If you don’t have a deadline, you just have a hope, a wish, something that is not likely to happen. 

When you set a deadline for your dream, it’s real. It’s a work in progress. It lives on your calendar and it moves closer every day, prompting you to take action.

Urgent and unexpected things happen all the time in real estate. We adapt and move fast as necessary — but in the blizzard of daily details and emergencies, how do we keep the big picture in mind?

The problem is that our long-term, big-picture goals are never exactly emergencies… so they often get pushed back by less important things that appear to be urgent.

Setting your own deadlines can help take your long-term goals and make them into short-term milestones. This is an effective way to ensure progress.

For example, at one leadership meeting a few months ago we went through a lot of our goals and priorities and said:

Okay, if we need 50 agents on the team to reach our goal of a thousand transactions next year, when do we need the next ten? When do we need the next ten after that? Right now we’re at 28; we’re bringing on seven more in a week. Three weeks after that we need another six agents. In the next four months we need ten more.

We worked through this process with listing agents, phone callers, all the positions we need.

Even if it’s not a “real” deadline, creating an arbitrary deadline prompts action.

Here’s one more tip on giving your goals deadlines: We tend to use the time we allot ourselves to get things done. Give yourself five years and maybe you’ll get the task done in those five years. Give yourself just one year to do the same task, and you’ll find yourself looking for ways to get the job done in one year.

If you want to compress time and get things done faster: Create your own deadlines, and make them sooner than they need to be.

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