But the question needs to be asked: is reviewing a profit and loss (P&L) really the best way to track and achieve your profit goals?
Think about your listing and selling cycle:
- Month 1-2: successful pitching work that leads to listings
- Month 2-3: marketing efforts to converting listings to sales
- Month 3-4: settled sales that ended up in your P&L
So really, in the agency business, the P&L is a reflection of work performed three to four months earlier. You can’t expect to effectively plan a business with a three-month-old report in front of you, can you?
Pondering the P&L is like looking in the rear-view mirror. Try to name a single racing driver who ever succeeded using that strategy!
The truth is that we give it a seven-minute look-over with our clients and then put it aside for more important things – and I’d strongly suggest you consider this approach too.
The importance of break even is something few accounting teams really understand – so they will naturally opt to deliver you the same old P&L statement every month instead.
Why is the break even so important?
Knowing your break even point is actually the secret to maintaining and increasing profitability on a faster and proactive basis.
Once you know your agency’s true break even, you can set clear targets for agents covering all the required KPIs – prospecting activities, listing results and unconditional sales.
You will have a clear picture in mind of what each agent needs to write in fees every month to cover your business overheads and salary. Remember, your salary is a key essential of your overall calculation because without it you could not afford to keep running your business.
Once you set the foundations of your agency’s break even point, you will find the monitoring of actual sales against break even (as opposed to just looking at last month’s P&L) will set the foundation for driving profitability and growth on a more structured, proactive and effective basis.