A real estate business plan smooths out the roller coaster of real estate business

What are your real estate marketing opportunities for 2023? Will inflation change people’s plans? Will prices stabilize? Could politics create more or less stability? How will these things affect your business? It’s time to prepare your 2023 real estate business plan!

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The Real Estate Business Plan

Discover Your Business Again

Each year we provide an annual Excel/Sheets tool to help you create a business plan. Our 2023 planning tool contains…

  • Number summaries, including income from sides, marketing budget, and expenses.
  • SWOT and other business analysis to identify 2023 opportunities and threats.
  • Questions about your business goals, purpose, and unique selling positioning.
  • Detailed marketing analysis.

The planning tool will show you what actions to take in 2023 to achieve your income goals.

“Wait, why am I doing this?”

Goal, goals, goals

You’re eager to get started on your business plan. But before jumping into the numbers and strategies, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Think about what drives you, not just your business.

How do you keep going when the going gets tough? What gets you up in the morning filled with purpose? Which values do you hold most dear?

Start your plan with your dreams

For example, imagine you have a goal to “make $200,000 this year.” Why $200,000? Are you raising your income so you can start a family? Do you need to build your kids’ college account? Is it important for you to retire in the tropics? Will $200,000 make your father proud? Is $200,000 what you need to meet your obligations? Whatever the reason, it’s your reason, and it’s extremely important to you.

Those dreams, values, and life goals are what drive and motivate you. The clearer you are about them, the more dedicated you’ll be to your business plan.

10-5-3-1 Year Goal-Setting Exercise

If you’re looking for a life goals process to guide your business planning, my favorite is called 10-5-3-1 Year Goal-Setting. Here are the simple steps:

1. Block out time & settle in

Grab pen & paper (goal planning is best done on real paper), then settle in a comfortable place with no distractions. Block out the time so you’re not disturbed. Prepare to spend time in your imagination. This is dream time, not numbers time.

2. Brainstorm life in 2033

By the way, if you did this exercise last year, then you can pull it out and review what you said for last year’s future picture.

  • Brainstorm about your life in ten years. Start by stating how old you are ten years from now, using the present tense. (“I’m 43 years old.” “I’m 61 years old.”) This puts you in the right frame of mind.
  • Then describe each of the following items in detail ten years from now, using the present tense again: Your house, family, closest relationships, work, income/finances, car, body, and mental health. This is the dream picture of your life in ten years. You can also carry this out 15 or even 20 years if you like. This process of imagining can take minutes, hours, or even days for some people.
  • Convert each of your dream images into concrete goals in the present tense: For example, In ten years … “I own a house in the tropics.” “I am a beautiful, fit 50 year old woman.”  “I look at my husband with love every day.” It’s up to you, based on where you want to be in ten years.

3. Repeat for life in 2028 (5 years), 2026 (3 years), and 2024 (1 year)

Follow the same process outlined in step #2 above, working backwards from the next 5, 3, and 1 year. You’ll discover the closer in time, the more specific your goals become.

4. Convert your 1-year goals into action steps

Finally, take your 1-year goals and break each into objectives and action steps. Below are some thoughts about creating meaningful action steps.

Toss your goals into the wood chipper

Have you ever seen a wood chipper? It’s a simple machine. You toss large chunks of tree into the hopper at one end, and sharp teeth instantly grind it into a flying column of wood chips out the other end.

Imagine you have a big goal chipper instead of wood chipper. When you toss your goals into the hopper, a bunch of actions come out the other end. The wood chips are the constituent parts that made up the tree, just as actions are the constituent parts that make up your goals.

Here’s how you can break a goal down into the details so they are manageable. Under every goal, there are an increasing number of details the further you drill down, as illustrated in the pyramid here:

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time!

(As the old joke goes.) To accomplish a goal, first break it into more manageable objectives. Objectives are mini-goals that contribute to the primary goal.

For instance, if your goal is to get 30 listings this year, objectives could include: create 30 ready-to-go listing packages, practice your presentation, start a neighborhood farm, etc.

There’s no hard and fast rule about when something is a goal vs. an objective. Starting a neighborhood farm might be a goal for you, or an objective.

After breaking a goal into objectives, next break the objectives into discrete tasks.

For instance, if the objective is to create 30 ready-to-go listing packages, tasks may include gathering example listing packages, analyzing them, deciding what goes into yours, printing materials for your own presentation, and so on.

Brainstorm, Prioritize, & Plan Your Tasks

A good way to identify tasks associated with completing an objective is to brainstorm them. Make a list, without worrying about what comes first, second, etc. Once you’ve thought everything through, then you can prioritize the tasks in the proper order of execution.

Finally, map your tasks to a calendar. By what date do you want to have the objective completed? Work from that date, deciding when will you do each task so your objective gets done on time.

Reverse-engineer your goals

If you don’t know the best way to complete a goal, you might be able to reverse-engineer it using a mind trick.

Reverse engineering allows you to see how something was built by taking it apart piece by piece. It’s easier to see how something was done by reverse engineering it than to create it from scratch the first time.

To reverse-engineer a goal, imagine you’ve already completed the goal, then ask yourself how you did it.

For example, suppose your income goal from your real estate business plan is to make $200,000. Imagine it’s the end of the year, and you successfully made $200,000. Soak in the win. Next ask yourself, “How did I do it? How did I make $200,000?” Then describe what you did. “Well, first I did this, then that, etc.”

As I said, it’s a mind trick, but it might work to help you identify tasks.

A Mind Trick

Here’s an example many of us can relate to: Imagine your goal is to “lose 20 pounds in 2023.” You know what you need to do to lose weight…you need to exercise and stop overeating. But how do you execute that strategy? You reverse-engineer it to find the best approach for you.

Tell yourself what you did: “When I lost 20 pounds, i exercised 3 times a day for ten minutes each time, using my trampoline for ten minutes, my stair stepper for ten minutes, and yoga for ten minutes. I also did a lot of research to craft a menu plan i actually liked. I made a game of it using a weight loss thermometer.”

Subconsciously you are picking tasks that work for you. It’s not a cure or magic pill, but it is another way of helping yourself move in the right direction.

A Real Estate Business Plan + Life Goals = Success

Life and business goals go hand-in-hand. However, even if you only have time to fill out the real estate business plan by itself, you’ll still be miles ahead of agents who do no planning at all. We designed our planning tool so it can stand alone, too, making it ideal for independent agents who want a living, practical real estate marketing road map for the year 2023.

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Linda Schneider
Linda Schneider

Linda Schneider, a real estate marketer, author, and former agent for 30 years. She thrives on helping agents make money using creative and affordable prospecting tools and real estate newsletters. Get her latest book, Door to Door Real Estate Prospecting on Amazon.com.