There are two ways to approach this.
You could create a real estate business plan to avoid failure. Many agents go that route and find some level of success. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But there’s another way. You could create a business plan, not just because it reduces the risk of failure, but because it maximizes your growth potential.
What follows is an invitation to do just that – to go through the process of refining intentionality, elevating accountability, and igniting motivation so you can be more productive. Year after year.
What if 2024 was the year you generated more leads and closed more deals than ever before? It’s possible. But only if you have a plan to follow.
The Real Estate Business Plan Checklist
To provide the big-picture view, here are the action items you’ll need to include in your plan for this year:
- Note learnings from 2022
- Calculate your expenses
- Set goals
- Create a marketing plan
- Develop a system for tracking your progress
We’re going to take a close look at each. But if you want to hop on the fast track, download the 2024 Real Estate Business Plan and you can get started right away. This free, interactive guide from Market Leader covers everything on that checklist and more. Plus, you’ll get downloadable templates for calculating expenses, setting goals, planning your marketing, and tracking progress.
5 Year-End Reflection Questions To Consider
Sometimes you have to look back before you can move forward. Use the questions below as a way to reflect on last year’s performance so you can identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
- Which aspects of my real estate business occupied most of my time and attention last year?
- Which aspects of my business performed best last year? (For example, maybe you received many referrals, responded quickly to leads, or executed a strong social media campaign.)
- Based on last year’s performance, which aspects of my business are most in need of improvement?
- What are the top two or three mistakes I made last year that I need to learn from for 2024?
- What would “success” look like specifically for my business in 2024?
Calculate Your Expenses
Believe it or not, tracking your expenses is an important prerequisite to maximizing your gross commission income for 2024. If you have the right expense-tracking system in place, you’ll get more of your hard-earned income back at the end of the year.
Don’t forget to track all of your deductible business expenses. You may be surprised to learn about the many ways you can reduce the amount you owe to the IRS. For example, you might even be eligible to deduct expenses related to software, marketing, advertising, and lead generation. Refer to IRS Publication 535 for details and be sure to consult with your CPA or financial advisor so you don’t miss out on any money-saving tips.
In the meantime, check out this quick guide full of real estate tax deductions and tips.
Here Are Two of the Best Ways To Track Your Expenses
- Use an app. There are many free and low-cost options that allow you to categorize and track your expenses on the go. For example, check out Spendee or Dollarbird. They’re both simple and user-friendly, and they both have options to get you started for less than $5 per month.
- Download the free “Expense Tracker” template in Market Leader’s 2024 Real Estate Business Plan. It provides space for you to calculate your personal living expenses and all of your various business expenses all in one place.
Set Your Real Estate Business Goals
Start by identifying your average commission per transaction. Multiply the median listing price in your area by your commission percentage rate.
Once you’ve calculated your expenses and you’ve figured out roughly how much you’ll bring in from each transaction, you’ll be informed enough to establish an attainable income goal for 2024.
From there you can determine how many transactions you’ll need for the year.
The Formula: A ÷ B = C
A. Your 2024 Income Goal
B. Estimated Commission Per Transaction
C. Transactions Needed for the Year
To drill down even farther, check out Market Leader’s free Lead Calculator. Simply punch in the numbers you’re aiming for, and the calculator will tell you how many transactions and leads you’ll need across all lead sources to reach your income goal.
Create a Marketing Plan
Maybe you’re on your way to “top-performer” status, but you don’t have a great plan for getting more clients and increasing your gross commission income. Or maybe you have a plan, but it’s not working.
Here’s a quick outline sketch of what that would look like in practical terms.
- Build your brand. Establish a brand identity that includes a mission statement, vision statement, and a value proposition.
- Define your target market. You can’t be everything to everyone. If you try, your brand will end up blending in instead of standing out. So take the time to identify who fits within your audience.
- Collect data. When you’re armed with statistics, analytics, and insights, you’re better able to set goals, track progress, and make your success repeatable. Without data, your marketing efforts are more likely to be a complete gamble, if not a guessing game.
- Get marketing automation tools. With Market Leader Professional, for example, you get a customizable, lead-generating website and a fully integrated CRM. Plus, you can automate new listing alerts and even create newsletters and content pieces like postcards, flyers, and video-enabled mobile-responsive emails.
Track Your Progress
Why is performance-tracking necessary?
- It’s a way of holding yourself accountable to the goals you set.
- It provides you with the feedback you need to make strategic adjustments.
- It enables you to create new benchmarks for future goals.
- It takes the guesswork out of your professional self-reflection.
- It’s the most efficient way to spot what’s working well and what needs improvement.
- It helps you prioritize and keeps you focused on what matters most.
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated. It can be as easy as creating a basic table in your favorite word processor or spreadsheet software, writing down all of your goals in the left column, and using the rest of the columns to note your performance each month (or week).