Creating a business plan is a critical first step in setting yourself up for success. But, if you’re like most real estate professionals, life often gets in the way—and your business plan takes a back seat to the day-to-day minutiae involved with working with clients and successfully closing deals.
RISMedia’s latest webinar, "Turn Your Business Plan Into an Action Plan" provided attendees an in-depth look into the importance of taking the time to set intentions and business plan for the year ahead.
Sponsored by Intuit, and moderated by Cleve Gaddis—team leader, coach and speaker at Workman Success Systems—the webinar offered practical insight into how real estate professionals can keep their business plan from going stale.
"Creating a business plan for the upcoming year never occurs as early as we’d like," explained Dan Elam, founder of Elam Real Estate in Murfreesboro, Tenn., whose goal is to be prepared for the following year by October of the current year.
While Elam typically finds himself sitting down to map out his brokerage’s business plan in early December, he makes it a point to go into any given year with a plan in place in order to avoid rushing to come up with a plan as the year winds down.
"Every single thing should be planned, because if you plan it, the outcome tends to be much better," added Elam, who prides himself in his ability to reduce things down to the ridiculous.
"In looking at the goals of the company as a whole, we determined that the only way to accomplish them is through our agents," noted Elam, "so the process begins with sitting down and learning about what each agent wants to accomplish."
From there, it’s about plugging that goal into an Excel spreadsheet and using conversion ratios to figure out what needs to be done every single day. This includes the number of dials needed to have a conversation, the ratio of conversations to face-to-face visits, how many face-to-face meetings it takes to get a pending contract, as well as the pending-to-close ratio.
Sitting down to write out a business plan is also a key piece of the process for Mariette Martinez—a financial accountant, IRS enrolled agent and Intuit trainer/writer.
Focusing on the solopreneur community, Martinez digs even deeper by centering her business planning around the 'why.'
"I’m a firm believer in sticking to a simple, one-page business plan that focuses on what the individual wants to do and how they want to do it. I focus heavily on the ‘why’ when business planning, because that’s where their passion comes in," explained Martinez. "Then we back up into the numbers."
But the work doesn’t end there, as putting your plan into action is paramount to meeting—and exceeding—the goals you’ve set for yourself.
"No matter the reason you got into the business, you need to continually develop yourself and your skillset and be aware of what you need to do," said Martinez. "You need a plan that’s written down, and you need to be intentional."
"If you want to be successful, you have to be motivated, you need to know what to do, and you need to know how to do it," concluded Elam.
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