- By responding to four simple prompts, you will glean vital information that you can use to create a concise business plan that is effective and strategic.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a real estate agent is viewing your career as a job when you should be viewing it as a business.
By treating your career as a business, you will position yourself to go through the various stages of small business development, including creating a business plan and conducting a feasibility analysis.
Empirical data suggests that owners who draft a business plan grow their enterprise faster than those who do not; but the reality for most real estate agents is that they do not have time to create a business plan, and those who do usually don’t know where to begin.
According to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), there are typically eight sections in a business plan. In this article, I will condense those into four concise segments that can be articulated in two pages.
By answering the following four questions, you will glean vital information that will help you guide your day-to-day activities, form your business plan, meet your professional goals and ultimately sustain your real estate career for years to come.
Question 1: Short-term and long-term goals
What goals do you have for your business? Specifically, where do you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years? What steps do you need to take to meet these goals?
For example, let’s say that your goal is to open your own real estate office in Pennsylvania in five years when your children leave for college.
The step that you will need take is to earn a Pennsylvania real estate broker license. Put this down on paper, and list the specific steps you need to follow.
Question 2: Competitors
Who are your competitors? What advantages do you have over your competition?
Perhaps your main competitor is an experienced agent who has sold hundreds of homes.
As a new agent, I remember overcoming the objections of a prospective seller client by assuring her that because she was my only client, I would devote 100 percent of my time to promoting her listing.
No matter how bad the odds may seem, there is always something to offer your clients that sets you apart from your competition.
Question 3: Target client
Where do your potential clients currently live, work, exercise, shop, play, go to school, etc.?
Describe in detail your target client (think target market). Put aside the usual demographic data, and look at your answer from the perspective of the question above.
Establish a plan explaining how you will connect with these prospects.
Question 4: Communication
How will you communicate with your prospective clients?
Will you encounter prospects in person, online, both? What terms are you on: formal, informal, cordial, acquainted? Consider this part of your marketing outreach efforts.
Make a plan
Some things to keep in mind:
- Your business plan is a dynamic and evolving document
- Update your plan quarterly or annually
- It’s OK to create an informal working plan on your tablet or even handwritten in a journal — do what works best for you
By answering these four simple prompts, you will be able to generate key information that you can use to create a streamlined business plan that is effective and strategic.
Establish short-term and long-term goals that will allow you to concentrate on targeted activities and lead you to meeting your goals.
Ayisha Sereni is the president of The Main Line School of Real Estate in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.