Forecast and Set Goals to Win: The Ultimate 2019 Business Plan

It’s time to get down to business. Literally. A better real estate business in 2019 is attainable, but not without the proper planning. This means leveraging sales forecasting, developing smart goals, and wrapping actionable strategies around them. Ready? Let’s go.

Creating Your Sales Forecast

In simple terms, this is just the way you predict your future sales based on your own sales history and some market factors thrown in too. Creating a sales forecast once a year gives you a baseline to measure up against. When you have a basis for comparison, it’s much faster and simpler to spot potential opportunities and problems, and act on them.

Step 1. Evaluate your 2018 Numbers

Go beyond transactions. Document how many new clients you averaged. Note what your average net profit per customer was. Were certain months particularly good, or were some slower? These are the types of metrics in your sales history that will help you develop a month-by-month forecast of the level of sales you can expect to achieve in the future

Step 2. Factor in Current Market Research

Make sure you’re staying current on market trends and reports to keep up with relevant research trends and predictions to factor into your forecast. For example, if your area is hot hot hot, factor in ”x% growth” over last year, or if you’re bracing yourself for some major shift, adjust accordingly! You want your forecast to be as realistic as possible.

Step 3. Consider Internal Business Shifts

Just as the market shifts from year to year, no doubt certain aspects of your business will too. Consider if your resources are growing or shrinking. Are you trying to cut back on marketing spend? Or, perhaps you’re planning on adding to your team. Be sure to factor these changes in.

Step 4. Make Your Calculations

Leverage forecasting software to make this very simple. (A quick search will draw up lots of free resources).

Remember: Be realistic with your forecast. It’s easy to get wrapped up in overly optimistic planning, but the point is to create very realistic goals. Once you’ve drafted up your forecast, get some consultations. Ask team members for their take and make sure you’re setting yourself up for success and can build some solid goals from your predictions.

First your history…

 

Average Sales Price: Average price of properties in your target market
Average Commission: Average commission percentage you’ll earn on transactions
Growth Rate: Annual growth rate you’d like in your income for the first three years
Close Rate: Percentage of leads you work that eventually transact

 

Now, to the future…

 

Target Income: Amount you’d like to earn in your first year before taxes
Gross Revenue: Total value of the transactions you need to close each year to meet your income goals
Yearly Transactions: Total transactions you’ll need to complete to meet your income goals
Leads: Number of leads you’ll need to work based on your close rate
Cost-per-lead: How much you can spend to reach each lead

 

And of course, don’t forget…
Expenses: Factor in things like licensing, website, MLS, phone, etc.

Setting Your Real Estate Goals for 2019

In order to achieve your goals, you’ve got to have them! Take the time to create meaningful goals that will help drive you forward in 2019. This means thinking it through, writing it down, and knowing why it’s a goal in the first place.

A helpful way to guide your goal-setting, is to follow the SMART goal methodology.

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timed

Putting your goals on paper is an exercise in clarification. It ensures you’re choosing something specific to work towards, and defining a timeline to achieve it. Displaying your goals can be motivating and inspiring too. Seeing them makes them real and spurs you to take action. It’s particularly helpful when you hit a roadblock, and you can see a reminder of what your purpose is, cut through the noise, and focus on what matters: taking an action that puts you closer towards your goal.

Create a custom goal template

Narrow Your Focus

The first step of a SMART goal is to keep it specific. What number are you trying to achieve in your business? This is the “front and center” goal for your year, the line in bold at the top of your business plan.

Need some ideas? Frame your focus around something like this:

  • Achieve X transactions this year
  • Reach $Xk in income this year
  • Generate X leads per month

For the sake of example let’s say hitting a certain level of income is your goal. Now we’ll figure out how to support it. If you’re hoping to achieve $Xk in income next year, you need to determine how many transactions you’ll need to achieve that number and cover all expenses.

Look back at past campaigns and the numbers in your forecast to see how many leads you will need to hit your goal. For example, if you average 25 unscrubbed leads and 10 qualified leads per sale, then calculate how many leads you need per month to fuel enough transactions to hit your goal income for the year.

Bob Sokoler of the Sokoler Medley Team, RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville Kentucky breaks his team’s goal down into a simple equation like this. The goal for his team is to hit 30 to 50 leads per sales associate per month. He found this to be the sweet spot for what his agents can effectively service, and the team’s minimum goal is 450 leads per month to support his 15 agents. He knows the development and success of his team depends on establishing a solid lead source, and uses a variety of tools including BoomTown to get there.

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If you’re working with a team, it’s critical to make your expectations clear from the start. Your team should know exactly what the top priorities are so they can hone in on their own role in the overall goal and know what’s expected and how to stay on track. Establishing operational processes will keep workloads streamlined, expectations clear, and everyone accountable.

Build a Business Plan Around Your 2019 Goals

Real Estate Agent Motivate

The next step now is to outline how you’ll actually go about accomplishing your goal, and building a real business plan.

This plan needs to answer:

  • What are your areas of focus to reach your goal
  • What are you going to change in order to reach your goal
  • What are the steps you and your team need to take to reach your goal

Lead Generation Real Estate Plan

Define your Target Audience

The first step in any solid business plan is to look at your external audience. Asses what customers you’re trying to serve. Figure out what type of personas suit your skill set and your service offering, and how to reach and engage them. Do your homework and get some solid statistics around your target audience (think: first-time homebuyers, luxury clients, a certain neighborhood, etc.)

The more you can drill down on your ideal customer and how to reach them, the more effective you can be with your marketing material, and the more efficient you can be with your marketing dollars. This will help you determine your areas of focus to reach your goal.

Real Estate Lead Generation

Get Your Team On Board

Next you need to consider your internal audience. What will really get your team on board with your goals and empower them to hit the ground running?

Could incentives be the ticket to really motivating your team?

Reaching team goals on the Duncan Duo team of RE/MAX Dynamic in Tampa, Fla., means that Andrew Duncan rewards his entire 40-person team with an all-inclusive trip to destination cities across the United States. The whole team, sales associates and support staff, is motivated to reach . Last year, the Duncan Duo team averaged 28 transactions per sales associate and earned an all-inclusive trip to Los Angeles. This type of incentive is a form of actionable accountability that motivates sales agents and support staff to reach their full potential.

Perhaps your team needs better tools at their disposal to boost the pipeline and help them build better relationships. When your goals are bigger you need to feed your agents more opportunities and they need to be able to leverage technology to streamline their workload and prioritize their time. The right platform can provide you with the tools to operationalize your processes and save major time with working your database.

Real Estate Software for Teams

Lead Generation Plan

Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Build in the relevant business best practices that will remove barriers to sales and increase activity: more calls, better conversion rates, increased training and effective incentives. If you’re lost trying to decide the best way to boost your business and hit those goals, here is a list of strategic objectives to get your moving in the right direction:

  1. Geographic Farming

  2. Working Seller Listings (Here’s Tom Ferry’s take)

  3. Social Media Marketing

  4. SEO and Optimization

  5. Cold-Calling and Door Knocking

  6. Flyers, Post-Cards, and other Offline Marketing tactics

  7. Email Marketing

  8. Paid Lead Generation and Facebook Advertising

Real Estate Lead Generation

Track and Measure What’s Working (And What’s Not)

You can’t improve what you don’t measure! When you’re effectively tracking your efforts, it’s easy to make adjustments where you need to and keep on track for success. Reviewing your plan as a whole should be done at least quarterly, but on a monthly basis, use tracking forms or a performance dashboard to record your activity, calculate the results, and compare them to your forecast and your business plan.

When you’ve outlined your yearly strategy in your business plan, use this as a guide to get granular and create monthly, weekly, and daily game plans around each strategy. This will keep you focused on the most dollar-productive activities to help you reach your goal.

Here are some good things to consider using in your game plans:

Daily:
Make ____ contacts

 

Weekly:
Send ______ personal notes
Add _______ people to your database
Contact _____ FSBOs
Contact ______ Expired Listings

 

Monthly:
Add ______people to your database

Hold ______ open houses monthly
Mail or email market updates to your SOI/past clients
Mail or email relevant info to your designated farm of ______ properties
Door knock/ door drop _________ houses
Take ____ past client to coffee, lunch, or drinks
Network with ____ B2B referrals

Real Estate Lead Generation

Power Your Strategy with the Right System

When you take the time to develop a forecast and set strategic goals against it, you’re looking at the big picture and building your bottom line.  You can’t set it and forget it though. Stay the course with activity-based sales techniques. Evaluate which  strategies are working and systemize them in your business. This makes the effective processes repeatable and gives you and your team a systematic and streamlined approach. The market is always changing to.  Read industry news and reports, attend conferences, work with a coach, and do whatever you can to continue to educate yourself and stay on top of the game.

When you build a strategy, consistently reassess, and arm your team with the right tools, support, and systems to deliver the best consumer experience, you’ll hit your goals, and work on your business instead of in it.

cta managing goals

 

The post Forecast and Set Goals to Win: The Ultimate 2019 Business Plan appeared first on BoomTown!.

Get the Price Right in a Shift

By James Shaw

While the economy is thriving, unemployment is down, and it’s a seller’s market in many areas of the country, we know that history repeats itself – and markets shift. As I teach across the U.S., I speak to a lot of agents who are nervous about the changing market, especially if they haven’t been through a shift before. But I’m here to tell you: a shift is a gift.

The Smart Cloud Advantage

Keller Cloud – it’s the only real estate-specific smart cloud, and it’s poised to redefine the homebuying and selling experience, for agents and consumers alike. For the past few years, Keller Williams has been busy building the Keller Cloud, a powerful collection of real estate technology tools, from the ground up.

The Cloud contains KW’s massive collection of agent, transaction and client data – giving the company an edge among competitors. It’s an innovation engine that allows agents to work smarter and more efficiently, a must in today’s fast-moving digital world.

Lessons Learned from 72 Profit Share Millionaires

Jay Papasan, vice president and executive editor at KW Publishing, recently studied 72 of Keller Williams’ top profit share earners to understand how all associates could grow their wealth through the tool. Each individual that Papasan studied succeeded in taking home at least $1 million in largely passive income.

Profit share is one way in which Keller Williams exemplifies the principle of success through others. Each month, market centers share roughly half of their profits with the agents who helped them grow and made them profitable.

Negotiate Your Way to More Closings

By Darren Kittleson

Stories of classic negotiations always set parties at odds – like players on opposing sports teams ready to compete until the scoreboard declares a winner. In real estate, the scoreboard is the dollar amount paid or accepted, depending on which side you represent.

But what if I told you that your clients care less about money than you think they do? What if I said you might earn more money in commission if you change your negotiation style from “win-all” to “value-based”? Nearly 30 years in the business, having trained thousands of top-producing real estate agents, I’m here to tell you the latter works.

Seeing a Shift

By Ruben Gonzalez, Chief Economist, Keller Williams 

If you have been in the real estate industry for very long, you probably know that the housing market goes through cycles. During the growth portion of the cycle, prices are going up and inventory levels are typically low but growing. After the market shifts, prices begin to decline as inventory levels reach a peak and then start to decline.

7 Thank-You Notes You Should Be Sending Your Real Estate Leads [Free Templates]

Sending a thank-you note is a small gesture that makes a big impact. So much so that 22% of employers are less likely to hire someone if they don’t send a thank-you note after an interview. That’s pretty compelling! So how can you use this trick to generate more business in real estate? Here are 7 opportunities for sending a thank-you note that could lead to landing a new client.

 

1. Thank You for the Referral

If you’re lucky, referrals can have a domino effect. When you do a great job, word spreads and you become the go-to agent within a community. This is crucial to building a substantial sphere of influence, and you should set yourself apart any chance you get.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you kindly for referring the Andersons to me. I will give them the VIP treatment and do my best to help them find their perfect home.
With gratitude,
Agent Signature

 

2. Thank You for the Listing

Selling a home can be quite daunting, so this is where the assurance comes in. These extra touches help you show your clients that you are trustworthy, you’re working hard, and you’re going to hand-hold them through the process.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you for trusting me with your listing. I am excited to get to work, doing everything possible to assure a successful home sale for you and your family.
With gratitude,
Agent Signature

 

3. Thank You for the Purchase

I know this one goes without saying, but it’s perhaps the most important. The best agents know that you’re never really “done” with a client. Expressing your gratitude and checking in from time to time will help generate referrals as well as repeat clients down the road.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Congratulations! And thank you so much for working with me to find your new home. Please reach out at any time with further questions while you’re getting settled.
Cheers to you,
Agent Signature

 

4. Thank You for the Service

Once again, the name of the game is setting yourself apart. Send a thank you note after working with a new vendor or using another business for a service, and when their asked for a recommendation down the road — more than likely you’ll be the agent that stands out.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you kindly for doing such a fantastic job with [insert service]. It’s great to work with someone that is dedicated to doing the best job possible. If me or my company can be of service to you in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Best,
Agent Signature

 

5. Thank You for Showing Me Your Home (For Sale by Owner)

At the end of the day, FSBO leads want to sell their home as quickly as possible for the best deal. Most are not necessarily committed to selling it on their own, so if they do change their mind, you want to be the first in line to work with them.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you for showing me your beautiful home! I wish you the best of luck in selling it. If at any point you are interested in working with a professional real estate firm, do not hesitate to reach out. We’d love to work with you.
Best of luck!
Agent Signature

 

6. Thank You for Your Time (After Not Getting a Listing)

Don’t forget to say thank you, even when your services have been turned down. When you show your gratitude for their time and remind them to “keep you in mind” for future services, you’re more likely to secure their business down the road or land some referral clients.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you so much for your time! I regret that we’re unable to work together at this time, but do keep us in mind in the years ahead. Good luck with your home sale. We’ll be in touch!
With gratitude,
Agent Signature

 

7. Thank You for the Conversation

You might think that a thank-you note after a simple introductory phone call from a lead is overkill. And maybe it is… but if you want to set yourself apart from other agents, sometimes you have to go that extra mile. This is a great practice particularly for new agents who are just starting out.

Dear FIRST NAME,
Thank you kindly for your time on the phone today! I know that in this busy day and age your time is invaluable, and I appreciate you giving me 15 minutes to discuss how we can help you find your dream home. Looking forward to connecting again!
With gratitude,
Agent Signature

 

The post 7 Thank-You Notes You Should Be Sending Your Real Estate Leads [Free Templates] appeared first on BoomTown!.

Creating Urgency With Sellers

By Ron Wexler

I’ve probably made more mistakes than all of you out there put together. And I truly believe what holds us back and hurts us most is that we’re so worried about looking good that we don’t move forward when we screw things up. When I first got into this business 36 years ago, I started from scratch – no models, no systems – and I ran everything straight into the ground. The truth is that most of us tend to figure out how to do it wrong before we do it right.

3 Key Strategies for Being a Better Leader in Real Estate, with Doug Edrington

If there’s one thing Doug Edrington knows, it’s how to lead a team. Doug recently opened his own Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Brokerage, J Douglas Properties and runs (with no shortage of success), The Edrington Team. Last year his team sold 491 houses. And when he’s not busy being a top producer, he is also a Tom Ferry Coach.

 

In a recent visit to BoomTown, Doug shared some of his recent experiences and expertise when it comes to building a sustainable business and being an effective leader.

 

Here are the top takeaways:

1. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. (And then delegate some more).

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to overload themselves to the point of burnout. AKA “Don’t be a hero.” It’s a common mindset of highly efficient and entrepreneurial people to think, “I can do this, and probably better than most, so I’ll just handle it.” Aside from burnout and time constraints, you’re more than likely not the best at every aspect of your business.

  • 1. Find your strengths
  • 2. Highlight them
  • 3. Delegate the rest

Maybe you’re highly analytical and numbers-focused, but not great with creative work. Play to your strengths by taking charge of budget decisions and goal-setting, and then delegate more marketing and branding efforts to other team members.

“As a team leader, the number one thing is ‘how do I delegate, how do I delegate?’ Build a high-level of trust within your team. Train them to be not just gatekeepers, but keyholders so that someone can come to you and say ‘Hey we need this because of XYZ,’ and you trust them so you go ahead and get it.”

2. Structure Your Business Strategically, and Stay Organized.

Perhaps one of the top reasons for the success of The Edrington Team is the structure. Doug took everything that he’s learned about real estate, team models, and agents’ skills/challenges, and structured his team with long-lasting stability and scalability in mind.

 

While the “secret sauce,” will vary from business to business (depending on the market, leadership styles, franchises, etc.), the common denominator is that how you model your team should be incredibly well-thought-out and strategic. You don’t have to nail it right off the bat! Additionally, your team will shift and grow over time. However, structuring your team in the most effective way possible should be at the top of your priority list.

“You’ll find stability when you focus on providing value to your team. We’re always looking for leaders, for people that want to grow in their business. By providing that value, we don’t have super successful agents trying to leave when they reach a certain point.”

To start asking yourself the right questions, consider your goals as a business. Where are you struggling, and where do you thrive? Are certain players overloaded and spread too thin? Are you encouraging your team members to go beyond their basic job description and rise to fill a need?

3. Be Vulnerable. Fail Forward.

One of the most common reasons real estate agents fail is because they (A) aren’t confident, because they (B) don’t know what to say, because they (C) haven’t been taught.

 

The way to avoid this Catch-22 is to be willing to be vulnerable. Doug encourages agents and leaders alike to be honest when they are uncertain and to be vulnerable enough to ask for help. While it’s important for agents (especially new, inexperienced agents) to vocalize their concerns and ask for help, it’s equally as important for leaders to provide an environment where training is prioritized.

 

The Edrington Team operates using a mentor-mentee program. It’s a win-win across the board. Newer agents get the training they need to thrive and more experienced agents have added incentive to generate extra business.

 

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