If you think writing an annual business plan is a waste of time, think again. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t possibly plot a solid course to get there. Then you are left meandering trying to find the best way forward, instead of having a focused plan of attack. While you might think you have it all figured out in your head, the act of writing it down can actually help you think things through and flush out the necessary details.
A typical real estate business plan will formally state your business goals, strategy, and the operational structure of your brokerage. This can sound time consuming if you haven’t done one before, but in reality, it is a helpful exercise. There are even many online business plan templates available to help and if you are part of a franchise system, like Weichert, not only do you get help creating a business plan to identify your goals, but you get the added benefits of plugging into a time tested blueprint to help you define the activities needed to reach your goals. What is most important, however, is that creating the plan takes you through a comprehensive thought process that involves every area of your current and future business. When you are done with a good business plan, you will fully understand the path you are taking, and how you expect to achieve it from both an operational and a financial standpoint. You’ll understand the challenges you are likely to face and some strategies for minimizing risks. You’ll define your relationships with your partners and investors. You’ll sketch out your real estate brokerage marketing plans and understand the unique challenges of your local market. You’ll set some yearly goals around sales targets and revenue and set a basic plan that will allow you to get there. Ideally, you’ll want to review the plan regularly to confirm you are on track. This also allows you to react if you aren’t.
Best of all, you’ll have a document you can reference at any time or show future stakeholders that gives a great overview of your business. Here are a few tips for making this process easier from the real estate business coaches at Weichert®:
Creating Your Real Estate Business Plan
- You don’t have to start from scratch: There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. There are many templates out there. Find one that fits your style. If you are part of a franchise, like Weichert, you’ll have even more resources at your fingertips, including a template to follow and coaching on strategies and costs of tools and lead generation that is consistent with the best practices in the industry.
- Introduce your business: Include a complete and comprehensive description of your brokerage, from identifying your products/services, the nature of your market, and your operational approach to challenges and risks you are facing. Include a management section with information about key management roles and define what each role is expected to accomplish.
- Define your customers: The key here is to avoid the temptation to say “well, everybody!”. Is your market primarily retirement age buyers and sellers? Are your clients urban or rural? Is relocation an important part of your offering? As a successful broker, you have a good understanding of your local market, but a franchise opportunity can bring you new lead opportunities and strategies. It is worth taking the time to define your typical customers and especially any groups you want to focus on, instead of everyone.
- Marketing: Your new business plan should reflect all new real estate marketing tools and strategies you utilize. When you are part of a franchise, this can be quite extensive. Weichert for instance, provides comprehensive training and tools in marketing best practices that can help streamline your day to day activities and improve the visibility of your brokerage to both buyers/sellers as well as recruits.
- Financial Position: Documenting your financial position, assumptions, and necessary cash flow is essential whether you are applying for a business loan, have investors, or are using your own investment capital. Include an analysis of all costs related to the business, including commissions, rent, fees, marketing costs, salaries and other overhead. We call this knowing your company dollar. You should also forecast the increased revenue you expect to achieve by reaching your goals over a given time period. A business coach can help you with benchmarks and strategies to help you meet them to ensure a sustainable, profitable business.
- Get an independent review: Even if you’ve reviewed your franchise business plan over and over, it’s always recommended getting a fresh set of eyes on it to ensure that all your bases are sufficiently covered and that the information is relevant, clear and concise. A business coach can be invaluable in helping with this.
Take the Time, Do the Plan
The development of a good business plan is a rewarding exercise. The work is its own reward, we promise! And if you’ve chosen a partner like Weichert, you’ll have expert advice and a business coach to support you every step of the way. If you are a growth-minded broker looking for ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert franchise team today.
Visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com for more information.