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Set Yourself Up for Success: Crafting a 2023 Business Plan

By MNR News posted 22 days ago

  
Every Realtor® is a small business owner. You manage your time, schedule, workload, and client base. It’s a feature that draws many entrepreneurially-minded folks to the industry. But it comes with an array of challenges—one of which is business planning. At the end of the day, your profit margin rises or falls based on how well you perform. And good performance requires careful planning.  

You know the adage: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” While it may be cliché, it still rings true. As we approach the end of 2022 and begin thinking about a new year ahead, now is the time to start your 2023 business plan. 

Why write a business plan? 

Depending on how you are wired, writing a business plan for an entire year can feel like a daunting task. In an industry like real estate, it can seem impossible to predict what the market might look like in seven or eight months (heck, look at the wild ride that was 2022!). Although it seems counterintuitive, the unpredictability of the market is actually a reason for having a business plan. 

A good business plan is a foundation for your business.  As the year progresses and you build on the foundation, you’ll be able to pivot and make necessary adjustments as needed. But the business plan will help keep you grounded and on target. 

Components of a business plan

While there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all business plan, there are several key elements you’ll want to consider. 

Target audience 

If you’ve been a Realtor® for any length of time, you may have already defined your target audience (if not, now’s a good time to do so!). Even if you have a target audience, a new year provides a good opportunity to assess whether you want to expand or further focus your efforts on a particular group of people. 

Communications plan 

Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll need a communications plan. How will you engage your audience? Social media, email, text messaging, phone calls, or even print mailers? The way people like to receive information is very personal. By communicating in a variety of modes, you cast a net that will catch the attention of your diverse audience. The possibilities are numerous, which is precisely why having a plan helps you stay on track.  

It’s vital to stay in front of your audience. A given consumer may have no plans to move anytime soon, but when that time does come for them—in a year or much further down the road—you want to be top of mind for them. For that to happen, consumers not only need to know you exist, but also trust your expertise for buying or selling real estate. 

Specific goals 

Setting goals is important in any job, but especially in real estate. As part of your business plan, you should clearly define your goals for the next year. How many transactions do you hope to close? What will it take to reach that number? There are many subgoals you can and should set to help you achieve your volume over the course of the next year. Are there any designations or certifications you’d like to attain this year? Designations are a great way to further your career—see what’s offered here

The great thing about setting goals is there aren’t really any wrong answers—you just have to think carefully about what you hope to achieve in the coming year, figure out what you need to do to get there, and get to work. 

Networking time 

If you’ve been a Realtor® for more than a few minutes, someone has likely told you how important referrals are to your business. A strong referral from a happy client can lead to future business like almost nothing else can. One of the ways you can tap into a referral network is to intentionally build relationships with those in real-estate adjacent industries.  

Plan to get to know people in the lending, insurance, and home repair industries (to name a few). Each of these professions regularly deals with homeowners—or potential homeowners. If you can become a trusted resource for a few people in each of these industries, your access to new clients will increase significantly. 

Accountability 

Finally, who can you ask to help hold you accountable for what you put down in your business plan? Ideally, this would be someone else in the industry—whether a broker or fellow Realtor®—with whom you can share your plan. Ask them to meet regularly to check in on how your plan is going. Having an external source to help you stay on track will go a long way. After all, we’re human, and we need to rely on others to achieve our goals. If not someone in the industry, think of a trusted friend or advisor who could provide this type of accountability. 

Ultimately, no one knows what the real estate market will do in 2023. Having a plan will help set you up for success no matter what the next year holds.  

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