By Michael Del Prete | AZREIA, Executive Director
Dominique and I love to go on vacations to Sedona. One of our favorite activities is hiking which we have been fortunate enough this year to visit Sedona multiple times and hike many of our favorite trails there. One of the nice features on trailhead maps is the ‘You Are Here’ mark. It provides a nice reference point for where you are to gauge where you are going. We see these red dots (or X’s) on almost every type of map. They mark where you are in a mall, in an amusement park, on the fire escape map on the back of a hotel room door, and of course on Google Maps. The symbol on Google is actually more of a pin symbol, but you still get the point. When you look at any of these maps, you automatically look for the ‘You Are Here’ mark. You then look for where you want to be and see the way. It is a simple and very effective way to communicate.
It got me thinking that using a symbol like the ‘You Are Here’ icon may help real estate investors understand better where they are and see more clearly where they are trying to get to. Also, it could symbolize how far you have come. Kind of like a past, present, future visual.
Of course, that assumes you know where you want to end up. Which is my roundabout way of saying you will be more successful if you have a written plan that includes objectives that are measurable in terms of both revenue and time.
I learned a long time ago in designing line and bar charts for presentations that the X axis denotes the time and the Y axis the value. Even when viewing the simple visual above, you quickly draw the conclusion that you are about 50% of the way to the objective over 75% of the time allotted. Think about creating a chart for each one of your measurable objectives. This way you can track your progress and make adjustments to your activities if you are behind. You could easily start by plotting cash flow and net worth. Many software packages like QuickBooks have basic charts that show where you are with a quick click.
Once you have your progress charted, you will start carrying that image around in your head. It will be a constant reminder of where you started, where you are, and (most importantly) where you want to be.
Michael Del Prete