The best ways to craft a 2018 business plan

December 11, 2017

Now that the new year is finally here, real estate professionals should be getting their ducks in a row for the coming buying and selling season. There are several ways to go about this endeavor, and some work better than others. Finding the best methods for laying out that 2018 business plan is something that will pay off for months to come.

When putting together a business plan, goals should be central to the process, but that's probably not specific enough to make a plan successful, according to Inman. Instead, agents should think about what they want to accomplish both holistically over the course of the coming year and in the short term when it comes to each month or quarter. That forethought gives them two types of benchmarks against which they can measure their success and bigger ideas to keep in mind when they make business decisions.

Why it's important to track local conditions
Agents usually already know how their local markets are moving - even in comparison with national trends - and that information should go into a business plan. Moreover, that knowledge shouldn't just relate to trends in real estate sales, property values and the like. It should also reflect demographics of buyers and sellers (and what would constitute ideal clients from either group), as well as the level of local competition and what agents can do to stand out from the crowd, especially at a time when real estate help is in such high demand.

Communication is also key in a business plan because interacting with clients is the lifeblood of any agent's job. Having good ideas in mind for how to approach communication in slower times, versus spring or summer, can help agents stay on track even if they start to feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work they need to do. That, in turn, can help them stay popular with clients, as buyers and sellers love a responsive agent who can answer questions as needed.

Why it's vital to keep plans in writing
Meanwhile, many agents may sketch out a basic business plan for the year in their heads but not write it down and file it away, according to Fit Small Business. However, agents would be wise to continually revisit their plans for the year to see what they're on track to accomplish. Moreover, writing things down can help to keep plans for future success more realistic, because agents are less likely to get too optimistic about the year to come when they see their plans in writing.

Finally, when agents have the ability to access their business plans throughout the year, more reactive to surprising developments, as having a written-down business plan allows agents to change those outlooks on the fly as they need to.

The market conditions present last year or even early this year aren't likely to linger for the entirety of 2018, so having the ability to stay flexible and react can be vital for any agent.