Business Planning – Getting it done!

Business Planning

Being in real estate essentially means you’re running your own business. Even with the support of a national brand, it is ultimately you who will determine the success of your business. That’s why it’s important to define your goals for the growth of your business. Here’s what you can do to help get that started.

Block out the world

Before you sit down for any goal-setting session, block off your schedule completely, so you can be free from interruptions. Think of the session as a traditional company retreat – go to a private, peaceful setting. Then put yourself in a positive mindset. Really consider all the reasons that prompted you to begin a career in real estate, and the reasons that keep you going. Maybe it’s your yearly vacation in Hawaii, or simply having more flex time for your family. Set your “why” in front of you, so you can work on planning the “how.”

Building the plan 

Business plans can range from simple to complex – depending on how in-depth you want to get. A quick search (or even dropping us a request in the comments below!) will present several planning worksheets to help guide you. But there are several common items to consider when creating your strategy for the coming year.

  • Know your numbers. How much prospecting did it take to get so many appointments that ultimately turned into sales? What is your list to sales price ratio? What’s your average list/sale price? Where did you get your business this year? What percentage of business was a direct referral? As you can see, there’s a lot of data that needs to go into your business planning chart, but note, these are also items that agents should track throughout the year.
  • Determine what will grow your numbers. Take a look at those numbers and your lifestyle, and consider which of those will change based on market conditions or your effort. With that information in hand, sit down with your broker or accountability partner and get independent perspective. You could be underestimating your ability and it’s always nice to have a second opinion!
  • Consider expenses. How much did you put into your business this year? Was it enough? Are there expenses you need to add to help you attain your goal? Let’s say a 100-piece direct mailing netted five appointments and two sales, and you’d like to increase that number to eight sales. Yes, 400 direct mail pieces will be a bigger expense, but will also add to your goal. It’s so important to remember to consider the expense of your new goals each year and to keep track along the way. If you haven’t been keeping track, stop and list all your marketing activities and their ROI. Are there some things you need to stop doing?
  • Name your action steps. Setting forth action steps that will help get you to your goal is important. These action steps must be measurable.  Also, don’t have too many, as it is hard to execute more than three or four.  Then share your plan with people to hold you accountable. Taking your plan and putting it in a drawer until next year simply won’t enhance your business. Keep it handy and seek out quarterly meetings with your accountability partner to review and revise as needed.

For busy real estate agents, business planning can be seen as a scary hassle. But it’s a necessary one. And, remember, success usually exists outside your comfort zone.

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