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Notes on Keller Williams 1-3-5 Goal Setting Template

Goal setting real estate

We’d all like to close $100 million in sales. Sure, you could ask how others do their lead generation. Or how they handle their lead follow-up. But that always leaves a lingering question: “Will I get the same results?”

Managing our time is hard enough, right? Now we have to figure out which tasks will get us to $100 million in real estate sales. What everyone battles is staying focused — focusing on the tasks that will create the right results. But easier said than done.

This is why I want to explore Keller Williams’ 1-3-5 template for goal setting. It’s not new or *flashy,* but it gets you on the right track. However, this won’t be a Keller Williams praise-fest either. I’m going to provide a few additional tips to managing your time (without sounding like your Mom, if I can) and show which adjustments I might make on the template.


The 1-3-5 Rule

For the agents (and readers) not associated with Keller Williams Realty, I’m sure you’re wondering how successful this rule has been. Well, I can say it’s helped propel Keller Williams teams forward, in terms of sales and volume … dramatically. Ben Kinney (a BoomTown client) is one mega agent who uses the 1-3-5 rule. Today, he’s among the Real Trends Top 25 Teams (by sides) nationwide.

So, how do people like Ben Kinney start the 1-3-5 rule? They ask themselves a question: “How much money do I want to make?” This usually translates into a number of closings they have to accomplish. For you, the question can be any aspiration. Net income, transactions, better work-life balance — whichever. Choose 1 goal.

Now, you brainstorm 3 strategies to achieve your 1 goal. If you need a refresher on real estate strategy, check out this blog post. Good strategy explains how you, faced with competition (or obstacles), will achieve superior performance.

Next, build 5 tactics to implement your 3 strategies. If your strategy is to acquire more listings, a tactic could be cold calling leads, contacting FSBOs, or door knocking. Define which actions are needed to carry out the strategy. Use your strategy as a guiding principle to bring your goal closer.

WORKSHEET: Download the 1-3-5 goal setting template for yourself.



135 Keller Williams Goal Setting Template


Managing Your Time to Reach Goals

The 1-3-5 rule is designed to aim your activities, so your time is well spent in the field. But having a goal setting template won’t do any good if you’re not holding yourself accountable. It’s like New Year’s resolutions. We all say a resolution, but only a fraction of us actually carry them out (or make it through the whole year). To reach your goals, you need a few things:


  1. Link short-term realities to long-term goals.
    A lot of people set ambitious goals, and often those goals will take months to accomplish. Maintaining your quest (to that goal) gets hard when it’s so far out and you don’t see results. Identify short-term wins to keep you motivated for the long game. If you’re looking to close $100 million in sales, what are some monthly benchmarks.
  2. Setting a goal is both addition and subtraction.
    Any goal, any strategy has you doing very specific tasks. Sometimes these tasks add on to other responsibilities you already have. Before you start your journey, make sure to cut out unnecessary tasks (that don’t contribute to your goal). This frees up your time to actually achieve your 3 strategies and 5 tactics.
  3. Have a system of accountability.
    We all need a drill sergeant to get our ass moving. For some of us, we can do it ourselves. But for others, if you need a little push, set up a system of accountability. This can range from reminders on your calendar to time blocking. You can also grab a buddy (or workmate) to check on your achievements. This will make sure you can’t shy away from your goal, or create any excuses.
  4. Be ready to get your boots dirty.
    Hitting a goal means trekking through the battlefield, clawing your way through obstacles, and getting to the finish line. It’s a ground war, not an air war. Not every day will be pretty, and some days you might even fall behind. But keep working at it. Don’t let failure become a habit. Make your habit success.


Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Stephen Cooley, who is among the top 10 Keller Williams teams worldwide. What he tells his real estate agents is “time block, time block, time block.” Often his sales staff can get caught in the stream of handling clients, but they often forget to handle their leads. There needs to be an equal balance. The same goes for goals.

Stephen also loves to remark on how real estate is vastly different than it was 20 years ago. Back then, an agent would have to spend their Saturdays showing homebuyers 20-30 different properties. Today, those same homebuyers can do that themselves on the internet, through real estate websites. Now, agents have extra time that they didn’t have 20 years ago. “How do you spend that time? I hope it’s not on Facebook, socializing,” says Stephen.


Tips on Setting Goals for Teams

If you run an office or manage a team, there are a few things to keep in mind when setting goals with the 1-3-5 template.

  1. When people believe a leader, they follow. In a recent interview with former NHL player (turned mining executive), Brent Gilchrist highlighted a key distinction between top hockey teams. The captain has to lead by example – yes – but they also have to be a great teammate. In the NHL, a lot of teams missed this point.  Essentially, they have to be a great team player. Just because you lead, doesn’t mean you’re out of the trenches with everyone else. You’re in it together.
  2. Great teams play for each other; they play for their team. Sure, running a business is about generating profit. But if you’re not focused on the agents and support staff who help run your business, you won’t retain them for long. And they certainly won’t be motivated to reach the goals you set. Focus on them. Go to bat for them. Go to war if you have to.
  3. To keep the team motivated, set small goals, plan out small wins, and visualize their progress. Keep tabs on the team and have regular one-on-one meetings with them. Don’t be shy to ask them in their reviews: Are these actions contributing to our goals successfully? And make sure to celebrate success. Hitting benchmarks is a time to reward the team, so they stay pumped and motivated.

See how the Navy Seals set goals for their teams and achieve the highest caliber of their profession. Click Here to Read >>


My Notes on the 1-3-5 Rule

To me, the 1-3-5 rule is a great template for setting an action plan, oriented to reach a goal. But like any other “plan,” it still requires work. Building a habit — forcing yourself to work on the strategies and tactics everyday — is a must.

But here’s where people get hung up. The change and randomness to life throws them off-balance. Stuff happens. Things fall apart. Procrastination sets in. Have you ever wondered why people wait till New Year’s to set a resolution? Why wait? You can start anytime.

To battle procrastination, focus on your future-self. If you procrastinate today, how does it impact you tomorrow? If you delay the “negative,” they will only pile up until it becomes a bigger challenge.

Dealing with change and the random events that befall us often make us afraid. We say people don’t like change, but why? There is the discomfort of being confused or being stressed from the work change might create. But I would argue there’s another feeling — a feeling of failure and weakness.

When change happens, it often starts because something previously wasn’t working. People who were a part of those “previous things” defend them because they feel it’s a reflection of them. They feel they failed, that they were weak. But this is a fallacy.

Failure is fine. In fact, it’s good. If you’re not failing, it means you’re not trying something new. It’s not challenging. And without challenge, you don’t see new success. The key is to learn from it and adjust your plans.

If the strategies to your goal aren’t working out, feel free to change them. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re being cognizant of how to actually see success. People get so hung up on their goal. “It has to be met! It’s set in stone!” No, it doesn’t. It just needs tweaking/adjusting. The key is setting periods for analysis — to gauge if everything is on track and working.

Not everything we do is a home-run. Sometimes there are a lot of iterations to success.

BoomTown Real Estate Goals

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