One thing nobody tells you about real estate is that being busy doesn’t mean you’re making money. That’s why having a well-defined business plan to laser-focus your strategy, define success, and detail your growth plan is so important.
We’ve put together these three detailed real estate business plan templates for new agents, team leaders, and new brokerages for you to take, make your own, and start crushing your 2021 goals with.
Ready to get started right away? Here’s the single-agent business plan template. Read on for more information about each template, and for the team and brokerage business plan templates.
3 Free Real Estate Business Plan Templates
We’ve put together these three templates to help you organize your thoughts and get your efforts all moving in the right direction. Each of these plans has all the essentials you’ll need to set your business up for success in 2021 and beyond, including figuring out who you are, what services you offer, and who your business will serve.
The team plan goes a little further, helping you strategize your team management and leadership, as well as the financial considerations of leading a group.
The brokerage model plan goes even beyond that and includes things like space to plan for the physical cost and requirements of operating a new business, and the infrastructure you’ll need to have in place to recruit and retain agents.
No matter what plan you choose, The Close has you covered with a launch pad for your business in the form of a great real estate business plan template.
You’ve probably heard the adage before “All real estate agents are small business owners,” and it’s totally true. You’re ultimately responsible for your own success in this biz, so a solid plan to achieve your goals is imperative.
Open the template in Google Docs or download it below to get started on mapping out your goals and your strategies for getting there.
Considering the launch of 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 of other people.
Having a plan in place to help you achieve your goals, as well 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 other team members where you can. Get started mapping out your team’s makeup, direction, and goals with this template today.
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 disposable cash, you’re going to need a plan to make sure you get to the starting line still on your feet.
Open up this template and start figuring out 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.
9 Essential Elements of a Real Estate Business Plan
Each of these templates is broken up into sections that cover an essential part of planning your success. In case this is your first time writing a business plan, we’re giving you a brief overview of these sections and the important things to consider while mapping your path forward.
Here are the nine essential elements of a real estate business plan:
1. Identify Who You Are as a Real Estate Agent
Getting yourself moving in the right direction on your new real estate business plan starts with understanding who you are. Though this seems a little basic, it’s vital that you understand your strengths, weaknesses, and what you want to achieve.
There are certain parts of this section that we actually recommend you do last (Mission Statement and Executive Summary) because they’re easier to do once you’ve gone through the exercise of dissecting your business piece by piece.
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 meeting your goals.
For brokerages, keep in mind not only the sort of business you want to run, but also the sort of agents you want to attract. Remember, you are the captain of the ship—who do you want to go to sea with?
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, what sections are hot, what 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 are 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.
Some good examples of some metrics to watch for in this section are things like:
- Average days on market for property of different price and type
- Typical listing commission rate
- Average price trend for a market you are interested in participating in
- Number of new listings in a particular sector month over month and this year versus last year
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.
Follow your competitors on social media, watch them closely, and see who they are marketing to. Does their target demographic align with their business? Since you’ve already identified your specific market, do a targeted MLS search for homes in their particular range. Who are the real estate agents who also show up a lot in that range?
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.
4. Decide What Services You’ll Provide
Now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty.
You might think to yourself, “What do you mean ‘services’? Don’t I just provide, ya know, REAL ESTATE services?”
These are the questions of those 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?
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 is a need for a real estate agent (or brokerage) that specializes in first-time homebuyers, you know that your average customer is going 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, the mailbox is still an important way to communicate with them.
Drill down and really understand all you can about your customers—it will pay off in spades.
6. Conduct a SWOT Analysis
SWOT—or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—is a common player 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 (strength) but weak in cold calling (weakness)? Maybe there is no brokerage that focuses primarily on millennials (opportunity)? Maybe your target market is new construction and there is 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 with 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 person, or assistant
- Adding new agents to your team
- Spending a certain amount of time working vs home with the family
Also in this section you will list the tools you will use to achieve your goals. You probably have a good idea of what will go on this list, but make sure you schedule time to come back and revisit your real estate business plan to see if there are new tools you need to add to the list, or to remove others that are no longer advancing you forward.
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 this document, so have no fear. Fill in the blanks, complete the formulas, see where you end up.
In this section, you’ll take account of all your operating expenses, including all your marketing and lead generation costs. Make sure to 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.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Start Your Real Estate Business Plan
As you’re preparing to write your real estate business plan using one of our templates, here are a few questions you should consider.
We’ve found that the conversation that arises from these questions helps get the juices flowing, and the business plan gets completed a little easier.
Or, if you need a little fodder for your next real estate agents-only dinner party, these work too (more wine, please).
1. How Do Your Short-term Strategies Support Your Long-term Goals?
Every single day you go into the office (or just open your laptop on the couch) to do some work, you have the opportunity to get yourself closer to your goals. What daily routines are going to be a part of getting you into the winner’s circle this year?
2. What Questions Do Your Customers Have That You Are Going to Answer?
Understanding and anticipating the needs of your customers is vital to success. Put yourself in your target customers’ shoes: What is the first question that comes to your mind when you think about real estate?
3. How Do Your Strategies Differ From Your Competitors’ Strategies?
This is a tough one because you can’t be in the head or the conference room of your competition. But, I don’t think anyone on the eve of launching a wildly successful business has ever said, “Well, let’s just do it like everyone else, that seems to be working, right?”
Even if your tweaks to the standard approach are subtle, there has to be SOMETHING (even if you’re the only one who knows it) that you are doing differently than the rest.
4. Who Has the Final Say Over Decisions in Different Areas?
This question primarily applies to real estate teams and to people starting a brokerage, but is a helpful thought experiment for all. If one person is responsible for ALL the decision-making, you are liable to miss an opportunity to utilize someone else’s expertise. What decisions will you trust to others? How will you work together to make sure the plan stays cohesive?
Ready to Create Your Real Estate Business Plan?
We want to hear from you. Still need help writing your own business plan? Let us know in the comments, and let’s keep the conversation going.