Three Things to Kick Off the New Decade the SMART Way

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The New Year of 2020 is more than just a new year. It’s a whole new decade of opportunities and the ideal time to plan your future. This is a wonderful time in the real estate world for setting new goals or refreshing existing goals by taking another look and making adjustments.

As always, one of my main goals is helping others succeed. What I’m sharing today are the 3 action steps that I know will help every real estate investor get the New Year and New Decade off to a fantastic start.


1) Set Your 2020 S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.

S.M.A.R.T. goals:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely

Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.

What are you going to do? When writing out your goals, use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build, etc.

Why is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?

How are you going to do it? By… taking specific actions.

Ensure the goals that you set are very specific, clear, and will stretch you, but are still realistic. Instead of setting a goal to “invest in profitable properties,” set a specific goal to “take control of three properties in 2020 using the Sandwich Lease Option method.”

Measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project. When the goal is accomplished, what does success look like? However, there should be short-term or small measurements built into big goals.

Choose a goal with measurable progress so that you can see progress happening. How will you know when you reach your goal? By being specific! “I will have my first house under contract by the end of January” shows the specific target and measurement. “I will make good investments” is not measurable.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward attaining each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track and you make target dates happen. You will experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you forward to succeed at your ultimate goal.

Attainable. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin figuring out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

If you set goals that are too far out of your reach, you aren’t likely to fully commit to following through. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge of how difficult it will be causes your subconscious to stop you from doing your best.

A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it but that it will require a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to have five houses under contract during the first week of January, we both know that is not likely to happen. But setting a goal to have one house under contract in January makes having a second one under contract in February much more achievable.

Success breeds success by keeping you motivated.

Realistic. This is not a synonym for “easy.” In this case, realistic means “do-able.” It means that the learning curve is not a steep vertical slope; that the skills needed to do the work are available and that the project fits within your overall strategy and goals. A realistic project has resources available to increase your skills and knowledge to bolster your confidence.

Devise a plan for getting there that makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you at this particular point in your life. A goal to obtain financial freedom with your next deal is not realistic if you are just getting started. Instead, it is more realistic to partner with someone that already has experience and success.

Goals that are too lofty set the stage for failure. But goals that are too low undermine your true capability and the results won’t motivate you upward.

Timely. Set a clear time frame for the goal: for next week or the end of January. Putting an endpoint on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.

Timely must be measurable, attainable, and realistic.

You will benefit financially in 2020 with goals based on the SMART method.

2. Synergize with Like Minded People

Whether you already have your real estate investing goals for 2020 or are just starting to plan them, working with likeminded people will help you in many ways. You can bounce your ideas off people with years of experience and they will also share with you what has already worked for them. It’s no coincidence that real estate investing club members are more successful than lone wolf investors are. It makes perfect sense that if two heads are better than one, a hundred heads are going to be a whole lot better than one. Experienced members remember what it was like getting started. Not knowing how to go about writing a solid sandwich lease contract or finding the best attorney for the job are only two examples of help you will find with a club. As a member of a real estate investing club, you are surrounded by professional investors, rehabbers, wholesalers, lenders, contractors, brokers, attorneys, accountants, landlords, property managers, and more! These are people with answers to your toughest questions.

Information is King. If you think cash and good credit are what you need most to become a real estate investor, you would be wrong. What you need most is a strong desire to succeed and the knowledge that you will find at a topnotch real estate investing club.

What you are looking for in a real estate investing club is one that holds at least one meeting a month. The meeting needs to combine networking with presentations about marketing and strategies. The real estate investing club also needs presentations made by local as well as nationally recognized active investors.

Start 2020 by joining your local real estate investing organization in order to attend educational workshops and seminars, network, and learn about local resources. One of the most important resources is “what’s new” in your community. Every region of the country has active real estate investing clubs. In the Michigan area, I recommend and encourage readers to join Michigan Real Estate Investors (MREI).

3. Take Action By Starting Right Now

Real estate investing success is happening all around you. You see it on TV. You hear about it on coffee breaks at work. Your parents have been homeowners as long as you can remember. Maybe your cousin even made a decent chunk of change flipping an inherited rental left to her by her mother.

2020 is a new year and the start of the next decade of your life. It’s time to take action. Right here and right now, you need to commit to taking at least one positive action in your real estate career. Create your S.M.A.R.T. goals or attend a local real estate investing meeting. Better yet, do both! For those who live in Southeast Michigan, Michigan Real Estate Investors invites you to attend the next meeting on Thursday, January 16. For those not in Michigan, an Internet search will show the closest Real Estate Investor organization to you.

Real estate investing is not a life or death decision. The number one fear is a fear of failing. People fail at many things but get right back up and have great success the next time. Fear of failure leads to analysis paralysis. It leads to inaction. Make 2020 the year that you TAKE ACTION with a plan that minimizes the chance of failure and maximizes the rewards.

Happy New Year to you and wishing you success in 2020!!

Wendy Patton

For more than 35 years, I’ve used the Sandwich Lease Option System to earn myself and my students millions of dollars. From my experience, I know there is plenty of room and opportunity in the real estate investment market for everyone wanting to participate to find profitable deals. It’s because of that fact and my personal success that I share the Sandwich Lease Option System with others.

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