This post was last updated on Sept. 29, 2021.
The best time to get started on your 2022 business plan is right now: Book a one-day, off-site business planning session into your calendar now. Make your business plan simple — one page is all you need.
You might be thinking you still have plenty of time, but maybe not as much time as you might think.
Most agents wait until they get back from the holiday break to plan their year. I’m sure you know how that goes: Come back from hiatus in early January. Ease into the year, and start thinking about your goals. Then, before you know it, it’s the middle of January, and you haven’t even begun executing your plan.
At that point, anything you do will only show up at the end of the first quarter, and a quarter of your year has passed you by.
On the contrary, the best way to have a great year in real estate is to have a great fourth quarter the year before.
Why? Because real estate typically follows a 90- to 120-day sales cycle, meaning that the activities you do now will pay dividends in three to four months.
For that reason, right around the end of November and early December (or earlier), I reserve a full-day, off-site planning session with my team each year to plan out the following year, and I highly recommend that you do the same.
If you don’t have a team, just do this exercise yourself. Here’s our typical agenda for the planning session:
Plan a day away
Your planning session should be off-site, meaning away from the office. It should be in a place free from distractions so you can really work on your business (rather than in your business.)
I like to go to a hotel or resort for the day; I find being in a luxurious setting helps you think big.
Do a SWOT Analysis
If you haven’t heard of a SWOT Analysis, it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).
- What are you really good at?
- Where are the holes in your business?
- What opportunities in the marketplace can you capitalize on?
- What are the threats to your business?
Evaluate your business. Ask yourself: How did we do, numbers-wise? For this section, bring the data — not the drama.
Then mentally realign your priorities based on your findings.
Envision next year
The business leader (probably you) should set out their vision for the business for the following year. In other words, tell the rest of the team (or if it’s just you, tell yourself!) where you want to be at the end of 2022.
Don’t censor yourself. Write your vision for your business in a perfect world, and have fun with it. Go big. You can always whittle down later.
Put your action plan on paper
You need a roadmap for you to achieve your vision. A few tips here. First, if you’re doing something well or something is working, do more of it.
If something isn’t working, and you’ve given it a solid effort — stop doing it. Make your business plan simple. I’ve seen complicated 12-page business plans that took a long time to create and ended up in a drawer somewhere. My rule of thumb is to make your business plan one page.
List your main goal for the year, three top priorities to make your plan happen, and then write out five strategies for each of those priorities.
Now go and take action, and book out your full-day planning session in your calendar.