As a new agent starting out in real estate, it can feel like you’re juggling a ton at once to get your business off the ground. Instead of flailing, know this is where the need to create a business plan comes in.
A business plan doesn’t have to be elusive, but it does need to be clear. Get ready for 6 steps you can take away today to get started and create a business plan of your own.
To Ensure Your Success, Create a Business Plan
Right now, you have the whole world of real estate ahead of you. So, think of your business plan as the map to guide you to each of your real estate goals. Your goals should vary in size and scale, and your business plan should have tangible, actionable steps you can take to reach those goals.
With these 6 steps, you can build a strong foundation for your real estate business, take the guesswork out of where you’re headed, and build a path to your goals that can scale and evolve with your business.
#1. Get Crystal Clear on Your Goals and Objectives
Setting goals for your business is non-negotiable as you create your business plan. Your goals are the North Star of your business, so your plan needs to define them. By setting clear goals, you can drive consistency and set your business up for long-lasting success.
One of the best ways to set goals for your business is to use the SMART framework, making sure your goals are, well, SMART:
- Specific: We can’t stress enough how important it is to be clear on your goals. Dream big and write them out.
- Measurable: Your goals should not be vague; they should be something you can measure and assess.
- Attainable: Be honest with yourself and ensure you have what you need to actually attain this goal. If you want to sell $50M in luxury real estate but you’re currently working in a market where this isn’t a strong characteristic, see where you can adjust.
- Realistic: Similar to the “A” in “SMART,” you don’t want your goals to be so aspirational you couldn't possibly hit them. While stretch goals are great to challenge yourself, set yourself up for success with realistic goals. Then, as you achieve them, reassess and reevaluate your definition of realistic as your business grows.
- Timely: Define the timeline where you want to meet your goal. This will keep you on track, focused, and give you milestones to check in on along the way.
To see what this looks like in action, first set your biggest and most aspirational goals. Then, break those big goals down into smaller ones to answer how you’ll get there. Finally, set a timeframe to really drive motivation and ensure your goals are met. For example:
Big goal: Sell 25 homes by 2026
- Sub-goal: Sell 3 homes per quarter
- Sub-goal: Generate enough leads per month to sell 3 homes per quarter
Big goal: Get 5 testimonials this half of the year
- Sub-goal: Sell 5 homes this half of the year
- Sub-goal: Create a smooth process to ask and intake testimonials from clients
See how these sub-goals ladder up into the bigger goal? This creates a path to achieving the big goal that’s easily understood, timebound, and clear.
#2. Research Your Market
As you create your business plan, it’s crucial you know where you stand in your local market. To accomplish this, you need to roll up your sleeves and research where you’ll work. Examine things like:
- What types of homes are offered in this market?
- What are the demographics of buyers and sellers in this market?
- Who is my competition?
- What’s missing from the real estate market in my area?
- What type of client(s) am I passionate about serving?
By taking an honest look at your market, your competition, and any gaps in your area, you can start to fill in how your business can address each of these areas. It also serves as a guide of what your focus and area of expertise will be, giving you an opportunity to set yourself apart in your business plan.
#3. Make a Game Plan for How You’ll Build Your Client Base
In order to have a successful real estate business, you have to have a steady client base; after all, you are in the people business. As part of your business plan, create a set of action items you’ll take to build out your base of clientele. You can do things like:
- Attend local mixers and networking events
- Run lead generation campaigns online
- Ask for referrals from family, friends, and past colleagues
- Purchase leads from third-party services
- Set up your RealEstateAgents.com profile to get vetted leads
As an added bonus, as you take these steps to build up your client base, you’re also getting the word out there about your real estate business and building your brand.
#4. Create a Strong Marketing Plan
You’ve set your goals, gotten familiar with your market, identified how you’ll reach clients, and now you’re ready to start positioning your business in your local area. To ensure success and grow awareness of your business’s availability, you need to add a marketing strategy to your business plan.
Your marketing plan is key to ensuring your business is promoted properly to drive brand awareness, consumer engagement, lead generation, and show you’re a local market expert. To get started, identify what channels, or places, you want to use to promote your real estate business. Some examples include:
- Social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok
- Search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo!
- Local advertising: Event sponsorships, door hangers and flyers, local publications
Once you’ve identified where you want to be seen, it’s time to get clear on who should be seeing you. Go back to Step #2, where you identified the type of clientele you want to serve. Then, start creating content that speaks to them directly, and provides value in the form of education. This will position you as a real estate expert and start building trust as they familiarize themselves with you, your business, and your brand.
Some content examples include:
If you serve buyer clients
- Market reports for the areas they’re interested in
- An eBook for first-time homebuyers
- A list of vendors for their home repair and maintenance needs
- A breakdown of mortgage terms
- Steps they need to take before the start the buying process
If you serve seller clients
- A guide to why they should work with an agent rather than sell themselves
- An offer for a free CMA
- An eBook on how to prepare their home for listing photos
- A timeline of the selling process
Each of these covers key parts of their specific transaction journey to educate them with your own deep skills and knowledge.
#5. Know How You’ll Communicate with Every Type of Client
Not all leads, or clients, are created equal. Even potential prospects must be communicated with in a different way than these two. As you’re creating content and starting to build up your contact database, make sure you have a plan for how your business will address each type of client. This can include:
- An email nurture campaign for leads that come in from social media
- A follow-up email you send to people you meet in real life
- A text message auto-response your CRM sends when you miss a call
- Scripts for each and every phone call scenario
- Snail mail you send to each client after they successfully close
Knowing how you’ll communicate with each client can save plenty of time and energy you’d spend racking your brain for how you’ll follow up. It also reinforces a consistent tone of voice for your business, establishing how your client interactions are handled across the board.
#6. Evaluate and Assess Your Business Regularly
To tie up the bow on your business plan, make sure you include time, space, and prioritization to checking in with your business’s status and progress towards goals. You’re just starting out, and real estate as a whole is always going to be evolving. It’s what excites so many of us about the industry, but can also feel shaky as you’re establishing your business.
Rather than letting this throw off your plans, take time to regularly evaluate your progress. What are you doing well, and what can you do better? Where are you smashing it, and where can you improve? How are your performance metrics and transaction stats looking?
By checking in on your business regularly, you can stop problems before they start, know where to shift or change gears, and understand steps you may need to add or take away to get to your goals.
For more resources to help you become a stronger agent and capitalize on the above outlined strategies, login to your RealEstateAgents.com account today.