It’s Not Too Late to Goal Plan for 2020


Interviews by Matt Askland, Cardinal Financial

A few months ago, we wrote an article that talked about the importance of goal planning and provided some helpful tips and best practices from other local Valley agents. Many of the agents we interviewed at the time mentioned that they struggled with setting aside the time to effectively goal plan before the end of the year, which got us to thinking … goal planning really can happen at any time during the year. Obviously, the earlier you start, the more time you have to reach your desired outcome. However, the important part is to make it happen and follow through.

We reached out to west valley agents Aubrie Jones, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Rafael Escobedo Jr., West USA Realty to get their take on last year’s performance and how they’re turning their 2019 wins and challenges into goals for 2020. Here is what they said.


What type of prospecting did you do in 2019, and how will you improve that for 2020?

Aubrie: I am fortunate enough to have a 100% referral-based business with 98% of my clients being active duty military and veterans. I don’t do the types of things that are traditionally considered prospecting. My main focus is on care and engagement with my Sphere of Influence as they are critical to maintaining my referral-based business. This engagement includes birthday wishes, social media engagement, handwritten notes, and customer appreciation events. One of the main goals I have for 2020 is to be more intentional and strategic on maintaining and improving contact with my database and Sphere of Influence.

Rafael: My main source of prospecting is in developing a personal relationship with all of my current and past clients to ensure I earn their business for life. My goal is when family and friends hear the words “Real Estate”, I want them to immediately think of me and to be willing to bring me up in that conversation because of the level of service and experience they received in the past. In 2020 I will improve by continuing to build those relationships and host customer appreciation events.


Where did most of your leads come from last year, and what is your goal for 2020?

Aubrie: 100% of my leads came from referrals. I plan to improve on that for 2020 by ensuring I contact my SOI more frequently as there were a few missed opportunities last year due to my own delays in speaking to people more frequently.

Rafael: I am in the relationship business. In 2020 I plan to dedicate time each week to reach out to past clients and focus on FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams) during our conversations. I try to make myself available at all times. Not only am I their Realtor, I’m their friend. Most of my business (85-90%) has been generated from past client and friend referrals and I intend to grow that in 2020.


What was your biggest win in 2019? How would you like to top that in 2020?

Aubrie: I am consistently able to achieve $6 million or more in sales every year, but I know that I could do better by being more intentional and strategic in my database management and personal contact. It is always a big win for me when I am able to help military families buy or sell homes as stress free as possible. No one moves more than military families so my goal for 2020 is to be able to help 30 more families here in Arizona.

Rafael: My biggest success in 2019 was being in the Top 1% in the state. That was a huge milestone considering 2019 was my second full year in the business. My dedication and passion for people has been the key to my success. I believe that if you care enough and are willing to go above and beyond you can succeed in real estate


Looking back at 2019, what would you like to do more of – either personally or professionally – in the coming years, and how will you achieve that?

Aubrie: Part of maintaining a healthy mindset and balance in my life is travel and time with my family. I love to travel and since I have retired from the Air Force five years ago, I’ve had wonderful travel experiences. I would love to be able to continue this endeavor. I also am very focused on decreasing personal debt by being more disciplined with my spending so that I can start planning for future retirement.

Rafael: I would love to spend more time with my family and give back. One hour everyday will be dedicated to playing with our three kids. 2020 is going to be my year of giving and helping families that haven’t been dealt the best cards in life. There is no greater feeling then being a blessing to others.


We hope this article helps you get in the goal planning mindset and sparks some ideas for how to achieve bigger success in 2020. I’m a big believer in goal planning and am happy to share with you my goal planning process and strategy. Feel free to reach out anytime at or via phone at 480-759-1500.


Rafael Escobedo Jr
West USA Realty

(623) 251-8086


Aubrie Jones
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Certified Military Relocations Specialist


End of the Year Goal Planning


As the end of year approaches, many begin looking to define their next year’s goals. Recent studies show that about 3% of adults have clearly written goals and accomplish 5 to 10 times more than those who do not. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction, it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. As someone who has been actively business planning for 10+ years, I can personally attest to the power of the physical act of writing down a goal. It helps clarify the things you truly want to accomplish; and by writing it down, you no longer have an excuse to forget about it.

We reached out to a few West Valley agents to get their take on this subject, but most do not participate in goal planning. Those that do say it’s propelled their business to new levels and can’t imagine not using it. Below is what Karen and Mike Baron from Infinity and Associates shared with us, followed by my personal goal planning steps.

‘Goal planning has always been a part of our business model. We do goal planning throughout the year, on a monthly basis, and have five year and long-term goals that we aim for. We use a white board to look at different scenarios. Before starting real estate, we read “The Millionaire Next Door” and have based part of our finance and goal planning strategy on that. Use a day planner and actually write everything down on paper! Review it weekly and train your brain to say it to yourself out loud. Have lists and check items off, and even if you don’t do something because you decided it wasn’t necessary, at least you didn’t forget about it.  We started using the Panda Planner for tasks and goals and it helps us to understand life balance.

Now here is what I do for year-end goal planning. First things first, to accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. I’m sharing three steps that will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.


Step 1: Set Your Goals

Identify clear, concise and SMART goals that motivate and excite you – SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. In more specific terms, your goals should be clear and well defined, include precise figures and dates, are possible to achieve, are aligned with the direction you want your personal and professional life to take, must include a deadline and, last but not least, must be written down so that they inspire you to take action.


Step 2: Create a Business Action Plan

Now that you’ve identified and written down your goals, it’s time to put a plan in place to achieve them. To get yourself into the business planning mindset, start by conducting a review of your current or previous year. Some great questions to ask yourself: What did I accomplish? What are some roadblocks or challenges that got in my way? What opportunities did I miss? What did I learn? It is important to review what worked last year and to know your basic numbers (i.e. average days on market, listing to sale ratios) before you begin planning for the year ahead. Once you know your stats, begin writing down the individual tasks you need to carry out to achieve your objective, and in the order you need to complete them. Keep this list close by so that you can easily mark off tasks as you complete them.


Step 3: Track & Measure Your Results

How do you know if what you’re doing is yielding positive results? Using a suitable tracking system – whether that be a simple tracking form or a CRM platform to record your results – will allow you to track your progress and make necessary corrections throughout the year.


I hope you found these points helpful. By following these three steps, I’m confident you can set goals with certainty and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.  If you’d like a copy of the forms I use for my personal and business goal setting, please email me at and I’ll be happy to share them with you. Good luck!