November 1, 2021

Annual Brokerage Goal Setting Q&A with Tiffany Szakal

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

Tiffany Szakal, Real Estate Broker/Owner

The Local Element (formerly IHeartGR)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Tiffany Szakal, The Local Element

When do you start annual goal planning for your brokerage?

October at the latest.  I once heard Dave Ramsey say if you want to stick to a budget in the New Year you'll be more likely to actually do it if you start in October without the pressure and distraction of the holidays.  I know people have their own opinions of Mr. Ramsey and I'm sure I'm paraphrasing that quote but it made a lot of sense to me at the time I heard it for other areas in my life as well, such as sales goal planning. So that's what we do.

Do you use a specific goal setting framework?

Yes, after years of going through other real estate coaches' annual goal setting programs I modified theirs to fit what worked best for me.  It's a frankenstein of best practices from some of the best coaches in our industry.  In its simplest form, it's working backwards from a 10 year target into weekly action items with accountability from my team to make sure we are hitting those weekly numbers to grow in the direction of our shared 10 year vision.  And because I know you're thinking it, yes, that 10 year target has changed as we grow through our goals but it's good to point the ship in the same direction at that point in time.

How do you distinguish individual vs. brokerage goals?

My individual goals as a Broker have to integrate with the team goals.  I know that to go further and make a bigger impact in our industry we have to go together.  Everyone shares their goals with the group and helps hold each other accountable on a weekly basis.  You should hear them giving poking me about not doing what I said I was going to hit the week before.  Again, it's because we share a vision of where we're headed.

How do you foster accountability and keep goals top of mind throughout the year?

We hold weekly meetings where we reiterate the quarterly goals, how we did last week and what we're working towards in the next week that's moving us forward.  Another important component of these meetings is asking for input from a collective group where we need help and sharing points of failure so we can all learn from it.  Vulnerability as a leader in this area is absolutely necessary for an effective meeting.  It is so easy to put on a front about how we're all winning and only sharing the highlights - but to really incorporate accountability you need to look at the whole sales process to address holes and replicate sales strengths, not just announce the win you had last week.

What do you find most challenging about goal setting?

VULNERABILITY, 100%.  It's tough to gain trust to get to this point with yourself and with an accountability group.  I've been in so many highlights-only offices where people will shout out their big goals and then just stop showing up when they aren't meeting them then slowly fade out of real estate or switch to a new office in an effort to maintain their pride.  If there's something that's not working, let's name it out loud then address it as a crew.   Everyone has an opportunity to learn and collaborate on solutions... but it takes being vulnerable first.

Updated 10/28/2022

More from our blog