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Is CRE goal setting a waste of time?

01/13/2015
allen buchanan

As I sit here composing this post on the last day of my 57th year on Earth (for those keeping score at home, my birthday is January 10), I REALLY wonder if goal setting for commercial real estate brokers is a waste of time? I can hear Rod Santomassimo and Bo Barron shouting from the rooftops....Noooooo!, but follow me here and let me expand my aging thought process.

I have practiced commercial real estate since Madonna was married to Sean Penn. I have NEVER had a business plan. Now, before I field the frantic calls from Rod and Bo, let me also disclose that thanks to some Divine inspiration, I have achieved a level of LIFE satisfaction that cannot be measured in dollars. With that said, I have also ranked among the top producers within my firm throughout my career, have become a thought leader in our industry and a social media stalwart.

Here is what I have discovered. Commercial real estate is fast paced and morphs quickly. Now, if you have frequented my ramblings in the past, you have heard me opine that our business is simple...not easy. TRUE that! You have also (if you have REALLY paid attention) read that our business has not changed EVER...as brokers we still must find a tenant to represent or an owner that will hire us to market her vacant building...BUT the HOW of locating said prospect today is completely foreign to the HOW of the past...even the recent past.

So with the simplicity of commercial real estate and the dramatically changing landscape, how does one properly set goals?

Well, in my opinion (which is the only one that counts, right:)), goal setting IS NOT a waste of time (although business plans might be), BUT our motivation for doing so could be a bit archaic. We have ALL learned in B-school that a goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Compatible with your overall long range goals. Also, a goal must have a Benchmark and a Timetable. So, with those six features in mind, to have the goal of MAKING more MONEY this year simply doesn't qualify as a goal. To say to yourself..or even write it down...I am going to be MORE techno savvy this year suffers the same consequence...FAILURE! My issue with this methodology is that THE MOST IMPORTANT feature of any goal setting is ignored...THE PURPOSE.

The way I deal with the PURPOSE issue is worth mentioning. I have practiced what I refer to as DIRECTIONAL planning for the past umpteen years. I spend some quiet prayerful time at the beginning of each year envisioning the future, what that future might hold, what my PURPOSE will be in that future AND the DIRECTION I must travel to get there. Health, you bet! Happy marriage, ditto. Financial independence, hooray! Offspring thriving and gainfully employed, yep! Grandparenting???Commercial real estate now becomes a SUBSET of a LIFE'S PURPOSE...not the PRIMARY focus of our goal setting.

I graciously welcome your thoughts and comments. Until next week, my best to you!

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By: Allen Buchanan

Principal | Lee & Associates

Email: abuchanan@lee-associates.com

(714) 564-7104

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