Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070)

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Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Hello Debbie,


My principal broker has all of us do a business plan every fall. I find at this stage in my career the past clients drive my business cycle more that new business. 

Dec 23, 2014 10:08 PM
Jeffrey Jones
AZ Home Seekers - San Tan Valley, AZ
AZ Home Seekers,

Well Debbie,

Every year we make business plans, an invariably every year, my business shifts. The income I thought I would make from investors winds up coming from relocation buyers, etc. We are always shooting at a moving target. But what if someone didn't hit last years goal? Is it realistic to aim higher when the previoius goal was out of reach? I think our goals always need to challenge us towards improvement. I think you should strive to do better every year; but if you fall short one year, depending on your market shifts maybe a realistic goal of improvement is in order, even if it is lower than a previous unattained goal.

Dec 23, 2014 11:12 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

As I grow older, it became evident to me that staying healthy and strong is more important than anything else because without being healthy and strong I wouldn't be able to achieve any goals.

So, improving my physical and mental health is my priority and spending quality time with family and friends are next and earning income would be relative. So, if that reduces my business goals, so be it. I would rather change my lifestyle and be able to enjoy my family and friends, so it depends, doesn't it, on what's important to you?

Dec 25, 2014 03:09 AM
Chris Webb
Nova Home Loans - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's Social Media Expert

Lower transaction goals at a higher price point would be a great improvement in any business.

Dec 23, 2014 10:56 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If you strive to do you level best each day, your goals are met a day at a time. The best you can do is measured by your effort, your efficiency and creatively to reinvent your day. Passion for what you do shows and fuels the process. So goals start and end with are we getting enjoyment, satisfaction and are we as healthy, good to ourselves as possible? Production depends on your stage in life, health, priorities in your relationships. So aim high, be happy with what you achieve and don't beat, self flail. Be kind to yourself.

Dec 23, 2014 10:16 PM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Debbie Reynolds ... like others it depends. If you want to do less to spend more time with family, for instance, then my opinion is "Good for you!" But also if it's all about work then for sure, aim high.

Dec 23, 2014 10:06 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

If you did not come close, maybe they were unrealistic and you should readjust to lower.

Dec 23, 2014 10:02 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Profit should be paramount so if the goals are to make $300,000 and net more than if you sold $500,000 then I am all for it.

Dec 23, 2014 09:14 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

There are times when it's appropriate to set lower level goals--lots of things happen in people's lives that need attention over and beyond the professional side of life. Also, I've found that if you "overset" your goals and then can't reach them, it can be a disincentive. I've seen lots of agents do this. So sometimes it's better to scale back a bit, achieve, get incentivized and go from there.

Dec 23, 2014 08:30 PM
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Specialist - Agent

My goal is to grow but not in volume or gross commission income. I would like to grow the ease with which my business functions and the ability to spend more time with my family doing the things we enjoy.

Dec 23, 2014 06:55 PM
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

I just had another thought on it.  While your biz goals may be lower, your life goals are higher.  It's not about lower goals, but different ones.

Dec 23, 2014 05:50 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I think it has to be in context too.  My personal production was lower this year, but it's my goal for it be nearly zero and to focus on running and growing the business.  I was almost there when the down turn happened and serveral agents left the business and I stepped up and stepped in and filled the void.  I plan to slow down more and take more me time and travel a bit.  I think it all depends on your plans.

Dec 23, 2014 02:34 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Bruce, That is a good point.  It sounds like your former broker was a smart man.

Roy, Short term goals are easier to see.


Dec 23, 2014 10:30 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I would rather focus on the goals for the day. Keep making calls until your schedule is full. 

Dec 23, 2014 08:50 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Goals should be realistic, but high enough to make one have to stretch to reach them!

Dec 25, 2014 07:00 AM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

My goal is to write shorter comments next year.

Dec 24, 2014 10:16 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I think the point is that you have some kind of goals, no matter what they are.

Dec 23, 2014 11:18 PM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

The #1 rule of a goal is that is has to be yours.  If you make a goal of 10 million in production because your broker wants it, you will not be successful.  If you make a goal of losing 50 pounds because your spouse wants it, you won't succeed either.  Our time on the planet in finite.  Strive for and reach what works for you and brings happiness into YOUR life. 

Dec 23, 2014 11:05 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great responses to a Super Question!  Rather than repeat what so many have already said, I want to add "it's important to set a goal ... and then stick to it -- whatever that goal may be for your Season!  We are all going through changes, so be true to yourself!  Reach for the sky in all that you desire .. in life and in business."  For now, my goal is to get ready to spend a wonderful evening with family celebrating Christmas Eve.

Dec 23, 2014 11:03 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

I have always tried to stretch a bit for the next years goals. It doesn't really matter what you set unless you have actions to make the goals happen. 

Dec 23, 2014 10:30 PM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

I'm always trying to stretch... it may not be production or income necessarily but it could be educational, personal growth, or other goals.  Usually, it's a give and take but overall, I don't lower my goals.

Dec 23, 2014 09:54 PM
Mike Tizzano
Amerifirst Financial, Inc Equal Housing Oppurtinity Lender AZ BK0013635 NMLS 145368 LO:1015837 - Mesa, AZ
Protect Your Transaction Certified Lender

Make a long term goal then set your daily goals that are achievable and measured. Make sure they line up with what your long term goal is. As far as setting it lower then last year's goals it depends on a couple of things. If you missed last year's goal examine why. If it was unrealistic from the start then it's sensible to adjust your goal to be more reasonable. I'm of the opinion that it's better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit but it's probably unrealistic for a brand new agent to assume they'll do 100million in volume the first year for example.

Dec 23, 2014 09:42 PM
Rick Snow - Selling El Paso TX
EXIT West Realty - El Paso, TX
Cool Deals on Hot Real Estate in El Paso, Texas

 Because we have goals in different areas of our lives, professional and personal perhaps they shift. Maybe your professioanl goals aren't as high because we switch more focus to spending more time with family etc...

Nice post as we work on 2015.

Dec 23, 2014 09:01 PM
Mike Belobradic
Johnston & Daniel Oakville - Oakville, ON
Your Trusted Advisor in Oakville Real Estate

There seem to be two schools of thought on setting a stretch goal. I grew up with the school that says aim higher. So I will always aim to outperform previous goals.

Dec 23, 2014 08:45 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Goals are personal and individual it can make sense.  If you are an agent that wants to cut back due to other interests in your life, its perfectly fine.  In case of some agents who want phase into their retirement it makes all the sense in the world to set goals less than previous years.

Dec 23, 2014 07:23 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Debbie, I think we sometimes get too focused on goals and miss life.  There are some more important things than always doing more in business.  My mother who is now deceased used to tell me I should slow down and smell the roses.

Dec 23, 2014 01:44 PM
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Debbie - I think this depends on why and context.  So, if for example your sales numbers will be lower, but profit higher, that can be a very smart long as it is well thought out and realistic (i.e. don't "shrink to greatness."

If it's an overall lower number, then it depends on why.  Is it better work life/balance and/or strategic reason for doing.

Also, there can be times where you may have an "outstanding" and non repeating event (e.g. a huge sale) and it's not realistic to expect that to repeat.  Then, I would take a base number and work on growth from the base. 

- Debbie

Dec 23, 2014 11:59 AM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

My former Broker once told me something a bit harsh, but may be reality, "Like a flower, if you're not growing, you're dying".  So, each year, I try to goal at least a TINY bit higher. I clicked LIKE.

Dec 23, 2014 08:12 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I think the answers have been as enlightening as the question. The problem is the right asnwer is..."It depends".  Why one feels they need to. In most cases I agree shoot for the moon and land in the stars, but they must be achievable. I'm the first one to go for a major stretch, but even I know they must be realistic (even when they don't seem realistic to others). 

Dec 27, 2014 04:32 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

These are all very valid points to consider. There is more to life than just work and having balance is very important at this stage in my life. I want to work smarter and with more success. The market here is so challenging and sellers are not happy. It will likely get worse with the draw down of the military. Oh challenging times are ahead.

Dec 25, 2014 12:30 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Less could be more depending on the number and quality of the goals.

Dec 25, 2014 12:22 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Debbie Reynolds , depending on your situation, one may want to set the goals at less than last year.

You may want to spend more time doing the activities you love more than just Real Estate. 

Dec 25, 2014 09:18 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Goals don't have to be set in stone; life and business are both fluid, changing all the time, and you should also be ready to adjust your goals accordingly. As long as they are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) they will serve you well in the long run.

Dec 25, 2014 12:22 AM
Theresa Akin

I agree with Scott Hoen. Reality comes to mind!

Dec 25, 2014 12:08 AM
Scott Hoen
Carson City, NV
Candidate for Carson City Clerk Recorder

Need to write them where they are achievable and not stretch so much

Dec 24, 2014 11:51 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Debbie Reynolds - I've been stretching my actual goals SIDEWAYS like MORE of them, rathern than one goal for UP. The UP will then take care of itself. At least, that is the way I am looking at it in 2015.

Dec 24, 2014 09:03 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I like to make goals that are realistic and attainable. Sometimes it is necessary to reduce goals.

Dec 24, 2014 06:42 AM
Dawn Brenengen
Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty - Raleigh, NC
Sales and Management

Don't reduce your goals.  Multiply them by 10! Check out the premise of this book.  It's on my To-Read list. The 10x Rule


Dec 24, 2014 06:40 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

My goal(s) are not inflexible.  They tend to be a very mutable process. I have a goal, and try to work it.  If not, then it's . . . NEXT and back to the drawing board!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2014 04:50 AM
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

Number of Sales is only one facet of your business plan, and only one goal of many goals.  You can drop the number of sales, while increasing other aspects of your business.  If you are scaling back to relax more or go semi-retirement, I would not set a "smaller" goal of sales, but a "larger" goal of time out-of-office, out-of-town, friends & family visited, etc. that point toward the lifestyle you want to live.  Focus on the positive.


Dec 24, 2014 04:27 AM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

To answer your question, we as agents are surrounded by people whose purpose in life is enhanced if we raise our goals.  The broker, the real estate coaches, our favorite escrow officer and lender.  It is hard to say you want to cut back because there is so much pressure to raise goals. During a business planning seminar held by an area real estate coach  she kept stressing to "get out of your comfort zone" "push yourself"  etc etc etc.  I mentioned to someone that "I really like my comfort zone! I want to embrace my comfort zone!!!  " That being said after a few weeks I embraced it and then decided to get out of my comfort zone and raised my goal once again. Plan to work smarter and delegate more.  Kudos to all who do business plans because just by writing it down it seems to happen. 

Dec 24, 2014 03:39 AM
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

I think it is totally fine.  There may be lots of reasons to do so.  It is an interesting question.  We tend to assume that we should set higher goals and of course, that may not be true.

Dec 24, 2014 03:06 AM
Mitch Tempo
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kihei, HI
Mitch Tempo

Think Big! 

I don't see a problem setting big goals, as long as you are doing, what you need to do, to achieve those goals on a daily basis.  If your goal is $100 Million in property sold, how many appointments, how many contacts, how many phone calls, how many door knocks etc do you need to do to achieve that.  Then go out and do it.  

Dec 24, 2014 02:42 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

I say do what you want & feel good about it. The question is a little on the vague side to fully answer.

You can cut back but try to improve on your average sales price.

Dec 24, 2014 02:14 AM
Eren Millam
Realty World Cosser & Associates, Inc. - Chehalis, WA
Certified Negotiation Expert

I would say its fine to pare back goals, but not without further examination. Why did you not meet your goals? Are you goals unreachable? I had a new agent tell me her goal was $50,000 her first year until I told her that our agent's top producers are making between $70K-100K in our market. I wasn't saying it couldn't be done, but I wanted her to have realistic expectations. Real estate is typically not a cash cow in your first year!

Dec 24, 2014 02:00 AM
Esther Templin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Templin Team undersands the value of YOU!

There are business goals and life goals.  When creating my 2015 business plan I realized it needs to be called " 2015 Business & Life Plan".  I've decided to set my business goals lower for 2015 and life goals higher.   In January & June I will become a grandmother for the first time.  My children live in New York City & Ottawa, Canada.  I've set my personal goals based on this new phase in my life.  As a result, my business goals are lower than they have been over previous years.  There is no balance, there is only "The One Thing". In 2015 my One Thing will be to spend a lot of  time traveling to these two destinations and getting to know my two new grandbabies.  So, whatever your goals, be it business or personal, set them high.

Dec 23, 2014 11:41 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Debbie, that's exactly what I'm doing for 2015.  I am preparing to say goodbye to real estate in the near future and getting ready for others to take over the reins.

Dec 23, 2014 11:09 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Debbie, there comes a point for a lot of us where we might not want to work as hard.  I'd say there's nothing wrong with keeping that in mind when you're setting your goals. 

Dec 23, 2014 02:31 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

We all must make the decision as to where we want to go.

Aug 24, 2019 10:26 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Depends on the objective.  If the plan is to reduce business prior to exit - why not?

Oct 21, 2015 12:47 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Your responses have provided some excellent ideas to ponder. There are more goals in life beside work goals and life balance is important.

Dec 29, 2014 10:26 AM
Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Debbie ....I've never had a problem with that ...I really am not one to set a lot of goals ...because my goal has always been to be the best I can be everyday's works great for me.


Dec 28, 2014 08:16 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Debbie Reynolds I do not set goals for a year. My goal is for the day, hour, minute. It is to think Sell, Sell, Sell. I always try to throw into a conversation that I am a Realtor if I am in public and get a chance to enter a conversation. I wear a blue Coldwell Banker logo jacket when shopping, I get people in line asking me questions and I give them a card. I am motivated to just make the most deal I can period. Last year I sold a condo to a clerk at a store I buy Tea from by talking about my work.

Dec 27, 2014 12:46 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Goals are a simple list of what you want to achieve. My goals are different each year and sometimes there are not as many to reach but they take more effort.  Interesting that so many feel goals have to be big, one of my goals last year was to send a handwritten note every week.  Now that may not be a big goal but it did cause me to be more in touch with 52 people.

Dec 27, 2014 07:13 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Hi Debbie - great question...thought provoking for me.    

I do have a goal to pare back in 2015 compared to 2014:  my Facebook business page.     A  "specialist" told me to spend time "liking" and "commenting" from my business Facebook page in order to gain more "likes."    After 11 consistent months it's safe to say that wasn't an efficient use of time 

Dec 24, 2014 01:44 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I think it depends on what you are trying to achieve overall. And you might set one goal lower than the prior year in exchange for another where you wish do to more, such as spending more on your personal time and with friends and family.

Dec 24, 2014 01:04 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Irvine Realtor®

I'm a one day at a time type of guy.  That being said, next year I really need to learn wordpress well.

Dec 24, 2014 12:41 AM
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

I agree with Andrew Mooers.....I do set goals, but I do adjust them throughout the year based on a number of factors.  Great Question, Debbie!!!

Dec 23, 2014 11:42 PM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

It is important to have goals every year.  This gives you something to strive for at all times.  Meaning and purpose to your life.  At the same time, your goals can change over time.  The older I get, the more my goals involve traveling the world and calculated wealth accumulation.  It is not bad to try and see just how much production you can accomplish in a year, but it is better to simply make it a goal to create a system, a rhythm, like a heartbeat that happens automatically rather than by you working your tail off. 

Dec 23, 2014 11:32 PM