A real estate business plan is an essential strategy document that every agent, team, and broker needs to ensure that their business is equipped to grow. Having a well-defined real estate business plan ensures that your time, energy, and cash are being spent efficiently in pursuit of your goals.
However, unless you went to business school or are an experienced entrepreneur, it can be hard to know where to begin writing your business plan. To assist you, we developed three detailed real estate business plan templates—one for new agents, one for team leaders, and one for brokers—which you can adapt to start crushing your goals.
Our 3 Free Real Estate Business Plan Templates
Ready to get started? Each of our three plans has all the essentials you’ll need to set your business up for success in 2022 and beyond. Read on for more information about each version and to download our single agent, team, and brokerage real estate business plan templates.
We’ll provide space for a thorough self-assessment, a chance to nail down exactly what services you offer, and identify exactly who your customers are and how your business will serve them.
1. Individual Agent Real Estate Business Plan
You’ve probably heard coaches and brokers throw around the old adage “All real estate agents are small business owners,” and guess what—it’s totally true. Whether you’re brand-new to the industry or have been buying and selling as a solo agent for years, you need a solid business plan.
Our business plan template is the perfect launchpad and a necessary step to take your real estate business to the next level.
2. Real Estate Team Business Plan Template
Launching a team? Maybe you’re already running a group of agents within your brokerage and you need to get more organized. Either way, you’re not just a small business owner—you’re also a leader. Having a plan in place to help you achieve your goals, as well the goals of those you lead, is a must-have.
As the leader of your team, you should head up the crafting of this plan, but don’t forget to involve your team members where possible. Get started mapping out your team’s makeup, direction, and goals with this real estate business plan template today.
3. Real Estate Brokerage Business Plan Template
If you’re considering founding a brokerage, you know that there’s a lot that goes into this process. You’ll be spending tons of time and investing considerable resources to make this dream come true. Unless you are sitting on a mountain of cash, you’re going to need a solid plan to make sure you get momentum from the starting line.
Open our business plan template and start to determine exactly what it will take from a space, spending, and support perspective to make your plan of opening a real estate brokerage viable.
Looking for more resources to get your business planning off the ground?
Make sure to check out our real estate business successful launch kit, including our real estate branding guide, lead generation strategy planner, and our ultimate new agent checklist.
Writing a Real Estate Business Plan in 9 Easy Steps
1. Identify Who You Are as a Real Estate Agent
The first step to successful real estate business planning is always self-evaluation. Who are you, why are you in the real estate business, and maybe most importantly, what do you do?
In The Close’s Business Plan Templates, we call this section “Who You Are,” and ask you to develop your:
- Mission Statement (your “reason for being in real estate”)
- Executive Summary (one to two sentences that summarize what you do)
If you’re a part of a real estate team, you’ll also use this section to define the roles of each member of your crew. Putting on paper what everybody brings to the table is a big part of understanding how to meet your goals.
For brokerages, when crafting your executive summary, keep in mind the type of business you want to run as well as the types of agents you want to attract. Remember, you’re the captain of the ship—who do you want to go to sea with?
THE CLOSE RECOMMENDATION: If you’re looking for a leg up when it comes to understanding who you are as a real estate professional and building out your personal brand, check out Ryan Serhant’s course called How to Build Your Personal Brand. This in-depth walk-through from one of real estate’s most savvy brand marketers is thorough, provides you with tons of great tools, and has been personally reviewed by our team. It’s the real deal.
2. Analyze Your Target Real Estate Market
Knowing the haps in the real estate market is critical to success. In this section, you’ll examine every corner of the market, which sections are hot, which sections have slowed down, and most importantly, where the opportunities lie. We suggest taking your time here and really digging into the MLS and figuring out exactly what the numbers tell you.
Though they’re fun to look at, don’t spend too much time examining numbers on the national or even state-wide levels. Real estate is a local pursuit, and while those macro numbers may have some small effects, what matters most is what is happening on the street level of your community.
In The Close’s Business Plan Templates, we ask you to examine and record your local market’s:
- General Trends (average days on market, typical commission rate, average sold price, etc.)
- Market Opportunities (any observed imbalances in supply and demand)
- Market Saturations (where is there too much and of what)
[Related article: How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide]
3. Analyze Your Local Competition
Just like the market, you’ve also got to understand the landscape of your competition.
Knowing who is doing what and how well they’re doing it will help you identify niches that are currently going unfulfilled, as well as what sectors of service are saturated with agents all scrambling to get a piece of the pie.
In our templates, we want you to look for:
- Underserved Niches (what sorts of property don’t have enough Realtors paying attention to them?)
- Competition Saturation (where are there too many cooks in the kitchen?)
If you need some help with this, try following your competitors on social media. Does their target demographic align with their business?
This section is all about understanding what the rest of the field is doing, and pointing out where the market is underserved. Once you do that, you can move in and fulfill a need.
[Related article: How to Compete With Cash Offers: 10 Ways to Write Winning Offers]
4. Decide What Services You’ll Provide
You might think to yourself, “What do you mean ‘services’? Don’t I just provide, ya know, REAL ESTATE services?” But, this is a question from a person without a plan. That is no longer you.
Yes, you provide real estate services, but which ones? Where is your greatest opportunity? What niche does your market need filled? Perhaps you’ll be a condo specialist? Maybe you’ll focus on first-time homebuyers? What about the vacant land game?
In our templates, we want you to identify your:
- Primary Offering (where you’re most skilled and can offer the most value)
- Potential Offering (where you see opportunity and where you could grow professionally)
You don’t have to pick just one, but failing to choose anything is missing an opportunity. Think long and hard about what you (and your team, if you have one) are good at, what you are passionate about, and what the market needs. The overlap of these categories is your answer.
5. Identify Who Your Ideal Customers Are
Once you have an idea of what services you provide in your market, you have a good idea of who your customers are.
For instance, if there’s a need for a real estate agent (or brokerage) that specializes in first-time homebuyers, you know that your average customer is likely to be younger, which means they are more apt to communicate via social media, which means advertising to them in the newspaper is a waste of money.
On the other hand, if your ideal customers are older retirees, their mailbox and United States Postal Service may still be important ways to communicate with them.
In our templates, we ask you to describe:
- Your Likely Typical Buyer
- Your Likely Typical Seller
Important: Remember, this is not a place to discriminate. In no way, shape, or form are we suggesting that you should use this section to profile or write-off certain groups of people based on their gender, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or more.
Rather, this is the section of your business plan where you will describe the business attributes of your customers.
[Related article: How to Get (& Keep) Qualified Real Estate Clients in 2022]
6. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
SWOT—or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—is a common tool in business plans, and is especially important in our real estate business plan templates.
Here, you evaluate each of these categories using what you’ve discovered about yourself and your business as you’ve been writing. Think of it as a summary-thus-far.
Then, combine that knowledge with what you know about yourself and how you work. For instance, maybe you are strong in analysis but weak in cold calling? Maybe there is no brokerage that focuses primarily on millennials (opportunity)? Maybe your target market is new construction and there’s a construction slowdown forecasted (threat)?
The SWOT analysis is a great thing to keep nearby even after your real estate business plan is complete. In fact, we’ve spoken to a couple of agents who actually make a copy of this section and tack it on the bulletin board in their office, just so it is top of mind every day.
7. Determine Your Financial, Personal & Growth Goals
All your hard work on your real estate business plan has culminated here: your goals. In this section, you’re going to lay out what your different goals are for your business: financial, growth, and otherwise. Use the research and analysis you’ve completed to solidify your goals into measurable statements you can come back to and evaluate periodically.
Here are some goals you might want to think about:
- A specific gross commission income (GCI)
- A specific number of transactions
- A specific number of leads in a given time
- Hiring an inside sales agent or assistant
- Adding new agents to your team
- Spending a certain amount of time working vs home with the family
8. Analyze Your Starting & Ongoing Financial Needs
The penultimate section of your real estate business plan involves getting the math behind all your plans. While financial planning is not everybody’s strong suit, most of the work has already been done for you thanks to the careful investigation you’ve done in the previous sections of your real estate business plan, so have no fear.
In this section of our templates, you’ll do things like:
- Take account of all your operating expenses, including all your marketing and lead generation costs
- Account for all of your monthly outreach and new client generation efforts, like Zillow Premier Agent, your customer relationship manager (CRM) expenses, and the cost of postcards from a company like ProspectsPLUS!
9. Make a Plan to Revisit Your Business Plan
Finally, don’t forget to complete your follow-up section. It may be tempting to get started right away on the plans you’ve made, but you need to know when you are revisiting your strategy.
Your real estate business plan is a living document, not something carved in stone. We suggest a quarterly check-in to see if the strategies you chose are advancing you toward your goals.
Chris’ Tips: 4 Strategies for Improving Your Real Estate Business Plan
Writing a real estate business plan isn’t complicated, but if this is your first time creating a roadmap like this, it can be a little intimidating. To help you settle your nerves and get you off on the right foot, here’s a step-by-step walk-through of how to get started planning a successful real estate business—no matter what shape or size yours will take.
You’ve got your real estate business plan template, and we’ve walked you through exactly what you should expect, every step of the way. But, before you start putting pen to paper, we’ve got four tips you should remember when building out your plan of attack.
📌 Pro Tip
Your Short-term Strategies Need to Support Your Long-term Goals
Your real estate business plan is, in large part, about setting goals for yourself and your career. But you’ll never reach those goals if your short-term, day-to-day habits don’t support them.
So, as you’re planning for your future in your real estate business plan, make sure you’re setting goals that your time, talent, and resources will support. There’s nothing wrong with being aspirational and setting yourself up to reach beyond your grasp, but don’t set yourself up for failure by creating goals you don’t have the resources to reach.
📌 Pro Tip
Structure Your Business Around Customer Needs FIRST and Your Abilities SECOND
A common misstep in real estate business planning happens when Realtors build their business around a specific skill, resource, or talent they have without first understanding whether their community has a need that approach will serve.
For instance, if you identify in your SWOT analysis that you’re fantastic at face-to-face, cold lead interaction (you LOVE to door-knock), but you’re working a community almost exclusively made up of partially occupied vacation homes, you’re likely not going to get the success you desire.
Start by identifying the needs of your real estate community FIRST, then examine how your skills will meet those needs.
📌 Pro Tip
Focus on Differentiating Yourself
Creating a business model that looks like everybody else’s is a recipe for mediocrity. That’s not to say you should ignore the tried-and-true tenets of a successful real estate business, but those shouldn’t be your focus.
Spend time thinking about what you do better than anyone else. The better you explain your unique value to your potential clients, the more of them you’ll wind up turning into actual buyers and sellers.
📌 Pro Tip
If You’re on a Team, Know Who the Decision-Maker Is
This tip primarily applies to real estate teams and to people starting a brokerage, but is a helpful thought experiment for all. Think about all the resources for your business (your time, your talent, your budget): who is the final decision-maker on how those resources are dedicated? Does it depend on the situation?
Knowing who has the final say in business and strategic decisions makes getting to the right answer faster and more efficient. And, for those of you running solo operations, ask yourself, “Are there decisions in my business for which I would need approval from my broker? My spouse?”
We want to hear from you. How is your real estate business plan coming together? Let us know in the comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.