Everyone on my real estate team is an avid reader, myself included. I typically read business and marketing books or the occasional biography. Right now we are reading The 12 Week Year – Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington. Moran and Lennington’s The 12 Week Year instructs the reader how to do in 12 weeks what most people accomplish in a whole year. If you are new to goal setting or life planning, this is a great book to implement.
The 12 Week Year explains that for many companies, December is the best sales month of the year as everyone focuses on the “year-end-push” towards annual targets. I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of this myself. With that in mind, the question is: Why save that kind of effort for just once a year? Instead of working towards 12-month goals which can seem a long way away at the beginning of each year, you should instead set 12-week goals and have your people pursue those with the same kind of concentrated effort they put into the year-end push.
“Periodization” is the concept of changing your time-frame so you make sure every week counts. Throw out the annual plan and break each year into four 12-week periods. If you move to use periodization, why not also set an audacious goal at the same time? What about if you could boost your productivity so much that you can achieve in a 12-week period the same results you previously generated over an entire year! That kind of productivity boost would be a genuine game-changer for most people.
As my real estate team has been reading this book, we asked ourselves, “Is it feasible? Could we set bigger goals to achieve in a shorter time period?” Well, if we are honest, we would probably admit we are not always in high productivity mode all the time, every single day. Breaking our year into 12 week periods, and setting bold goals for each period, forces us to keep our foot on the gas because that impending deadline is coming up fast.
For example, my team set a goal of selling 132 homes in 2017. That’s a lot of families and we are excited about helping them, but we know from experience that we would typically start out the new year slowly easing into that goal. We might say to ourselves, “Well no one likes to move in the winter” or “We’ll get ready for a big push in the Spring”. In reality, plenty of people need to sell in the first 12 weeks of the year and someone has to sell these homes or help buyers find a home, so why can’t we be the ones to help them?
Previously, we’ve never broken our year down into smaller chucks like this and we’ve consistently sold 17 to 18 homes during this same period. This year, in 2017, we decided to double-down on our lead generation efforts and put 30 homes under contract. That was a big number for us, but as I write this on April 5th I’m happy to report that we put 37 homes under contract during that time! We doubled our business from last year at this same time.
Having that big goal in such a short time period, forced us to have a sense of urgency like never before. It caused us to do some things differently, like be a little more proactive in asking past clients to refer us to their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. That in turn paid off because our referrals are through the roof this year! Yes, we always try very hard to make sure we take good care of our current clients so they would want to refer us to their friends, but having this big goal forced us to start asking for more business and people have been willing to accommodate us, just for asking.
It’s all about execution. Many people have goals, but few actually write their goals on paper. The smallest percentage of people actually execute those goals to make them a reality. One of my favorite quotes in this book is, “Execution is the single greatest market differentiator.”
Key insights to this book:
- We don’t have a knowledge problem, we have an execution problem
- Every day counts
- Execution happens daily and weekly, not monthly or yearly (that’s why people get more done with a tight deadline looming)
- ID the 10% of activities that will yield 90% of results
- People earning $1,000,000 per year aren’t working 10 times harder than people earning $100,000
- Create a sense of urgency with your team.
It’s a good book, The 12 Week Year by Bryan Moran and Michael Lennington, and I’d encourage you to get a copy. So what personal or business goal will you be setting for the next 12 weeks? Let me know what it is and I’ll be more than happy to check in with you occasionally and hold you accountable.