Guide to Writing a Great Business Plan for 2017

Business Plan – a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.
FACT: LESS THAN 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN
FACT: ESTIMATED 3% OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN NORTH AMERICA DOING 97% OF BUSINESS

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so images-3many moving parts and concepts to address. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you on are track to meet your goals. It is that time of year again when we begin to build our plan for 2017 and let’s look at the key areas of the agent’s solid business plan.

1) Defining Your Mission & Vision

Writing a solid business plan begins by defining your business’s mission and vision statement. Though creating such a statement may seem like fluff, it is an important exercise. The mission and vision statement sets the foundation upon which to launch your business. It is difficult to move forward successfully without first defining your business and the ideals under which your business operates. A company description should be included as a part of the mission and vision statement: what type of real estate do you sell? Where is your business located? Who founded your business? What is sets your business apart from your competitors?

2) SWOT Analysis

Once you’ve created a mission and vision statement, the next step is to develop a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.” It is difficult to set goals for your business without first enumerating your business’s strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Do you offer superior customer service as compared with your competitors? Do you specialize in a niche market? What experiences do you have that set you apart from your competitors? What are your competitors’ strengths? Where do you see the market already saturated, and where are there opportunities for expansion and growth?

3) Setting Goals

Next, translate your mission and vision into tangible goals. If your mission statement is to make every client feel like your most important client: how specifically will you implement this? Do you want to grow your business? Is this growth measured by gross revenue, profit, personnel, or physical office space? How much growth do you aim for annually? What specific targets will you strive to hit annually in the next few years?

4) Marketing Plan

You may wish to create a marketing plan as either a section of your business plan or as an addendum. The Marketing Mix concerns product, price, place and promotion. What is your product? How does your price distinguish you from your competitors—is it industry average, upper quartile, or lower quartile? How does your pricing strategy benefit your clients? How and where will you promote your services? What types of promotions will you advertise? Will you ask clients for referrals or use coupons? Which channels will you use to place your marketing message?

5) Forming a Teamteam-1000x500

Ensuring the cooperation of all colleagues, supervisors, and service providers involved in your plan is another important element to consider. Is your business plan’s success contingent upon the cooperation of your colleagues? If so, what specifically do you need them to do? How will you evaluate their participation? Are they on-board with the role you have assigned them? How will you get “buy in” from these individuals?

6) Implementation & Follow-up

Implementation and follow-up are frequently overlooked aspects to the business plan, yet enormously vital to the success of the plan. Set dates (annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly) to review your business plans goals: are you on track? Were the goals reasonable to achieve, impossible, or too easy? How do you measure success—is it by revenue, profit, or number of transactions?

And last, how do you plan to implement your business plan’s goals? When will you review and refine your business plan goals? What process will you use to review your goals? What types of quantitative and qualitative data will you collect and use to measure your success? So there you have it your guide to building your 2017 business plan.  Click here to download your free 2017 Business Plan Template and make 2017 your best year in real estate!

 

The Diamond of Salesmanship – 4 Things you should do on every Appointment to get Results

Mastery in sales is an art and the best Sales people can make it look effortless.  However it really isn’t sales at all but something that is natural and who they are, like poetry in motion. The legend, Floyd Wickman taught us to be effective consultants and not sales people by using what he called the “Diamond of Salesmanship.”

The Diamond of salesmanship was the perfect tool to help come across as a consultant or an adviser with people and not another salesperson. These four powerful activities allowed the best of the best to get the result they were wanting on almost every single appointment and you can too.

1.

Agetty_name-184951937t the top of the diamond was “Use their names” when meeting with people. When you use someone’s name a lot they begin to feel like they are important and special to you. Using their names a lot also makes people trust and like you faster during your time with them. Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t like to hear someone say your name over and over again? This is a wonderful part of the diamond, because for those of you who are great with faces but absolutely terrible with names , using someone’s name over and over again helps internalize and remember their names so much easier.

2.

The second point on the diamond of salesmanship is “Ask questions” the world’s
ask-a-questiongreatest conversationalist is someone who says little or nothing because they ask powerful engaging questions and are then quiet and listen.  Wouldn’t you all agree it is not by chance we all have 2 ears and one mouth and we were designed to speak less and listen more. One of the most difficult skills for people is to ask more questions and to listen more and be present and attentive to the other person and their needs and not your own needs. When we ask more questions and let the other do the talking you find them saying “I don’t know what it is but I feel like I know you and that I could talk to you forever” and you just smile and say, “I get that a lot.” So remember, ask questions and listen more and you get the results you want.

3.

speechless-smileyThe next point on the diamond of salesmanship is “Facial expressions and Voice inflections” the greatest part of communication is the non-verbal piece. Your client clearly understands and hears you better when communicating with the right facial expressions and voice inflections. We have all heard that your energy level changes when you smile while talking over the phone. The English language is so complex when you say a word and end it with an up voice or down voice inflection. For example the difference between really and reeeeaaallly.  The first is heard like you are surprised or wow. The second is a response is heard as possibly an exaggeration. Never forget that almost 86% of communication in sales is from your facial expression and tone or voice inflection every time.

4.

The fourth and final point of the diamond of salesmanship it “Visuals” never “tell” but always “show and sell”. In sales we have always heard the statement “talk is cheap” and this is so important when dealing with others and not to tell but use visuals to show and sell.  Half of the people we deal with are auditory learners and half are visual learners but you will never know which one the client is so never tell, rather show and sell. Honestly, the most powerful sales tool on the planet is a note pad and pen. While I am communicating I am always writing, drawing while communicating to visual enhance my communication with the other party.

So there you have it, the four things you do at any appointment to get the results you are wanting. Take the time to study and practice these skills and please don’t practice this on your clients first but on your peers, family members or spouse.  Become proficient in the diamond of salesmanship and take your business and effectiveness to another level!