As a real estate agent, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of closed deals, open houses, and showing properties. But if you're not careful, you can quickly fall behind the competition. One way to stay ahead of the game is to have a solid business plan that sets clear goals and outlines a strategy for achieving them.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents make common mistakes that can derail their business planning efforts. This blog post will discuss the top 13 mistakes real estate agents make in business planning.
- Not Spending Enough Time Looking in the Mirror.
One of real estate agents' most common mistakes is failing to spend enough time looking in the mirror. By this, we mean taking the time to assess your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and a business. This self-reflection is essential for setting realistic goals and creating a plan to help you achieve them.
If you're unsure where to start, consider conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). This will help you identify your areas of opportunity so you can focus your energies on things that will have the most significant impact.
- Thinking Only One Year Out and Not With the End Goal in Mind.
Another mistake real estate agents make is thinking only one year out when they should be thinking long-term. When developing your business plan, it's vital to have an end goal in mind—something to strive for beyond simply closing a certain number of deals or making a certain amount of commission income.
What do you want your business to look like five years from now? Ten years from now? What sort of legacy do you want to leave? Answering these questions will help you develop measurable goals that you can work towards over time.
- Not Reflecting on the Year That You Just Had.
Real estate is a fast-paced industry, and it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind without taking a step back to reflect on your progress over a year. At the end of each year, take some time to review your business plan and see how well you did in meeting your goals. Did you hit your targets?
If not, why? What obstacles got in your way? An honest assessment of your successes and failures will help you tweak your business plan moving forward so you can achieve even greater success in the future.
- Not Breaking the Goal Down Based on Seasonality and Looking at Your Goal Gap Weekly at a Minimum.
Many real estate agents make the mistake of failing to break their goals down based on seasonality. The real estate market ebbs and flows with the seasons, so it's important to set different goals for each quarter or month if necessary.
For example, if you're trying to close 10 deals per month, that may be realistic in the spring and summer but considerably more difficult during slower periods like wintertime. Adjusting your goals based on seasonality will help ensure that you're always working towards achievable targets.
Your goal gap is the difference between where you are now and where you want to be. Keeping track of your goal gap can help you adjust your business plan to stay on course. Unfortunately, many real estate agents only look at their goal gap once a month or less. If you want to be successful, you need to be looking at your goal gap weekly.
That way, you can take corrective action quickly if necessary. For example, if you realize that you're not on track to meet your quarterly sales goals, you can adjust your marketing budget or increase your sales efforts.
- Not Being Committed to the Plan.
This is probably the most common mistake agents make when they fail to commit to the plan they create. A business plan is only as good as the actions taken to achieve it. You'll never reach your goals if you make a plan and then forget about it.
Remember, a business plan is a living document—it should be updated and referenced regularly to ensure that you're on track.
- Overlooking Operational Challenges.
Another mistake agents make is failing to think about the operational challenges that will occur with a new production level. When you're creating your business plan, consider how you will handle an increase in clientele and transactions.
Will you need to hire additional staff? How will you manage your time? By thinking about these operational challenges ahead of time, you can be prepared to handle them when they arise.
If you want to discover the other 7 mistakes agents make in business planning, you can read Part 2 of this series here. Also, be sure to check out our ClarityNOW podcast series for other valuable tips on building your real estate empire.