Last Updated on January 3, 2020 by Mark Ferguson
Every year, I write a post detailing my goals for the next year and reviewing how I did with the previous year’s goals. I have written articles over the last three years that included some huge goals. I achieved many of these goals, and many of them I did not. I actually am just fine not accomplishing all of my goals because that keeps me working hard throughout the year. The point of a goal is not to accomplish it but to get as much out of yourself as possible. If you make your goals too easy to accomplish, they do not do you much good. I made a goal to flip 30 houses in 2017, which I did not reach, but I came close. That does not mean I am going to make my goal smaller this year; in fact I will make it even bigger!
My goal articles for other years
Why are goals important to our success?
When I was younger, I thought I could do everything myself without any help and without any goals or direction. I was wrong, and I was not very successful for many years. As soon as I started to set goals, I started to see success, and I felt better about myself and my life. Goals give you a direction, a path to follow, and instructions on what success is. The most important part of setting goals is you tell yourself what you actually want in life. If you have no idea what you want, it will be impossible to get it.
When you set goals, you need to be as specific as possible. You have to set goals that can be measured as well. A goal to learn about real estate is not a real goal. A real goal would be: I will buy a rental property in 2018. An even better goal would be: I will buy a rental property that cash flows $300 per month by October 1st, 2018. The more specific, the better. For more information on setting goals, check out the article below.
One problem with setting goals or New Years’ resolutions is we forget about them about a month after we set them. One reason I love this blog is that it holds me accountable. Thousands of people read my goals and see how well I did. This keeps me on my toes and motivates me to review my goals often. If you are setting goals, make sure you have a way or a partner to keep you on track (this assumes you do not have a blog).
What were my goals in 2017?
In 2017, I made some really big goals. I accomplished some of these, others I did not, and some I will accomplish in the beginning of 2018. 2017 was a great year, but there is always room for improvement. Part of the fun in life and business is figuring out better ways to do things and seeing those new practices pay off. Here is what I wanted to accomplish in 2017:
- I wanted to buy a 50,000-square-foot or larger commercial building.
- I wanted to flip 30 houses, which would have been 12 more than what I flipped in 2016.
- I wanted to sell 200 houses as a real estate team. This has been my goal for many years, but I keep coming up short.
- I wanted to publish 2 new books from my blog and hire more help for the website.
- I do not discuss all of my goals publicly, but I did mention the possibility of buying a Lamborghini Countach or Aston Martin in 2017. I did not make it a goal and really did a poor job with this last year!
How did I do with my 2017 goals?
On the surface, it may look like I failed at achieving many of my goals, but I am really happy with how the year went. You cannot get upset or mad when you do not accomplish goals. If you accomplish everything, your goals were not big enough.
- I did not buy a 50,000-square-foot building. However, I had one under contract that fell apart due to circumstances beyond my control. I also have another 70,000-square-foot building that is under contract and set to close by the end of January.
- I sold 26 flips and bought 27 flips. I was really close to 30 but did not quite get there. I thought I would sell 30 flips with a few months to go, but delays on multiple projects set me back, which always seems to happen.
- We sold 96 houses as a real estate team. I was not close to selling 200, but our average price increased quite a bit. I have thought about re-wording my goals to dollar volume instead of a number of sales.
- I did publish two new books and hired multiple new people to help with the blog. Most of those people did not work out, but I have found a couple of great resources.
I also accomplished some things this last year that I was not expecting and were not goals.
- I bought a 1998 Lotus Esprit V8 twin-turbo. I was not planning to buy this car, but I have always loved the Esprit. One came up for sale on eBay that was a great deal and the perfect color.
- I bought four rental properties in 2017! I was not planning to buy any—except for one large property—but I found a niche I like in the area. I bought four commercial properties that are all rented out and cash flowing better than residential properties in the area.
- I bought a small commercial shop to store materials for my flips and rentals as well as have a place to store a couple of cars.
I ended up buying 31 properties in 2017, which is an awesome accomplishment for me. I was hoping to buy 30 flips, but I am really excited that I was able to buy rentals as well. For 2018, I plan to change up my goals a little bit.
What are my goals for 2018 in real estate?
I have been thinking about and working on my goals for 2018. I try to spend quality time on them and not just throw them together. The better my goals are, the more successful and happier I will be. Here is what I have planned for this year:
- I want to make $100,000 per month flipping houses. My goal last year was to flip 30 houses, but I could have done that and made no money at all…or even lost money. That is not a very good goal. I averaged about $32,000 in profit on each flip last year, which means if I flip 3 houses per month, I will come close to making $100,000 each month. With this goal, I have to think about profit margins and not just how many houses I am buying. I have three houses set to close in January of 2018 and many more listed or ready to list the start of the year. I also have 3 flips under contract to buy. You can see all the properties and numbers here: https://investfourmore.com/flips/
- I want to add $6,000 per month in passive income. Instead of creating a number of properties I want to buy, I decided to create a passive-income number since I think that is more important. With the large building I am buying in January, I should create about half of that number. I figure I would need to buy about 6 smaller properties to get the total to $6,000 per month. This is not in line with my plan to buy 100 properties, but I do still have that major goal I want to accomplish.
- I want to start my own real estate office. Part of my plan to buy a large building is to start a new office in that building. I never wanted to start an office before because many of my REO and HUD accounts were tied to my current office. There was no guarantee that those accounts would move with me if I moved. I have decided I like flipping much more than being an REO agent, which works out great since there are almost no foreclosures in Colorado. By starting my own office, I will save a ton of money on expenses and have my own space I can do whatever I want with. I will use this as my real estate team goal this year instead of setting a sales number goal.
- I will buy an Aston Martin V8 or Lamborghini Countach this year. In fact, I am already working on this goal, and it is close to being accomplished.
- I have more personal goals this year and goals for this blog as well. However, I am basing the blog goals around income so it is more measurable. I have decided not to disclose that goal publicly, but if you really want to know, you can email me. [email protected] If you think you have ideas for the blog, you are welcome to let me know as well. However, I get tons of emails from people who want to do guest blogs or help me with SEO. That is not what I am looking for.
These goals are more specific than they have been in the past, which should help me know exactly what I need to do. I can also break down these goals into smaller tasks to figure out exactly how to accomplish them. With the flipping goal, I know I need to sell three flips per month with a profit margin of $33,333.
I really like writing these posts because it makes me set goals and really think about what I want to do each year. It is also good to have both longer- and shorter-term goals. It might be smart for me to rethink my plan to buy 100 properties into a plan to create a certain amount of passive income. Buying the large commercial property will be like buying 6 really good residential rentals as far as the cash flow that will be generated. I also want to make sure I have these goals at the front of my mind and am constantly thinking of them. It does no good to set goals and never look at them again until December 31st.