One of the most important strategies for most top performers in the real estate business is to work with an accountability partner, or an accountability team through something like a mastermind group.

Accountability is fundamental to success real estate. Of course, accountability begins with looking yourself in the mirror each morning. What standards have you set for yourself and what are you doing to hold yourself to those standards? In addition to this “internal accountability,” it helps to have external accountability, someone who is there to keep your feet to the fire against agreed up standards and metrics.

In the simplest sense, a good accountability partner helps keep you focused on priorities, and also helps keep those negative thoughts and habits at bay. It’s someone with whom you mutually-agree to coach and provide feedback on a regular and consistent basis. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of having an accountability partner:

  • You learn a lot about yourself through an effective accountability partnership; both by what you receive and the fact that you are also coaching.
  • You have the flexibility to set the time and length of your accountability sessions,
  • The value of having an accountability partner is obvious: it won’t cost you anything (in most cases.)

If you currently have a solid accountability partnership, that’s great. Keep at it. But if you don’t have a partner, or your current partnership is not providing what you need to move your business forward, keep these strategies in mind:

  • Style matters.Seek out an accountability partner who has a different personality or style than you do. It’s important to have someone with the strength to push back on you. Having someone you can trust to be brutally honest is the best way to grow in the long run.
  • Trust really matters. An honest, open accountability partnership is intimate, as you are dealing with personal issues, such as financial goals. To that end, it’s imperative to work with someone you can trust to hold your discussions in strictest confidence.
  • Establish clear expectations.You both need to be clear about the details of the partnership. How often will you meet? What time of day? Your partner needs to know your specific goals in order for you both to get the most out of the experience.
  • There should be consequences. True accountability requires consequences. For example, you have cash penalties for being late to a session or, especially, for falling short of your weekly prospecting goal. A tangible penalty acknowledges that you dropped the ball. In reality, however, the longer you work with an accountability partner, the more likely it is that the fear of disappointing your partner might be sufficient to keep you on task.
  • An equitable relationship.Accountability partnerships are not hierarchical, such as paying a coach or a mentor. Your accountability partner is your peer and the relationship is designed to be equitable. An accountability partner is there to keep you on track, not to be your sales manager. Keep this distinction in mind.

Importantly, accountability partnerships are not about making the other person feel guilty, or about assigning blame. Your job is to motivate, and even inspire each other. Even though it’s business, it should be an enjoyable relationship that, over time, evolves into a valuable friendship.