How To Make A Real Estate Business Plan – Starting a real estate business is not for the faint of heart. What other industry requires you to call dozens of prospects every day but only close five deals in the first year (if you’re lucky)? It is a common saying that 3 out of 4 real estate agents fail within the first five years. But for those who have what it takes, starting your own real estate business can absolutely land you the seven-figure job of your dreams. Here’s a practical look at how to start your own real estate business, plus advice on how to avoid the mistakes that sap your growth. Know Before You Go For many new agents, real estate is their second, third or even fourth career. You liked the idea of ”being your own boss” while making more money than you did at your last job, but freedom has a completely different meaning for an employee and a business owner. The question is… who are you? The first thing you need to know about starting a real estate business is that yes, it is a business. Whether you’re a solo agent or new to the team, if you have dreams of beating the average realtor salary ($44,507 per year), you need to start thinking like a business owner—and that means planning. How to start a real estate business Get a CRM. Create your ideal personal plan. Write a real estate business plan. Create a consistent marketing plan. Get the website. Look consistently. Education leads. Have good time management. 1. Get a CRM. At the end of the day, the business is a system. Barry Jenkins is the #2 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Team Broker-Owner in the United States. He is also a person who hates inefficiency. “To a fault, I like to simplify things. The reason my business is so successful is because it was built on the basic principle of leverage.” To put this principle to life, Barry uses his CRM as a veritable lead conversion machine. CRM is a customer relationship management system that helps you organize your contacts and get useful information. With it, you can guide potential customers through relevant nurturing campaigns based on the lead source or automate the entire transaction process. This is incredibly helpful in real estate because the home buying process is so long with many different steps that are multiplied by many agents and even more leads and customers. Using CRM to achieve boss-level organization, Barry and his team sold 240 homes in 2017. And it’s not all about the frontend. Barry also uses his CRM to send automated onboarding data to new team members and keeps the business admin completely efficient so nothing important is ever missed. 2. Create your ideal personal plan. Before you can set the right financial goals for your business, you need clear financial goals for your life. Commissions are great, but – let’s face it – we all came into this business wanting something bigger and better than what we had. Whether it’s the 187-foot yacht of your dreams or being able to leave the office at 2pm to pick up the kids from school, take some time to think about what your ideal life would look like. Consider the following questions: When do you want to start working? When do you want to quit? How do you want to feel every day? How much money do you want to make? Do you want to retire at age 65? Paying for your children’s college in full? Find out how much you need to put aside each month to get there. It’s a lot easier to pick up the phone when you know exactly where your profits and commissions are going. 3. Write a real estate business plan. Now that you’ve put pen to paper to figure out exactly what your biggest paycheck-to-paycheck life looks like, it’s time to talk business. Start writing your real estate business plan and pay special attention to the things that set you apart from other businesses in your area. Think about it. This is where your personal and business identity can really come together to create magic that will bring you profit. Start with these questions: What does selling real estate mean to you, your potential customers, and even the world? What are the values and principles that guide your real estate business? How are they different from the neighborhood real estate business? What are three to five things that you will completely own in business? Who will take care of the rest? Even if you’re just looking to get rid of the administrative work by hiring your first virtual assistant, it’s important to create that grand vision to keep your team inspired and avoid repeating unproductive patterns. Recommended Resource: Free Business Plan Template Download 4. Create a consistent marketing plan. In the beginning, it was all about passing the licensing exam, choosing the most suitable brokerage, and building a database without coming across as “salesy” to friends and family in your sphere of influence (SOI). However, one of the biggest mistakes growers make is going back and staying as soon as the referrals start rolling in. Whether your dream is to become the next Facebook ad guru or a Zillow conversion master, the one thing you really need to know about marketing is that it’s the one part of your business that never sleeps. Let yourself be guided by these questions: What brings your unique approach and personality to your potential customers? What can you offer that no one else can? What are the latest buying, selling and pricing trends in your market? What are some creative ways to discuss these trends (including numbers) with potential customers? First, define your unique value proposition. This will drive all of your future marketing. Recommended Source: Marketing Plan Template Free Download 5. Get a website. 97% of all buyers now use the internet as part of their home search. This means that no matter how much local marketing you do, you need an internet presence to attract and engage potential customers online. It may cost a little money upfront, but a solid SEO-focused website is the foundation of success. Your site should allow you to integrate Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings and bring those leads directly into your CRM. Once you have this asset in place, you can start moving towards a consistent ging and social media strategy to generate more leads. 6. Prospect consistently. Shiny object syndrome is a big problem in real estate. But the most consistent agent always wins, so pick your search system and stick with it. In the early days, it’s never a bad idea to optimize your SOI. In fact, Atlanta-based Graham Seeby Group turned a list of just 279 contacts into $90 million in home sales in four years by consistently marketing to their past clients and the industry. Co-founder Justin Seeby puts it this way: “We focused on ‘mets’ in our database and it was amazing how much transaction volume we started doing right from the start! For example, we did a $2 million sale from a couple I hadn’t spoken to in 13 years. I sent them a card because I was afraid to pick up the phone and call them. I didn’t know if they knew who I was. When they got the postcard, they called me. They ended up spending $1.2 million on a new house and sold the house for $800,000.” Justin’s prospecting strategy was based on a simple schedule of mail, email and phone calls. The winning system doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to be absolutely consistent. 7. Nurture leaders. When a potential customer contacts you, they expect to hear back. Mike Pannell is the master lead generator and leader behind Nu Home Source Realty. According to Mike, a tracking system is key to long-term lead conversion. “I tell my agents that 70% of people don’t buy for 180.5 days. If you wait for new leads to buy, you’ll only close 3%,” he says. “That will earn you enough money to survive, but your goal is six months and more. You have to watch to get to them; you have to build that pipeline to get to those people.” In addition to passion and website optimization, Mike also checks the competition to see what’s going on on the ground. “I sign up on a lot of different websites. I don’t give them a real name, but a real phone number,” he says. “And I can tell you that I don’t get a lot of calls.” Be the always-on agent and you’ll automatically beat the herd.
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