Best 10 Step Real Estate Agent Business Plan Template [FREE]
Business Plan Template and PDF for New and Growing Real Estate Agents
Goal setting and plan development for real estate agents
Having a dialed in business plan and model is one of the most important parts of being a real estate agent. Have you ever woken up in the morning as a real estate agent and not known what you were going to do that day? You had a plan at the start of the year, but you just aren’t sure what happened to that motivation you had when you first started your year (or career if you are brand new to real estate).
A real estate agent business plan is your personal guide to keep you on track as you move through your year in real estate. In this plan, you will set goals and reverse engineer how you will achieve them. Reverse engineering your business plan is one of the most powerful things you can do to get to the next level.
Reverse engineering your business plan is one of the most powerful things you can do to get to the next level.
Reverse engineering in real estate is taking where you want to go and making sense of “how” you will get there. It’s commonly said that “a goal without a plan is just a dream”. If your production goal is $100,000 this year, let’s try to formulate an actionable plan to get you there.
By setting and following this plan, your chances of success are exponentially better.
A word of warning: you will not always want to follow this plan! There will be days when a little internal voice tells you it's alright to skip today. Don't listen to that voice. Stick to the plan and the plan will work for you. Remember that real estate is a long-term game and you need to maintain execution throughout the year.
Focus on the daily tasks and not the end result.
If you reverse engineer your goal down to daily tasks, all you need to do is wake up and accomplish your daily tasks!
Let’s dive into the plan!
What you need: Previous year's income/expenses and the number of people in your database. No worries if you are brand new and don't have this yet! If you are a beginner real estate agent looking for a business plan, this will work perfectly, you just need the number of people in your database
There are various business plans out there all with their features and benefits. For example, Icenhower (The Real Estate Trainer) has a great one-page business plan. Also, for new real estate agents, FitSmallBusiness has a great resource and NAR has one as well.
Rev Real Estate School’s Business Plan focuses closely on your database and meeting new people in order to accomplish your goals.
Step 1: Find Your Reason For Real Estate Success
In this step, you will look at the reasons for wanting to be successful. This step always seems so simple and most agents quickly move on to the numbers section, however, this is the most important part of the plan. In fact, it’s the reason you are selling real estate!
If you haven’t read “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, make sure it is on your reading list! This book explains this step perfectly.
A quick note, make sure you are honest with the reasons you are looking for success. Commonly, we default to the easy answer saying we “want to help people”. Now this should be on your list of reasons why you sell real estate but don’t forget about the other important items
Examples: To reach financial freedom. To provide for my family. To fund my hobbies. To go travelling next winter. To care for my parents. To buy a new car. To improve the real estate industry. To help people reach their real estate goals
Step 2: Income and Expenses From Last Year
In this section of the real estate agent business plan, you will look at the previous year. This can be a real eye-opener for agents. Especially when they calculate their expenses for the year. One of the reasons for agents failing in real estate is not planning their expenses in relation to their income.
It is too easy to sign up for another piece of marketing software or lead gen system that promises you more deals than you can handle. This isn’t to say that choosing the right programs isn’t wise, in fact, we have some of our favourite tools for you to browse on Rev Real Estate School.
When calculating your expenses, we recommend categorizing in detail, however, for a simple business plan, we recommend sorting expenses into Operating, Listing, and Marketing & Growth Expenses.
These are separated so we aren’t just tasked “reducing expenses”. Might as well just shut off the lights and try and play darts. How can you know where to start? For simplicity, these three categories, at least show us where we can tighten our grip on expenses.
Operating Expenses: These are the costs of running your business. Examples: cell phone, brokerage and board dues, car, insurance, computer, etc.
Listing Expenses: These are the costs to list a property. It’s best to keep these separate from marketing expenses as you may not want to cut out listing marketing costs before you cut other costs. Examples: brochures, listing photos, signage, 3D-tour, etc
Marketing & Growth: These are costs to grow your business. The can be some cross-over between Operating and Marketing & Growth depending on how you run your business, but in this category are items that could be removed, and your business would still run. Examples: website, CRM, additional training, online lead ads, postcards to your database, farming expenses, etc
Annual Gross Commission Income (GCI):
Total Annual Expenses:
(If you don't have a full year, you can take the average of your months in the industry and extrapolate)
Marketing & Growth Expenses:
Net Income = GCI - Total Expenses:
Step 3: Expense Review
This is your chance to look at those bank statements for the last year (or the time you have been in business) and question each one of those items. If you don’t have an accounting and expense tracking tool, we recommend QuickBooks. Their clear reporting style, ease of use, and very reasonable price make them a great option for real estate agents.
No worries if you do not have QuickBooks or a similar program, just grab your bank statements and go through line by line to see if there are any expenses that can be cut.
Don’t underestimate the power of reducing expenses when it comes to your real estate business plan. After years in the real estate industry, I still didn’t have a proper way of tracking my expenses. When I finally got a handle on where my commissions were going, I was able to increase my net income substantially.
Look for certain expenses that can be cut, and, maybe, account for known future expenses.
Step 4: Playing with The Numbers
This is the fun part! In this section, you can play with the numbers and find a perfect balance of where you would like to end up this year.
In this plan, there are a few assumptions to bear in mind.
Ideally, you want to focus on households (vs. people), but if you are more comfortable working with a number of people, that is fine too.
Each household/person in your database is worth approximately $1,000 GCI to you. This is highly dependent on how you interact with your database and the market conditions. If the market conditions are slow, you may wish to tone this back to $800 “g”. If you are rock solid on your database marketing, maybe you increase this to $1,200 in “g”
For every 25 people you meet, 1 person enters your database.
You work 250 days (5 days/week for 50 weeks)
A person in your database is someone you could pick up the phone and call right now. If that number is low, no worries! It just means we need to work on adding names to your database and strengthening weak ties in your database.
Let's get planning! Note, a person in your database is someone you could pick up the phone and call right now.
a) Annual Gross Commission Income Goal (GCI):
b) Average Commission Per Transaction:
c) Number of Deals (a/b):
d) Number of People/Households in Database:
e) Number of People/Households in Database Required (a/1,000):
(This will depend on how you interact with your database)
f) Number of People/Households Needed in Database (e-d):
(If this is negative then you are set for a great year. See the important note in Step 5)
g) Number of People You Need to Meet This Year (f*25):
(For every 25 people you meet, approximately 1 will enter your database)
Step 5: Meeting New People
In this section, you will calculate the number of people you need to meet every day to reach your goal! Fun, right?!
Real estate requires conversations. If you are in a slump, one of the simplest ways to change this just increases your number of conversations!
The number of people you will need to meet every work day is approximately (g/250):
(250 days is working 5 days/week for 50 weeks)
Aim to talk to 10 people per day for each person you need to meet. For example, if you need to meet 1 new person a day, aim for 10 conversations a day. If you need to meet 3 a day, then you will need to aim for 30 conversations a day. If you had a negative number for "f" then always shoot for a minimum of 10 people/day! 10 Conversations per day should be the minimum for all agents.
If "f" was a negative number then your main focus should be on improving how you interact with your database. If the above number seems high, then you will really need to focus on meeting new people this year.
Step 6: Streams of Business
Now that you have a handle on how many people you need to meet every day and the number of conversations you are going to aim for, it’s time to focus on how you will meet these people.
The beautiful thing about real estate is there are endless ways you can meet people and add them to your database. Below there are some examples to choose from, however, we recommend also thinking of ways you meet people that is unique to you and your network. If you love cars, then forming relationships with those that love cars can be an amazing source of business (plus these people always want larger garages). If you are passionate about a vegan lifestyle, then building relationships in this community can be a source of business.
Also, there can be some overlap. For example, you might be geographical farming, so you will be door knocking, working social media, and meeting people at events, however, the stream of business is geo-farming.
We recommend shooting for 4-5 streams of business to keep your pipeline full.
SOI/Past Clients, Social Media, FSBO, Geographic Farming, Demographic Farming, Online Leads, Open Houses, B2B Referrals (business contacts), Networking Associations, Builders, Buyer/Seller Seminars, Investors/Landlords, Relocation Companies, Door Knocking, Paid Leads, Sports, Clubs/Associations, Attorneys/Lender, Commercial Agents, Out of Town Agents Referrals, Giving/Charity Efforts
Step 7: Plan For Each Stream
Now it’s time to break down each of your 4-5 streams of business and determine your plan for each of these.
If you are a brand new real estate agent or you have joined part of the way through the year, just fill in a plan for the remainder of the months of the calendar year. That way you can start a fresh business plan next December.
Make sure your plan is challenging but achievable. Like an elastic band, you want it to stretch you but not break you.
Step 8: Plan For Each Stream
After you have put together your desired plan for each of your streams of business, take some time to budget for each of those activities.
If you are a new real estate agent, focus on activities vs. services. Use the additional time you have to choose activities that are free and focus less on the expensive marketing campaigns. As you build up your business, you may wish to increase your spending, but in the beginning, leverage the time you have.
Step 9: Plan Your Perfect Days
Real estate all comes down to skillset, mindset, and consistency. Every day in real estate can be different but we highly recommend having certain non-negotiables in your day.
Your Golden Hours should always be protected. Golden Hours is your time for prospecting, reaching out to new people, connecting with your database, and writing handwritten notes. These are usually the most challenging hours of the day but they will also lead to the majority of your income. Perfecting your website has a time and a place (and is important), however, your Golden Hours will really move the needle on your bank account most.
We recommend having 2 versions of your perfect day. That way you can decide which day of the week will be a Day 1 and Day 2.
Step 10: Let’s Wrap It Up
Congrats, you are on the last step of your business plan. In this step, you take a true look at yourself and write down possible reasons why you will succeed or come up short.
Reasons for coming up short usually comes down to habits, consistency, and lacking focus. Of course, there can be other reasons, but these are the common words put in this category. This section will show you exactly what you need to watch this year.
The final section is a reminder for yourself to keep going when times get challenging, and they will.
If we fall off our plan, it’s ok, forgive yourself but get right back after it as soon as possible.
You can do it!
Congrats on completing your real estate agent business plan! Remember that real estate comes down to consistency and your business plan is here to keep you on track. Take your time going through your business plan a few times and playing with the numbers. Do some further research on your streams of business, then commit to the plan. Don’t spend months and months thinking about the plan. Commit to it and put it right into action using the reverse engineering techniques.
As you move through this year, reward yourself for your efforts. There is a lot that we cannot control in this world, but your effort is controllable.
Finally, know that success feels great but it’s not a straight line. We need to endure hard days, weeks, months, and years and we should focus on enjoying the journey throughout our career. There will be challenges and pain (See Quote Below), but pushing through this discomfort is where the growth occurs.
“What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life - Mark Manson
Follow Up Reading:
Do you currently have a business plan? Let me know in the comments if you use a business plan and what is the most important part of the business plan for you!