Business Planning 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Kick Off the New Year in High Gear

Posted on Dec 20 2017 - 10:32am by Paige Tepping

business planningIt's time to get serious about setting yourself up for success. While success may look different to everyone, taking the time to create a business plan will go a long way toward laying a solid foundation upon which to build your business well into the future.

RISMedia’s latest ACE webinar, “5 Easy Steps to Create a 2018 Business Plan That Delivers Results,” moderated by Cleve Gaddis, of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center, and sponsored by PNC Bank, broke the process down into five manageable steps that will help you kick your business planning into high gear.

Step 1: Build a Plan

“This gets everybody on board and ready to go for the upcoming year,” said Samantha Knoerr, office manager for the Christy Buck Team with Infinity Real Estate Group in Texas, who explained that every single person on her team (admin and agents alike) is tasked with creating a business plan each and every year.

Tying in both professional and personal goals, Knoerr noted that strengths and weaknesses must be identified before numbers are added to mix.

“Once you know what your advantages are, in addition to the areas in which you can improve, it’s time to set a clearly defined goal,” said Knoerr.

From there, it’s all about mapping out a plan that can easily be worked. For Knoerr and her team, this begins with establishing four pillars of income that will pave the way to success.

“We simply focus on four different pillars and break them down so specifically so that the agent knows what they’re doing with each contact during any given quarter,” added Knoerr.

Step 2: Stick With the Plan

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to bring your goals to life by creating a plan of action in order to eliminate surprises as the year progresses.

“We use an Agile Project Manager, which is essentially a master project sheet, to compile all of the projects we’re currently working on,” said Knoerr. “Once everything is added to the Agile, a sprint—or to-do list—is created so that the plan can come to life.”

Accountability is another key factor that can’t be overlooked when it comes to keeping everyone on track. “We immediately think of accountability as a negative, or a nagging,” said Knoerr, “but in order to help our agents succeed, we have to put systems in place.”

Whether it’s incorporating the Daily Success Habits Tracker (DSH) into one’s daily routine or committing to daily huddles, weekly one-on-one accountability meetings or quarterly reviews, Knoerr noted that it’s important to focus on progress, not perfection.

Step 3: Use a Theme to Keep People Motivated

For Mike Coke, leader of The Mike Cook Team with Terra Firma Realty in Wisconsin and a coach with Workman Success Systems, creating themes to keep people motivated is the name of the game.

“Themes can stick with your team for a long time and inspire them to do even greater results,” said Coke, who will be focusing on the scrolls within Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World” to keep his team motivated as we head into 2018.

“If you’re just given leads, what will you do with them?” asked Coke. “If I can teach you when to respond to them, how to qualify and rate them, when to follow-up and how to convert them, what will that do for your business?”

Whether it’s playing with reward themes, strategic themes, tag line themes or teaching themes, Coke explained the importance of setting shorter milestones to keep everyone motivated as they work toward long-term goals.

Step 4: It’s Not the System, It’s the Application of the System, That’s Key

While there’s no shortage of systems real estate professionals can incorporate into their daily routine, Coke pointed to the importance of utilizing a good CRM in order to drive results.

“A CRM is just another tool we can use to manage and leverage our business,” explained Coke.

In addition to helping nurture, track and follow-up with leads, a good CRM is instrumental in effectively managing one’s sphere of influence. “So many agents spend so much money trying to engage complete strangers, yet so few spend the time and money on leveraging those they already know, love and trust. It’s important that we use our sphere of influence to grow our business, but also that we use that CRM to manage our sphere of influence,” added Coke.

Step 5: Use Messaging to “Create” Sellers and Buyers

As we head toward the future, all eyes are on boomerang buyers—and how they’re set to revitalize the real estate market.

“The significance of this group is huge,” said Coke, who shared with webinar attendees the fact that there were over 7 million people who lost their home to foreclosure. Taking this one step further, the National Association of REALTORS® released a stat earlier this year regarding the fact that approximately 1 million of them had restored their credit and were ready to re-enter the market.

“We work with plenty of people in this position in order to educate them and figure out what their goal is as far as when they’re looking to purchase a home,” added Bryant Edelman, top purchase producing mortgage loan officer with PNC Bank. “While nothing is cut and dry anymore, we try to prepare the customer from the first consultation all the way through to closing.”

With more people feeling positive about selling a home in 2018 than they have in the last 5 - 7 years, getting prospective buyers positioned so that they’re able to purchase a home is critical.

“What we’re talking about is having some marketing that speaks to people who might not know they can get back in the market,” added Gaddis.

“Boomerang buyers are a powerful segment we need to make sure we build into our marketing plan in 2018,” concluded Coke.

Learn more from the webinar in the recording below:


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