To be successful, goals need certain characteristics that can be encapsulated in the acronym SMART.

This is described as follows:

Specific

A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.

Goals such as invest in property are not specific. They can become specific if you help the client clarify what they want to achieve by investing in property. It might be to build a property investment portfolio in order to supplement a long-term investment strategy.

Measurable

Measurement is needed to assess whether the goal is achieved and what progress is being made along the way. You need to ask the client how they will know when their goal is accomplished;  will it be when a certain value of a property investment portfolio is achieved, when the property portfolio is a certain percentage of their total investment portfolio, when they have achieved a specific amount of capital growth, or something other?

Importantly, provisioning for future expenditure and ensuring adequate cash flows or savings are available to meet these commitments is an important part of your work as you work through the fact find and objectives of the client.

Attainable and realistic

Goals must be attainable. An investor with a low income can dream of owning a considerable number of investment properties in an expensive location, but they are hardly likely to achieve this without significant change in their circumstances. Goals may offer an investor a stretch in order to achieve them but they must be realistic in the first place and attainable so that the investor stays motivated to remain on track.

Time bound

Giving a time frame to a goal is an important part of monitoring and measuring success in achieving it. Property investment is usually for the long term and the investor needs to decide what this means for them: only they know the time frame over which they want to plan.