Working as a real estate agent is an attractive career choice thanks to the winning combination of flexible hours, rewarding experiences and the potential to earn some serious money. However, all those factors also help to make this an intensely competitive field, so whether you’re a budding real estate agent or a seasoned professional, it’s essential to have a lead generation plan if you want your business to succeed.
Sitting down to write a business plan might sound like a complex task, but it’s particularly important in a job with so many variables. Getting your plan down on paper provides you with a clear document outlining your business goals for the coming year, giving you a deeper understanding of exactly what you want to achieve. Having a clear vision of where you intend to be in a year will help you to keep the bigger picture in mind when making daily decisions.
Start by defining your mission statement. This should cover the kind of real estate you’re responsible for, where you work, and why you are better than your competitors. All good plans also include a SWOT analysis, which is a way of looking at your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Identifying your own weak points will help you to understand which areas need improvement, while doing the same thing for your competitors will highlight any gaps in the current marketplace.
Once you have a clear vision and understanding of opportunities and obstacles, you can start to set yourself some goals. Goals should all be SMART: that is, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. “Corner the market in the most expensive neighbourhood of my city” is not a SMART goal. However, “be responsible for 45% of the properties being sold in the most expensive neighbourhood of my city by March 2015” is.
Making a plan for customer acquisition is the final and most important step in any lead generation-focussed business plan. Draw on your vision, goals, and SWOT analysis to figure out where you should market yourself. Is there a local newspaper that’s specific to the area you’re targeting? Are there any upcoming conferences where you could meet potential customers? How about throwing your own event? Business will inevitably pick up and slow down at various points in the year, so ensure that your plan allows for quiet periods and has everything ready to snap into action during peak season.
The best business plans are reviewed and renewed regularly, so remember to put a note in your diary to do so in a year, six months, or three months, depending on how long or short term your goals are.
If you have hopes of developing your career in real estate, a position with Engel & Völkers could give you the expert support and training you need to impress clients and expand your business. As one of the leaders in the high-end property market, Engel & Völkers agents work in residential sales, property rentals, commercial properties, and yachting. Our international network offers opportunities all over the world – just visit E&V Careers for more information.