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Why Every Real Estate Agent Needs a Real Business Plan

November 20 2012

marketleader 2013 biz planIt seems that at least once a year I get into a phase where I consider purchasing a new car. Of course, I rarely take the next step and actually buy one (my garage can only fit two cars at a time). I've always been a fan of brands like Audi, Toyota, and Nissan, but this year I was surprised to see some cool new car designs from Ford, and now I'm noticing them all over the place.

I guess it's human nature to notice certain things once we've set our minds on them. For example, we recently launched the 2013 Real Estate Business Plan2013 Real Estate Business Plan, so naturally I'm noticing other real estate business plans all over the place.

In fact, for those of you who were able to attend this year's NAR conference, you might have picked up a copy of the Florida Association of REALTORS® November/December magazine. In this magazine are a slew of business plans for real estate professionals. I've included a list of them below, along with a few others, for your reference.

As I look over the list, I notice a number of differences. Some are essentially guides for creating a traditional business plan – such as a small business might create. A couple of the plans mention trends for the coming year and advise agents and brokers on where to focus their efforts.

marketleader 2013 biz plan coverMarket Leader's business plans used to provide similar information, but this year we decided we really wanted to help agents connect with today's consumer. While there are different opinions on 2013 market trends, one thing is pretty consistent: Today's consumer is different from yesterday's.

As in past years, it seems that advancements in technology correlate to changes in consumer behavior. So, while many of today's real estate professionals use strategies that worked well five years ago, they aren't meeting the needs of today's client.

That's where Market Leader's 2013 Real Estate Business PlanMarket Leader's 2013 Real Estate Business Plan comes in. With it, you'll gain a greater understanding of today's consumer, and learn new strategies for growing your business in 2013 and beyond.

Yogi Bera once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." It's a solid business plan that will let you know where you are going. Adhering to your business plan will make sure you don't "end up someplace else." So, let's take a look at some of the basics of a business plan. First, what a business plan isn't:

  • Business plans aren't static. This means that at least once a year you'll be revisiting your plan and making adjustments based on what happened the previous year.
  • Business plans aren't based on cold, hard facts, but on assumptions. These assumptions are based on past performance. For the new agent, the assumptions are based on estimates of future performance.

Some of the topics common to most business plans are germane to the real estate business plan, as well. These include:

  • Creating a budget: Both personal and business expenses (both fixed and variable), and the gross income required to meet these expenses.
  • How you will generate the income: This will include an estimate of how many transactions you'll need to get to your required income. Then, it's broken down further into how many prospects you'll need to get one transaction. Sounds a bit borderline rocket science, but it's quite simple once you know the formula.
  • Creation of a marketing calendar: What strategies to use and when you'll implement them.

Real estate agent business plans are, above all else, individualized. Yours may be as elaborate as a bound presentation, or perhaps you're a bit more casual and your plan will be a set of color-coded Post-it notes plastering an entire wall in your office, like the one created by a former RealEstate.com Pro of the Week.

While it's one thing to have a concrete goal, reaching the goal requires a plan. I don't remember where I heard this, and it may be trite, but it certainly makes sense: "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

As promised, here is the list of business plans I mentioned earlier. Most of them contain information about:

  • Setting a schedule of activities and sticking to it.
  • Investing in technology to ensure success.
  • Creating a transaction goal for the year.

Business Plans:

To view the original article, visit the Market Leader blogMarket Leader blog.