter.

4. Set standards

Set your own standards. Your broker should have standards for how the office runs — who will work in the office, the ethics they will uphold, and production standards. You need to set your own standards as well.

What do you stand for? Looking at your goals and how you did in 2019, what are your standards for production and success in this business? Are you in an office where you feel your standards are aligned with those of the broker and the office? If not where is the disconnect?

Your license is portable. If your broker is not supportive of your goals and does not help you achieve them, and if your office standards don’t align with your personal standards, why are you still there?

Most agents are independent contractors. Yet I see agents stay for years at companies where they are not a good fit, where they are not supported. Standards are too often given lip service. Brokers proudly spout off their high level mission statements and vision — yet then hire anyone who steps across the threshold.

Agents — you should hold yourself to your own standards, and take a look at your broker and office. It’s a two way street. Brokers should not accept mediocrity in their agents, and agents should seek a broker and office that inspires them to be better.

Take a step back to see where you are right now, at the end of 2019, and then vision where you want to be in 2020.

If 2019 was not as good as you wanted it to be, don’t give up. Take some time to set goals for 2020, focus on what you want, and don’t quit working in December.

Erica Ramus, MRE, is the broker/owner of RAMUS Real Estate. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.

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Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy tickets together. Contact us to find out more.

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