What is Your Goal?

One fundamental thing that is missing for many real estate bloggers is having a defined goal for their blog.

Believe me, I talk to a lot of bloggers. When I ask them, “What is your goal for the blog?” I am often met with a blank stare, a puzzled expression, a shameful nod of the head.

Sometimes I will hear, “I want more business”, or “Duh, commission checks”. While those are lofty goals, the problem is they aren’t good goals.

Your goals need to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Specific: “More business” isn’t specific. Everyone wants more business. More what? More clients, more money, more frequent pay days, more listings, more buyers… You’ve got to get specific with your goals.

Measurable: If you can’t measure it, how do you know you’ve achieved it? “I want a good blog”, “I want a recognized/respected blog”. How do you measure “good” or “recognized”? If you can measure something you can track your performance and implement new strategies and tactics to improve it.

Achievable: There is no point is making an unachievable goal, you are just setting yourself up for failure. “I want as many RSS subscribers as Chris Brogan!”. While specific and measurable, it is not remotely achievable (for a new blogger, in the real estate space. Patience Grasshopper…).

Relevant: Yeah, yeah, I know your ultimate goal is to sell  enough real estate to retire so you can sit on a beach and sip cocktails out of coconuts (wait, that’s my goal. You can’t have it). Aside from that lofty goal not being Specific, it’s not really relevant for a real estate blog. Ditto for, “I want to write a New York Times best seller based on my blog”. Pam Slim you aren’t (or Brogan or Seth or Vaynerchuck). A real estate blog doesn’t have enough reach to make the NYT list. You’ve got to have a goal that is relevant to what you can do with a real estate blog.

Time-bound: This one basically keeps you honest. If, for example, RSS subscribers is your goal, proclaiming. “I want 5,000 subscribers!” doesn’t cut it. 5,000 it what time frame? A week? 5 years? Two decades? “I want 100 people to register for a home search” — Great! Almost. That would be a SMAR goal. Add the “T” — “I want 100 people to register for a home search in the next 6 months”

Some possible SMART goals for a real estate blog:

  • Home search registrations
  • Email addresses added to a newsletter distribution list
  • Email inquiries / phone calls received on home listings
  • Number of listing appointments taken
  • RSS / Email Subscribers
  • Page views / unique visitors

Personally, I think the last two are the weakest of the lot — it is difficult to convert either subscribers or visitors into home buying / selling clients.

Slap a metric on these (Measurable), be that either a raw number or a percentage increase, make sure your metric is Achievable (you’ll need to be flexible and probably go through a data collection phase if your blog is newish), and give yourself a time limit (Time-bound).

And you’ll be off to the races. With a SMART goal, you’ll be able to track, tweak and adjust your efforts to ensure success.

Don’t like SMART goals? DUMB goals work too – Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial. Think about adding an “ER” to the end of either of those — Evaluate and Re-evaluate making your goals SMARTER and/or DUMBER.

I’d love to hear your SMART goals!

About Jay Thompson

Jay is a Real Estate Broker (Phoenix, AZ area), father, husband, friend to many, enemy to a few. Author of the award winning blog, Phoenix Real Estate Guy, he is also a serial blog commenter and social media fan boy. Jay abhors yard work, but love kittens and driving too fast.
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45 Responses to What is Your Goal?

  1. First

    Oh boy… someone has a new toy.

  2. Funny learned over the years coaching and mentoring: hittting “goals” are kind of like saying …will do “50 ish” ..”Target” are more distinctive both physically as well as pyschologically!

  3. Nick says:

    Well, you are obviously one SMART dude even though the DUMB @$$ line seems to come to mind after reading this post… 🙂
    Your generosity and willingness to share what you know are truly appreciated by MANY.
    Thanks again, JT…
    My recent post Tell Me A Story…

  4. janiecoffey says:

    I love that you really spell out what a Real Estate bloggers metrics are so well, it's not about PR, Backlinks, views, etc. if it isn't converting to what butters our bread, ie LEADS! I have bookmarked this! I'm now off to revise (add) to my metric goal list!
    My recent post Featured Coral Gables Condo- The Ponce de Leon

    • Jay Thompson says:

      Thanks Janie. It's really not about visitors, links, etc (though there is a "numbers game" aspect to this blogging thing, and those help). But I think too many focus on that. Let's face it. If your blog got only 2 visitors a month but they both became clients, it would be crazy successful….

  5. @TomRoyce says:

    Great Post Jay. — Last year it was fine to just get a blog up for real estate agents. But now that is so last year.

  6. Great post Jay, I think also goals should be a wee bit flexible. Point being that you just never know where this may lead you… you may end up headed one way and end up another but maybe that isn't so bad either. Make sense?

  7. Rick Bonetti says:

    How about a Google Analytics goal of 50% blog traffic from a Facebook Page? If a real estate blogger's goal is more listings than buyers, then a broader goal of being a hyper-local, community resource should be expressed by a growing local fanbase, which will lead to more listings.
    …and oh yes, the eyeball is a little creepy – glazed open from writing too many WP blog posts??

    • jonbenya says:

      I doubt you could ever see that on an established blog. In order to get 50% traffic from Facebook, you would need a massive campaign of some sort to get there, and I think any established blogger sees most of their traffic from Google.

  8. JT even though we have never met but we did speak once (several weeks ago) — I appreciate your never ending desire to serve. As a former AF veteran (1987 USAF-DAV) there is a saying used by my Army buddies "if you want to walk through a mine field, follow the footsteps of those that went before you."

    I am revamping my RE site to a blogsite using wordpress and will follow this blog daily!

    Keep leading –from a fellow Texan!

  9. Good post, Jay. Food for thought for me. I don't have SMART goals for my blog… but I feel like I've always had a different mindset about my blog since I've had it up. I would LOVE, of course, to get lots of new buyers from my blog, but I feel like a more reasonable goal for me is increasing and keeping in touch with my SOI. I write with the hopes that what I have to offer is generally entertaining enough to bring people in to read, and I write it about real estate simply to keep in the forefront of their minds that I'm a Realtor so they will use and refer me when they have the need. But this is clearly not specific, measurable or timebound. *Sigh* My current 'goals' for the site involve posting consistently (twice a week) in order to build readership.

    My general feeling about real estate blogs is that there needs to be a reason for readers to come. Just general market facts and info is so prevalent now and so many people present it consistently so well (you, for one) that I cannot compete with this type of blog. I need to present something that no one else has. Which is why I've been writing a real estate humor blog. Almost everyone will eventually have a real estate need, so if I bring them to my blog to read funny stories and they learn to like me and trust me, when they do have that need, they may very well come to me (is my general line of thinking). But I don't see how I can apply goals like, 'home search registrations' to a blog like this.

    This post has definitely got me thinking… I do need to channel my energy more specifically. hmm…

    • Jay Thompson says:

      Elizabeth – first, let me say I *love* your blog!

      And I don't see anything wrong with using a blog as a tool/method to keep in touch with your SOI. That's certainly a great thing to do (and something many agents — myself included) could do much more thoroughly.

      I don't think every RE blog needs to be there to generate registrations or even direct business. (though with your mad writing skills, I know you could).

      You can measure posting frequency and readership. I think your goals are SMARTER than you think….

  10. Jay Thompson says:

    Hey Gregg! Thanks for stopping by and good luck on the revamp. Just stick with it!

  11. My goal is to get good enough at writing that i can keep even a handful of visitors coming back. Reading through this blog over the last hour or so has helped me a lot and i now know that i dont have to always write about real estate or owner financing just because that is what i "do". Im excited to see how my blog evolves over the next few months after learning the tricks of the trade from one of the best. Thanks Jay!
    My recent post 12609 Twisted Briar Lane

  12. atlantareia says:

    Jay, I love your SMART and DUMB acronyms for goal setting for blogs or any other business. I will remember these and use them often. Thanks for another great post.

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  14. Ryan says:

    One of the main goals that I track and one that I feel is incredibly important to my success on Google is number of backlinks, using tools like seoquake. Especially when comparing the number I have to the number my competitors have. You mention that traffic is pointless without conversions, but I feel it's easier to find a way to convert the traffic once you have it rather than no traffic to convert.

    I guess what I wonder most is if you find that most of your leads come from people who've been on the site multiple times and recognize your brand, or are those who have found you directly for your high listing in the search engines are interested in seeing properties through your mls search or just looking for an internet savvy real estate agent to market their home.
    My recent post Bay View Condos

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  19. Shekhar Ch says:

    My goal is to get good enough at writing that i can keep even a handful of visitors coming back.

  20. Mike Jmaes says:

    In today’s feeble real estate market, it’s important that you need an agent who is savvy of his profession and is ready to run the extra mile to get the work done. http://hollywoodhomesfl.com/
    My recent post Ten Ways to Impress a Home Buyer

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