In Episode 39 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien get you started on the 2019 Business Planning process by analyzing your YTD stats.  In Reach Your Peak they dive into the Real Estate Business Plan in 3 Steps and in Wandering Zen, Matt hits the road and shares his top 5 favorite scenic mountain roads in America.

Key Points/Takeaways

WBNL 52 – Your YTD Business Review

October has always been a business planning month in our book! At WBNL Coaching, we have begun the process of reviewing and analyzing our past year to analyze what has worked and what we need to change.  This is always the first step to successful business planning and goal setting – a review of your current year to date.   In this week’s WBNL 52 business and coach tip, we have outlined some steps and suggestions to conduct a year-to-date review of your business.

Break-out your business plan and review your goals and business action plan for 2017.  A Year to day review is included in your WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan  to record your key numbers for the year.  The spreadsheet will do some auto-calculations for you.

  • Listing Taken, Listing Sold and Closed
  • Buyer represented sales in escrow and closed
  • Listing Sold Volume
  • Sales Volume
  • Average Days on Market
  • Types of Transactions

Next, identify the SOURCES of business.  This step is critical for helping you analyze a return on any marketing investment and deciding where and what to focus on for the coming year.  Get our Business Planning Course and Downloads which includes an Escrow, Closing and Commission Tracking area – where you can record all of your closings with all pertinent info including the source of business.

Join the Wanderers Club as a FREE, Basic member to access our complete REAL ESTATE BUSINESS PLANNING COURSE and all of the downloads!

Update your personal and business budgets.  Have you been tracking your actual expenses against your proposed budget for 2017?  Have you incurred additional or unforeseen expenses?  Where can you make changes or adjustments in your budgets?

Assess Your Target Markets. What are the 3-5 target markets or niches you have focused on during the past year?  What is your return on investment for each?  Based on your initial analysis, what do you want to continue or refine for next year and what should you consider changing or dropping?

Track Your Production.  Use the Business Plan template to record your transactions year-to-date.  Keep track of your closings, pendings and active listings to assess if you are on track to meet or exceed your goals this year.

Revisit Your Success Action Plan.  Do you need to make any adjustments to your activities and strategies?  Do you need to recommit to your daily, weekly, monthly activities for attracting business?

Reach Your Peak – Real Estate Business Planning in 3 Steps

Real Estate Business Planning and Goal Setting is a topic I love to teach and share with real estate professionals.  In my 22+ years in the real estate industry, it has been my experience that the agents who actually write down their goals and utilize a real business plan always meet and usually exceed their desired outcomes.

Unfortunately, less than 20% (probably closer to 10%) of real estate agents actually prepare a written business plan and set annual goals.   I have witnessed the amazing results of those who actually create and use a business plan and set goals in all areas of their life.  Statistics and various reports state that about 3% of adults have clearly written goals and accomplish 5 to 10 times more than those who do not have written goals. The 80/20 principle applies to everything – just become aware and observe the multitude of examples (Read Living the 80/20 Way Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More):

  • 80% of salespeople spend 80% their time with customers who will never buy or sell from them.
  • 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities
  • Less than 20% of agents are responsible for 80% of all business

Here’s your challenge… Are you ready, willing and able to join the success group (the less than 20%)?  Are you willing to do the opposite of what the masses usually do and achieve your desired outcomes?  If you are ready… start today by following these 3 Steps to Business Planning and Take Action!

It all starts by writing your goals or desired outcomes, creating a written business plan and updating/revising your business budget then measuring and tracking your results.  I invite you to follow the 3 steps outlined below, download the accompanying forms and… JUST DO IT!

Step 1 – Set Your Goals (Outcomes)

The critical steps to achieving your goals:

Download Keys-to-an-Achievable-Outcome.pdf (Goals Template)

Identify clear, concise, SMART goals and know your WHY for each of them.

Measurable/Meaningful to you
Attainable/As if Now/All areas of your life
Timeframe/Toward what you want

  • Write them down for all areas of your life (Personal, Financial, Business/Career, Relationships/Family, Spiritual)
  • Create Action Plans – break the goal down into steps and next actions.  Take action every day!
  • Measure and track your progress – you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
  • Celebrate your successes along the way – make any necessary course corrections.

Why Write Down Your Goals (Outcomes)?

  • To clarify what it is you truly desire.  Writing down your goals forces you to select something specific and decide what you want and when you want to attain it.
  • To motivate and inspire you to take action. Writing your goals down is only the first step.  It is also important to review them regularly which supports you to take the next most important action toward your goal.
  • To help you overcome resistance. Every meaningful intention, dream, or goal encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel it.  Resist the temptation to focus on that resistance and instead focus on what you want to accomplish.
  • To enable you to see—and celebrate—your successes and progress.  Written goals are like mile-markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them.

Read these posts for more information on goal setting, affirmations, mindset:

5 Principles of Success

More recommended resources on Goal-Setting:
Brian Tracy International – I highly recommend anything written by Brian Tracy.  Sign up for one of Brian’s free newsletters and receive a free 326 page eBook entitled GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.

David Allen’s Getting Things Done –  GTD is an effective Action Management System.  Read or download and listen to this book.  There are abundant free resources and blogs on this site.

Step 2 – Create Your Business Action Plan

Download the documents and follow the guidelines to create your real estate business plan for the coming year.

  • Conduct an Assessment and Review of the current or previous year.
    Review_of_your_Business.pdf  Start by analyzing your previous year’s business – this form will help you gather and calculate key factors for your specific business.  Everything from sources of business to average days on market and listing to sale ratios.  Before you launch into your plan for the coming year, it’s critical to review what worked last year and to know your basic numbers.
  • The Real Estate Business Plan
    Our customizable and auto-calculating 8-tab real estate business plan is included in your free REAL ESTATE BUSINESS PLANNING COURSE
  • Additional Planning Resources

Step 3 – Measure and Track Your Results

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.   An excellent tracking system will allow you to make necessary course corrections and adjustments as well as gauge your overall success.  Sign up for our FREE, basic plan to download these tools to track and measure your performance and results:

  • Income and Expenses Form
  • Business Budget
  • Personal /Home Budget
  • Commission/Closing Tracking Form

SECRET to SUCCESS: Create Your Daily Action Plan and Just Do It!
Once you have your business plan in place, it is critical to review it and make necessary course corrections at least quarterly.  On a monthly basis, make sure to use a performance dashboard or a suitable tracking form to record your actual results and compare them to your plan or goal.

Create Your customized  Success Action Plan 
Download this Word doc and customize it with your goals and your daily, weekly, monthly action items/tactics to reach your goals.

From your business plan, you can create your daily, weekly, monthly ACTION PLAN.  This plan will outline the income-producing activities and other tasks you are committed to in order to achieve your desired outcomes.  Review and stick to your Action Plan DAILY!

  • Write your Action Plan on index cards – and keep one with you
  • Take a picture of your Action Plan and Save as wallpaper or screensaver
  • Put one in front of your day planner
  • Post it in your workspace
  • Tape it to your bathroom mirror and review it daily
  • Review and record your results daily also

A basic mantra or affirmation for your consideration and real estate success could simply be: “I make one qualified appointment daily!” 

Create an Action Plan that works for you – 
it may consist of some of the following activities:

  1. Make ______ contacts daily
  2. Send ______ personal notes weekly
  3. Add _______ people to your database weekly or monthly
  4. Contact _____ FSBOs weekly
  5. Contact ______ Expireds weekly
  6. Hold ______ effective open houses weekly/ monthly
  7. Mail or email to your SOI/Past clients valuable market information monthly
  8. Mail or email to your designated farm of ______  properties monthly
  9. Door knock/ door drop _________ houses monthly
  10. Take ____ past client to lunch monthly
  11. Network with ____ business to business referrals monthly
  12. Hand out 5-10 business cards, 5 days/week and actively ask for business or for permission to add them to your database

Free Motivational & Success Classics as eBook downloads:

America’s Top 5 Scenic Mountain Roads


Get the road trip paraphenailia packed because we are headed out on not one, not two, but 5 mini road trips to showcase the top 5 scenic mountain roads in the USA.  Narrowing down all of the amazing mountain roads across the country into a list of 5 was not easy task, however, as you’ll soon see, these roads have a unique quality to them while all being rooted with the same characteristics.  All are incredible feats of engineering, they pass through some of the most beautiful country in thier regions, and they all have multiple payoffs before, during and after your travels.  They are all also closed for musch or all of the winter months.  So you might be asking yourself, “Matt, why talk about these now, as we approach winter?”.  Well, it’s time to be planning your summer 2019 vaca and I challenge, ney double dog dare,  you to turn your process upside down and instead of picking a destination, choose one of these montain passageways and work your way out either side and build your vacation from there.  Up for it?  Let’s get to the list so that you can start planning…

1 ~ Tioga Pass – Yosemite National Park, California

Elevation at Tioga Pass – 9,943′

If you are a regular to The WBNL Podcast it is no surprise to you that this one is on the list.  Yosemite National Park is my thoughtful spot, my home base and most definitely where I find Wandering Zen.  It is also home to one of the very best alpine roads in the country.  CA-120 or the Tioga Road is the only eastbound exit in this area of the Sierras and it takes you on a different adventure with each trip.  From Yosemite Valley to Lee Vining you are looking at about an 80-mile drive which should take you a couple hours with no stops.  Of course, that is an impossible feat because there are many sites to see as well as some of the very best hiking in the park.  Here are some of the highlights:

Road Condition Updates – Click HERE

Matt Emerson Wandering But Not Lost Tioga Road.

2 ~ Going to the Sun Road – Glacier National Park, Montana

Elevation at Logan Pass – 6,647′

Glacier NP Matt Emerson Wandering But Not LostI mentioned earlier that all of these roads were major engineering projects of their time and the Going to the Sun Road demonstrates that at nearly every turn.  The 50 miles long Going-to-the-Sun road was dedicated in 1933 and shares its name with the nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. It was an incredible feat of engineering when built and remains a testament to the human spirit to this day.  The road was literally built in and around the landscape and offers up spectacular views of the park from Lake McDonald up through Logan Pass and down into the St. Mary area.

Being the only east-west connection, and if you are lucky enough to enjoy Glacier for multiple days, you will more than likely spend quite a bit of time wandering this roadway.  It is certainly a beautiful drive, no doubt about that, however, the road does lead to quite a few great places that you can get out of your car to enjoy the wonders of the area.

We’ve already talked about Logan Pass and some of the great things that await you but there are many roadside pull-outs and vista points that you don’t want to miss. Plan on no less than 2-3 hours to traverse the road, but allow more time if you plan on getting out of your car for a bit.  Sights not to miss:

Road Condition Updates – Click HERE

Matt Emerson Wandering But Not Lost Goign to the Sun Road.

3 ~ Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

Elevation at the Summit – 6,289′ 

Driving up the tallest mountain in the northeastern United States can be hair-raising.  The narrow, steep, and curvy roadway delivers an adventure that will stay with you for a while.  You climb through four climate zones and will, most likely encounter varying weather conditions during your accent.

The Mount Washington Observatory sits at the end of the road. More than a quarter million people visit the summit of Mount Washington each summer by car, train, or foot. But in winter, sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, blowing snow and incredible ice claim the peak, creating an arctic outpost in a temperate climate zone. Known as the Home of the World’s Worst Weather, Mount Washington’s winter conditions rival those of Mount Everest and the Polar regions.  The record wind speed was 231 mph, set on April 12, 1934!

The Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race, also known as the Climb to the Clouds, is one of the oldest auto races in the country. It was first run on 1904, predating the Indianapolis 500 and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. The race record set in the inaugural year was 24 min. – can you guess what it was in 2017?  It was an amazing 5 min. 44.72 seconds.  If you’ve been on the road, that time will blow your mind!

Road Condition Updates – Click HERE

Matt Emerson Wandering But Not Lost Mt Washington Auto Road.

4 ~Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Moutain National Park, Colorado

Highest Elevation (between Gore Range and Lava Cliffs -12,183′

Matt_Emerson_WBNL_Rocky_Mountains_NPSWith more than 8 miles of the road above 11,000 feet, the Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous road in the United States and it offers up amazing views of Rocky Mountain National Park along its 48+ miles.  You will be above the treeline for much of the journey so stop often because the views of the glacier-carved peaks are unique at each overlook.  Here are a few of the must-stop locations:

  • Fairview Curve Overlook
  • The Continental Divide at Milner Pass
  • Alpine Visitor Center
  • Gore Range Overlook
  • Rock Cut Overlook
  • Forest Canyon Overlook
  • Rainbow Curve Overlook
  • Old Fall River Road

Road Condition Updates – Click HERE

Matt Emerson Wandering But Not Lost Trail Ridge Road

5 ~ North Cascades Highway, North Cascades National Park, Washington

Elevation at Washington Pass – 5477

The North Cascades Highway is one of the most beautiful stretches of Washington’s Cascade Loop.  The towering peaks rise out of nowhere and go on forever.  The highway winds its way through pristine forests and the lakes, albeit actually reservoirs, are stunning with their glacial silty green water which is mesmerizing.  The lakes will draw you to their vistas but do not miss the observation point at Washington Pass.  It is beautifully engineered and you will become one with the landscape that surrounds Matt_Emerson_Wandering But Not Lost North Cascadesyou.

94 percent of North Cascades NP is designated as the Stephen Mather Wilderness Area.

As with all of the roads that have come before, there is a ton to see and do here:

Road Condition Updates – Click HERE

Matt Emerson Wandering But Not Lost North Cascades Highway

So, which of these roads will make it into your next Summer road trip?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. San Francisco through Yosemite and then north to Lake Tahoe and then back to SF
  2. Boston up to Mt Washington and then north into Maine to Acadia National Park and then take the coast back to Bean Town
  3. Denver to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, through Glenwood Canyon, Aspen, and the Trail Ridge Road, then back to the Mile High City
  4. Seattle through the North Cascades Highway and then south through Mt Rainier National Park and back to the Emerald City
  5. Seattle to the Cascade Loop north through the North Cascades highway and then through Idaho and into Montana on to the Going to Sun Road and back the home of Starbucks and the Seahawks (this one is a bit more adventurous – I’m in, let’s do it!)

I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with any of them.

Get up, get out and Be Forever Wandering But Not Lost!

Tioga Pass, CA

Going to the Sun Road

Trail Ridge Road

Mt Washington Auto Road

Diablo Lake, Wa

Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)



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