My Thoughts on Creating Successful Business in Real Estate

I have put together this post as a basic run through for creating a business plan and a growth plan for a real estate business. I got the ideas for this by talking to some of the smartest people I know in and out of real estate from huge computer companies, college president, software developer, to commercial property owner and more. In business the basic rules and steps apply and being a real estate agent or broker needs to be run the same way in order to be successful and save a lot of headache and wasted time.First step whether you are new or a real estate veteran looking to build a better business creating a timeline is mandatory. Create a goal and make it lofty to build a model with a larger capacity. With that goal make a timeline to reach it. Example, I want to close X volume with Y input of new leads and clients weekly by Z date. A lot of agency focus on closed deals, real estate being about the only industry teaching this when the focus should be incoming pipeline load because it focuses on the future of the business and forces you to create dependable lead generation techniques that will keep you in business.The second step is to create what I will call an open source model. One that is easy to install additional sources of income and build on. In real estate this would be buyers’ agents for example. You have a pipe of leads, you are getting big and you obviously don’t want to put 500 miles on the car everyday while working 20 hours a day. Have agents do this for you and pay you for it. You have to create personal brand that is likable and attractive to get good agents on board though. Good sources, education, leads and guidance. Intel builds a chip you can put in almost any computer and people still demand to have it, so computer manufacturers use it. It’s about building an attractive versatile platform. Donald trump puts his name on everything. Same way agents will know being part of your brand will make them successful also.Part three is something you will always need in business, which is a business partner, a mentor, or any group of people smarter than you to bounce ideas off of. This will give you a new perspective and allow people to challenge your way of thinking while pushing you to always be better. You should always feel like you didn’t know something 6 months ago because you are constantly evolving and learning, pushing yourself to perform at a top level. Having a partner also lets you maybe take a few days off now and then so you don’t get burnt out.Part four is to create your systems and infrastructure for handling your business with steps for handling a new lead and who does it, to clearing the file at close and storing it for the legally required time. Systems are important because it increases efficiency and cuts down on human error. Imagine if Amazon, the military, or a doctor had no protocol or systems. You would probably never get your antique looking picture frame, Normandy would have been a disaster, and you may walk out the hospital missing a spleen after going in for a broken arm. I think real estate business should handle this aspect with a lot of care when dealing with other people’s money and sensitive information. Make sure these systems are easily scalable and can be easily outsourced to avoid growing pains. The last thing you want is to stop growth due to yourself. Anyone use Friendster?Part five is your target market and what solution you will provide to get going. This could be buyers, sellers, investors, or a geographical location, but the smaller your focus the more success you are likely to have as you will be more specialized and be known for something but make sure it is a large need and solve a real problem. Don’t pick one lake front area, but all lakefront communities in your area so you have a real market to focus on. Once you have this, you can decide what kind of market saturation you need. How many units are bought and sold each month? How many units are available? What’s your demand? Decide what percentage of that market you will need to reach your goals. If you need 100 percent to make it your market is too small. Can you succeed with 10%? Then you have a market and you will succeed. You will then know exactly how much you need to market and as you begin to get returns you will be able to gauge how many angles are needed to reach your 10%, and it will be sustainable.Part five is to keep adding. What you will have is version 1.00 of “you real estate” platform. Make some upgrades, add some referral partners, or great new marketing angle and you have version 1.01. Add some buyer agents that bring some respective returns in your market you have version 1.1. Add an entire second market with staff to support you will be in version 2.0. You may have noticed these on software updates you install as the programs are upgraded and made better. This is a useful tracking system to see your progress and decide what business version you want to be at. It will also show what you need to get there. When you see a hole that is holding you back, or an opportunity to grow, it’s time to upgrade.That’s it! It works for businesses all over the world and made the people I spoke with very successful. I believe these same systems transfer into real estate because it needs to be treated like a business not some fly by night operation because that’s how you end up just another face in a sea of agents running around.