Real Estate Business Planning: 2023

Business Plan

We’re now in the first week of Q4, and thought this is the perfect time to look ahead, and consider your business plan for 2023.

But before we get to 2023, STOP!!

If you’re like many real estate agents, you might put yourself into “cruise control” as you enter this final quarter. After all, you may reason, nobody’s buying or selling homes during the holidays, right? WRONG! Top performing agents know that activity never ends, and they know that letting up in Q4 might mean leaving money on the table. And nobody wants to leave money on the table, right? So, do what the best do and LEAN IN to finish strong and have your best year ever.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s turn to your 2023 business plan. If you don’t have a business plan, this is a good time to finally put one together. If you do have a business plan, this will serve as a refresher, or maybe you’ll pick up other tips. But a business plan is your roadmap to success, your north star. It helps you to gauge how you’re doing from day to day, and allows for you to make adjustments to your process as you move through the year.

Hopefully you’ve had a great year and will finish even strong. But if your year didn’t meet expectations, hopefully you’ve learned some valuable lessons that can guide your future efforts.

Either way, it’s now time to focus on planning for the coming year.

Indeed, you not only need goals to succeed but a plan on how to achieve your goal. That’s where a well thought out business plan is vital if you want to enter 2023 from a place of strength. Whether you’re a business plan pro or have never written one, following are some tips that can serve as refreshers, or as a roadmap for your best year ever.

Revisit your value proposition: Your value proposition is a statement that helps prospective clients understand what you will bring to the business relationship. A strong value proposition sets you apart from your competitors, and provides a platform from which you can conduct your business. Above all, your value proposition should assure the homeowner that you are the right person to trust with one of the most important financial decisions they will ever make. If you’ve not considered your value proposition, check out our recent blog post: REAL ESTATE VALUE PROPOSITIONS IN THREE STEPS.

Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Review what your strong points are and where you need to shore up your skills. What opportunities exist in your agency or market? Where might you go off track? This common business tool is typically referred to as a SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. While you know yourself well, you may need to conduct further research to find opportunities (a wave of first time home buyers in your area, for instance) and threats (rising interest rates hampering the real estate market, for instance). Here’s the thing about a SWOT analysis: you need to be honest with yourself, especially when it comes to assessing your weaknesses.

OWN your numbers. As someone running a small business, it is imperative that you know your numbers and metrics intimately. Apply learning from 2022 to guide business plans for the coming year.

  • Start with your transactions and GCI target for the year. Have a written goal. It can also help to have a “push goal” as well.
  • Then, begin to reverse engineer a plan that will give you the best chance at achieving your target: Prospecting hours per day=live conversations=appointments=listing presentations=listings=buyers under contract=commissions. The more detailed your numbers, the better you can be at holding yourself accountable.
  • Be diligent about managing your expenses; know what’s going out and never be surprised. There are myriad applications you can use to help manage your expenses, so there’s no excuse for not knowing what you spend.

Invest in yourself. First, make sure you understand the difference between and expense and an investment. A Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte is an expense that pays zero dividends, even though it tastes good. An hour with a coach can generate thousands of dollars (or more ) in GCI, even though it may not always be easy. Drill down into how, exactly, you will meet your goals.

  • If you aren’t already doing so, consider investing in a lead generation/CRM platform such as Espresso Agent? Consider this fact: real estate agents who earn more than $100,000 per year are more than TWICE AS LIKELY to use lead generation technology like Espresso Agent. Or, look at it another way: depending on your MLS, a single transaction could pay for a year or more of Espresso Agent. That’s a sweet investment.
  • Consider working with a real estate coach. Top performing agents often cite the accountability they have by working with coaches as a key to their success. If you’re new to real estate or feel that you aren’t ready to make an investment in coaching, find accountability partners to work with you. Also, it’s great to have a role-playing partner to work on scripts for a few minutes each morning. The point here, of course, is you don’t need to go at this alone.
  • If you stick to your plan, will may need to invest in part-time admin help to keep you on track? Having the support of an admin allows you to focus on the things that are most important, such as prospecting and listing presentations.

5-3-1. There are varying beliefs on this topic, but a business plan should include longer term goals. Many business planning experts suggest you have a one, three and five year plan. Regardless of how you approach long-term planning, you must hold yourself accountable to deadlines.

ABSORB your business plan. It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing your business plan, checking that task off your to-do list, and putting the plan in a drawer somewhere never to be looked at again. Here’a another approach: keep your plan in a visible, convenient place so you can pick it up every day as a reminder of what’s important to your success. Know your numbers every day, and make adjustments if you’re falling short of the targets you’ve set for yourself.

Of course, there are a number of ways to write a business plan and if you work with a coach, this is something to discuss with them. But, if you don’t currently have a plan and find yourself struggling, now’s the time: sit down, review our basics, do a little research and get to planning.

For a little inspiration, we’ll close with a quote from Walt Disney:

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

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