Whenever you set out on a new path, it's wise to take a road map with you. This is equally true if you're beginning a career as a realtor, except this time your cartographic guide needs to come more in the form of a real estate business plan. Without it, you might find yourself taking a detour into a market already saturated with competition, or even veering off course financially. Here are six essential steps to incorporate into a bulletproof business plan for real estate agents, so you can navigate the route ahead with ease.
Six steps to follow in your real estate agent business plan
1. Define your professional goals
Where do you see yourself in one year? If this question draws a blank, the first stage of your real estate agent business plan is to create an executive summary for yourself. This means formulating a list of personal and professional goals, as well as calculating both the income you expect to see in the next year versus the income you're aiming for. The former needs to meet your current living expenses, while the latter should fit the life you want to be able to maintain. Outline the area of expertise you wish to build upon, whether it’s general sales and negotiation or a certain type of real estate like luxury condominiums.
2. Get to know your market
After defining your area, it's time to fully assess and acquaint yourself with your target market. This means knowing the length of time a property sits on the market before renting or selling, as well as the average rental or sales prices. Equally, find out more about your location's demographic, whether it’s young families, tech industry professionals or international retirees.
3. Network with peers and prospects
Although your mentor is an extremely useful asset, you will need to glean contacts and further insight from a wider range of industry professionals. Make sure to network with other agents in your area as part of your real estate agent business plan and don't be afraid to ask questions and listen critically to discussions regarding your target market. At this time, you can also start building your sphere of influence contact list, which includes family, friends and business associates and will serve as your core prospects at the beginning.
4. Write an outline of your expenses
A realistic budget is an essential component of any new real estate agent business plan. You may have already factored in expenses including your courses and licensing fees, but have you included desk fees, marketing costs, and car insurance in your budget? Don’t forget the price of advertising and transportation either, and make sure to also consider your marketing software and website maintenance.
5. Outline a lead generation strategy
With your sphere of influence list already in hand, it's time to build upon and generate warm leads. Growing your business from this baseline means formulating a specific lead generation strategy: this could mean sending your network an announcement regarding your recently launched career and generating word-of-mouth recommendations or new leads among your existing network. Another strategy for your realtor business plan is to find an untapped niche within your market and advertise your specialised set of skills to this group of clients.
6. Create a realistic marketing plan
Finally, every business plan for real estate agents needs to include ways of spreading the word beyond the limits of your contact list. Create a marketing strategy that uses a strong online and social media presence and put together a corresponding budget. However, keep in mind that nothing replaces good face-to-face contact when it comes to generating leads, so inundate your calendar with socialising and networking events to allow your name to circulate organically.
Engel & Völkers offers high-quality training and resources for new realtors: you can read more advice for first-year agents here. Finally, remember to keep your realtor business plan fluid, so that you can track results and adjust your strategy where necessary.