It’s early in 2010 and real estate managers are once again dusting off that old chestnut, “You can’t be a success without goals.” They must be right because all the best-selling self-help book authors are singing the same song.
There is no other way, so buy my book today.
As real estate professionals, we are always looking for a competitive edge, so we take this to heart and we chisel our monetary goals in stone and share them with the office manager. Now we have become accountable (probably not a good idea).
For a number of sales reps, this goal-setting idea soon expands and takes on a life of its own, and the thought crosses their mind that they could apply this award-winning goal setting theory into all aspects of their lives – marriage, health, relationships and so on.
In my opinion, when they reach this point, they have lost all sense of reason and are suffering the acute symptoms of ‘Goal Fever’.
For sales reps, Goal Fever is deadly and highly contagious, and it can be picked up by just looking at a sales board without seeing their name on it. It reaches a fever pitch every Monday morning when those infected come into the office (usually long before anyone else) and review their goals – always with a critical eye to their progress or lack of same.
Mood swings can be radical to say the least, from extreme highs to extreme lows. The highs unfortunately don’t last long, because Goal Fever is a seductive mistress, always demanding more, much more. Hallucinating, they feel the only cure for Goal Fever is to bear down, work longer, work harder and sniff more ‘Goal dust’. Achoo!
Setting goals is an assumption that you can control your destiny/success. This is an illusion.
There are only two things in the entire world that are within your control:
1. The way you choose to feel about yourself.
2. Your behaviours, which are based on your feelings. Absolutely nothing else is within your control, goals or no goals.
If goal setting is the path to success in the real estate industry, then I seriously question:
1. Why the high turnover of real estate agents? Eighty per cent of new agents have left the industry within two years.
2. Why are 10 per cent of the sales reps making 90 per cent of the money?
3. Why the high divorce rate within the industry?
4. Why the high number of disillusioned, burned-out agents?
5. Why the high level of strained relationships in and out of the office?
6. Why the high levels of anxiety, frustration and health issues prevalent within the industry?
Obviously, something is seriously flawed with the theory “You can’t be a success without goals,” otherwise logic would dictate that ALL sales reps with goals would be success stories.
Once again, the whole premise of goal setting is built on the assumption of control, that your efforts alone will enable you to reach your goals. People have forgotten the classic definition of the road to success: “It’s not what you know that counts, it’s who you know!”
You can’t be successful all by yourself. Other people make you successful. That’s why it is so important to focus on other people, not yourself. The analogy can be found in baseball – it’s the team effort that brings victory.
When you set a goal for yourself, you exclude others. You put on blinders, you suffer from tunnel vision. You have a tendency to miss the side roads of life, which can often lead to the opportunity of a lifetime. Stop. Take a moment and reflect on some of the wonderful happenings in your life. Were they planned?
With goals, life is so predictable there is no mystery or excitement in your life. On life’s big screen you become just another flatliner. And for flatliners there are no peaks or valleys, just the same old, same old.
Pablo Picasso once said, “If you always know exactly what you want, that will be the most you will ever find.”
I say consider keeping your options open and don’t lock yourself into rigid goals. Remember, you can’t control your destiny – success is an illusion. For many people the future can be more exciting and rewarding than they could possibly imagine. Whether you are successful or not doesn’t depend on how good your plans (goals) are. Success (and success is subjective) depends upon how you focus on other people, and how you react to unexpected opportunities when they come along.
Got to go, the manager is on her way, sprinkling goal dust all the way. Achoo!
John Polito is a broker with Coldwell Banker RMR Real Estate in Lindsay, Ont. He has 34 years of real estate experience.
Posted: 2010-02-03 08:05:05
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