Business Planning

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As we approach the end of the year our minds turn to the New Year and with it our hopes for a better 2019. This year particularly so when we consider the slow economy coupled with devastating natural disasters and the closure of a major industry. The New Year offers hope and a chance to begin anew. The government has signalled that the economy is turning around and has predicted GDP growth in the vicinity of 2%.

But these hopes are only wishes and dreams without proper plans to capture the potential growth. Any business, including your Real Estate practice is as good as its planning. A written annual business plan forces you to think realistically, objectively and unemotionally about your year ahead. It makes it easier to identify and communicate objectives and strategies to partners and associates and allocate resources to where they will yield the greatest return.

Your annual business plan should start with taking a realistic look at three elements:

  • A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to your practice. Keep it concise and tight, no long winded essays.
  • The key factors that are driving the local environment (GDP growth, Social changes as they relate to your practice, Technology changes)
  • Your Strategic Direction (Which segments of the market are you targeting and how are you perceived in this target market)

Having carried out this analysis of the present and future year situation you are now ready to list a set of key business opportunities. Each opportunity must be addressed with a specific program of activities. The list of opportunities must therefore be transformed to a list of programs.

A typical program of activities could be ‘Rental of Office Spaces’. This is the name of this program and there are a number of activities associated with it. Each program must include the following activities:

  • Gathering of Leads
  • Generating Listings
  • Developing a Network

Depending on the program there may also be additional activities. Take for instance if you conceptualize a program to go after ‘First Home Owners’ you may wish to add an activity like:

  • Gather competitive details for mortgages to first home buyers

Your plan will now consist of about 5 Programs, each program targeting a different sub-segment of your target market(s) segment(s).

Ideally you should then stagger your programs over the coming year, for instance one program ideally suited to the first quarter, while another should be in quarter 4. Each program must be accompanied by a budget to execute the program.

Since each program attacks a sub-segment of your overall target segment, you can build your business in each sub-segment by planning two marketing communication campaigns that communicate the benefits to the targets of choosing you as their Real Estate Agent of choice.

The first campaign should ideally run for the first half of the year and the second the second half. An example should look like the figure 1 below.

Target Segment Programs Activities Campaign 1 Campaign 2
Jan- June July – Dec
The Top 20% Earners in the North Western Peninsular Highlighting Integrity & Character and Confidentiality Highlighting Network and Connections
1 2nd Holiday Home Leads
Listings
Network
2 Rental of Commercial Properties
3 New Moving Up Home
4 Home for the newly married child
5 Invest in a Rental Property

 

Figure 1

Each activity can be further broken down into tasks. Ideally you should aim to complete your plan before the end of the year. Armed with such a detailed plan you are ready to roll out with an aggressive, confident approach come January 2019.

Best Wishes on your planning and the growth of your practice in 2019.

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