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Are You Running Like a Chicken?

accomplishing real estate goals

How do I do it?

In my spare time, I teach people how to raise money for non-profit organizations.  Running a fundraiser is not an easy task, and takes a lot of planning.  I am often successfully multi-tasking and handling multiple events because I plan everything out.

The same thing can be said for your real estate business.  How many agents do you know that wing it?  They don’t know what they are going to be doing today, let alone next week, next month or next year.  Some agents are lucky to be successful by rolling with the punches, but I think it is rare (or lucky).

These are the steps that I teach to people trying to implement non-profit fundraisers and projects:

  • Establish the project goal
  • Prepare a written project plan
  • Develop a written timeline
  • Create a budget
  • Implement the project plan
  • Provide a written summary and of the project

How can you accomplish goals you haven’t set?

While flexibility is important in our business, so is having a plan, reviewing the plan and changing it up as needed.  How can you accomplish your goals if you haven’t set them?  How do you know if you are spending too much money if you don’t have a budget?  How do you know if you should continue to run that ad, spend time blogging, keep up those mailings, etc. if you don’t analyze what you did and how it works?  It is also hard to analyze results if you don’t know what you did along the way.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning- Winston Churchill

I know that I have gotten lax this year following my project plan for my real estate business.  Even more importantly, I haven’t updated my project plan in the last couple of months.

I have found that my most successful projects are those that I plan out in advance, review progress weekly, and change as needed.  Having mini-project plans within your Master Plan is also helpful. 

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Deliver your project plan to your clients

I create a written project plan and goals for every listing that I take.  My clients love getting my detailed plan and timeline.  This plan is often what makes them sign the listing with me.  My clients know that I have thought through the process and are taking into account all the little details that most agents they interview haven’t even thought of.  They know exactly what to expect along the way, what I am doing, and what I expect them to be doing as well.  I actually assign my clients tasks in the project plan, which includes pre-listing preparation through closing.  Selling a home is a team effort -what better way to make your clients part of the team then to include them in the project plan?

Once you create your first project plan, the subsequent ones are a lot easier.  

Like a chicken with it’s head cut off…

Most agents are constantly worrying about where they will get their business from.  You get super busy in your practice, run around like a maniac, and suddenly everything closes.  What do you do next?  Where is the next deal going to come from?  I had a great year this year, but what if….

It is never to late to create a plan. 

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination- Earl Nightingale

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Written By

Ginger Wilcox is a Broker Associate at Alain Pinel in Marin County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an accomplished speaker, writer and trainer on the real estate industry, online marketing and social media strategy. Ginger is the publisher of the Marin Real Estate Guide -"Blog by the Bay," a highly regarded Bay Area real estate web site. For more information about Ginger, visit



  1. Mack in Atlanta

    August 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    How can we be expected to achieve our goals if we don’t even know what they are. Last year I asked a new agent what his goal was for 2008. His answer was to make money. OK, I then asked how much. He answered as much as possible. The conversation quickly switched to goal setting and how to obtain those goals. This morning he thanked me for our little talk from last fall and informed me that he was close to hitting his goal for the year. We discussed revising it and focusing his efforts on a slightly higher goal.

  2. Derek Overbey

    August 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    So the CEO of the last real estate company I worked for always said you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Being and agent and broker for 18 years, he knew the importance of planning when it came to reaching his goals. He would write and send out his own business plan every year and even held an accountability group that would meet every month to keep all involved on track.

    I discounted this plan idea for the first two years I worked for him because I was not in real estate sales and I thought I could keep my priorities straight and reach my goals without the help of some pieces of paper. Boy was I wrong. In the third year I decided to put my business plan into action and I was so surprised by the results. I was more efficient, more focused and accomplished more than I could have ever imagined.

  3. Ginger Wilcox

    August 22, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Mack- exactly! Knowing where you are going makes it a lot easier to find the path to take.

    Derek- I think we can follow ourselves in our circles if we don’t have a roadmap. It can also be daunting to try and reach for those goals if we don’t break it down into smalller, more manageable pieces.

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