Why Good Real Estate Agent Business Plans Are Rare

Education & Training with Real Estate Grad School

I've worked with thousands of Real Estate Agents across the country and one thing stands out, year after year: business plans are extremely important.  Agents who follow through on their business plan earn over far more, often $100,000 more than those who don’t.  The biggest problem is that it’s tough to follow through on a bad plan. 

First, we have to clarify how you know that it's a good plan.  A plan that will motivate you, the Agent, to follow through all year long and exceed your goals. 

The business plan must make sense.  When you're creating your plan, make sure you understand how it all works together.  You'll experience a sense of confidence and excitement as you are building your plan.

You'll be working with this plan from the day it's created throughout the entire year. Working the plan must keep you constantly focused and motivated.  The plan can’t be confusing, boring, or burn you out. 

It must be simple to understand and easy to follow.   

Daily routines and systems are crucial.  A good plan has routines and systems that are simple, clear, easy to follow, and-here's the key-that bring results quickly and continuously. 

A great business plan can be tailored to the Agent who prospects a lot, or for the Agent who works their Spheres of Influence a lot, or the one who gets lots of leads from Internet Marketing.  It should even work for you if you haven't yet found your best source of leads.

It should also work despite your team conditions--if you're alone or working with assistants--and current production level.

So now, let's get to the HOW.

A great Real Estate Business Plan is built around these 4 Key Skills: 

1.    Goals and Progress

2.    Tactical Skills

3.    Routines and Systems

4.    Motivation and Attitude 

It looks like this:

Goals and Progress: Set annual goals in Sales, Listings, Income, and New Clients.  The first three are broken down into monthly goals.  The fourth is broken down into a weekly goal.  The progress in all four are reviewed and updated daily and weekly. (See Routines and Systems below)

Tactical Skills: After evaluating the full range of skills necessary for success in Real Estate, your plan should focus on and works your strengths.  The key categories are lead management, presentations, marketing, sales skills, and service.  Time management and organization are completely handled with Routines and Systems.  Build a strategy that takes advantage of your strengths and attacks any weaknesses that are holding you back. 

Routines and Systems: This is the most important skill set.  All organizational problems are solved with Routines and Systems.  Create a daily and weekly routine that keeps you mindful of your goals and progress while you take specific, planned actions.  Those two, looking at progress and taking action, work hand in hand.  When the right things are measured and progress is reviewed daily, you'll get the feedback necessary to understand what is working and what needs attention. 

Here's the daily cycle: record and look at results, think, take action, make decisions.  This is the key daily routine that creates success beyond your expectations.  It's simple to put in place and takes less than ten minutes a day to accomplish.  Please, don’t confuse simple with easy.  Routines and Systems, as simple as they may be, are often difficult to keep consistently.  Exceptional success is only achieved with consistency.  

Motivation and Attitude: Great Agents are continuously learning and practicing the skills that create and strengthen positivity.  We all fall into negative self-talk from time to time.  An Agent who has the skills and strategies to overcome negativity can move on and get back to productive work, instead of getting stuck in a downward, negative cycle that can destroy focus and self-confidence.

Think of motivation and attitude like a muscle that needs to be constantly trained and strengthened so that, when needed, you'll be able to handle the strain and stress that come with a highly successful Real Estate career.  

With a plan built on the 4 Skill Sets, by the end of 2015 you won't just be selling and earning far more than past years.  You'll actually be stronger, more confident, and more secure--personally and professionally.  I see it happen every year with my Clients. 

Here are a few warnings:  This type of plan isn’t developed in one session.  It takes weeks.  Then it's applied in your business over the course of the entire year. 

I also don't recommend doing it alone.  Intelligent guidance, compassionate encouragement, and comfortable reminders go a long way in creating a wise and powerful plan, and making sure you stick to it and adjust it when needed.

Work with your coach, trainer, manager, or other Real Estate business leader to build and implement a plan based on these fundamentals.  It will be hard at first, easier over time, and worth every moment of your effort. 


Rich Levin has been coaching Real Estate Agents for the past 30 years, speaking nationally at major conventions including NAR and Triple Play.  His company, Real Estate Grad School, offers 1on1 and Group Coaching to Agents across North America.

The self-guided 2015 Business Plan course curriculum is available year-round for REGS members.  For a free Business Analysis call 585-244-2700 or email Chava@REGradSchool.com.



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Comments (4)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Rich,  Excellence blog and so true.  I have a business plan almost every year, the only time I did not was the time I had a partner that refuse to work a plan, income was low for some reason, we are no longer partners.

Jan 04, 2015 04:29 AM
Carla Harbert
www.LorainCountyHomeSales.com - Avon, OH
RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area

Yes, it takes a plan to get you where you want/need to go. Plus an excellent coach to make sure you follow the plan! Thanks, Rich!

Jan 08, 2015 11:47 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Rich, this is another excellent post on how to take your business to the next level.


Apr 21, 2015 01:17 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm not a planner.  I am a doer.  It's worked well for me for 20+ years and I tried a couple of times to plan but I felt bogged down by feeling I wasn't sticking to my plan when I wasn't and to rigid when I was so I had a ceremonial burning of the "plan" and got to back to doing.  That's what works for me.  That being said, I have some great systems in place, but I use them  as needed when I have time not any "set" schedule.

May 03, 2015 03:39 AM