Business Planning for Realtors (and Everybody Else)

The previous post was a broad look at Planning for Business (as opposed to a Business Plan) and this post is a more specific follow-up for actually creating a detailed Business Plan.  A lot of my readers are Realtors so this plan is specific to them, but any business can substitute the word “orders” for “listings” etc.  The main message is that before you can move forward you have to know how you got to where you are.Idea 4

Step 1 – 2008 In Review

  • Listings (orders) taken?
  • Listings (orders) closed?
  • Listings expired?
  • Escrow sides opened?
  • Escrow sides closed?
  • Commission income?
  • Where did your clients come from in 2008?

Step 2 – Set a Financial Goal

  • How much money do you want to make in 2009?

Step 3 – Calculate Sales Volume Required to Achieve the Goal

  • How many sides (orders)  must you close?
  • How many closed sides will be listings?
  • How many closed sides will be buyers?
  • What percent of your listings will result in a closed sale?
  • What percent of your buyer clients will close?
  • How many hours per week will you work?
  • How does that translate to $$ per hour?

Step 4 – Review Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Which activities do you still do that no longer work?
  • What do other agents in your office (and beyond) do, which seems to work for them?
  • What are you really good at?
  • What are you weak at?
  • How can you make your strengths work better for your business?
  • How will you manage around your weak areas?
  • What are the key threats to your business?
  • What do you do different than the competition?

Step 5 – Examine and Review Present Systems

  • Do you have a Sphere of Influence referral program?
  • Do you have a marketing budget?
  • A general business budget?
  • Do you have a work schedule that you adhere to?
  • Do you have an effective system for:
    • Contact management?
    • Listing process?
    • Escrow process?
    • Time management and blocking?
    • Tracking your marketing?
    • Tracking your income?
  • Do you know what a system is?

Step 6 – Review Your Marketing Material

  • Review all of your marketing material and any collateral marketing material that touches a client or prospect.
    • Is it consistent?
    • Is your information up to date and accurate?
    • Is it necessary?
    • Does it work?
  • Is your website up to date?

Step 7 – Investigate and Implement New Social Marketing Tools
Take a look at what others are doing and determine if it will help your business.

  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Video

So now what?
Just answer these questions on a piece of paper and you will have a snapshot of where you currently stand.  Determine your specific action plans for the next 12 months, lay out the time frames and then schedule it all.  Don’t make the schedule too tight.
Lastly, but most importantly is the accountability process.  You need to hold yourself to account and regularly review your progress.

Thanks to Mike Butson, General Manager for Coldwell Banker Ponderosa Real Estate operations for the bulk of the Realtor related plaaning steps in this post.

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