Business plans essential to agency success

Industry professionals laud the benefits of a detailed business plan, regardless of the result of a recent poll which suggested that most principals don't have one in place for next year.

More than 52 per cent of respondents to the latest Real Estate Business straw poll claim they have no business plan in place for 2012, with 23.1 per cent stating they were yet to consider preparing one.

Matt Angilley, principal of online agency Real Estate Partners and winner of the 2010 and 2011 Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) innovation award, said agencies which don't have a clearly defined business plan in place are likely to have little idea of where their business is headed.

“The danger of not having a business plan is you don’t know where you are,” Mr Angilley told Real Estate Business.

“You know what business you are in but have little idea of where you want to be and how you are performing.”

When creating a business plan for Real Estate Partners, Mr Angilley said it is important to record key goals and objectives which include future staff levels, turn over projections, cost and profit ratios and training initiatives.

However, Mr Angilley takes a business plan one step further by encouraging his staff to establish their own personal business goals and objectives for 2012.

“While it can be difficult to enforce, I believe all staff should have their own personal business plan in place,” he said.

“I encourage my staff to set out what they want to achieve over the next 12 months, whether it is sales volumes, increased commissions or sales targets. I think it is important that they all have a direction [in which] they wish to head.”

Speaking to Real Estate Business, PRDnationwide regional manager and business consultant for QLD, Greg Braithwaite, said he hoped princpals had established a business plan for 2012.

“Business plans really are essential,” Mr Braithwaite said. “The main components all business plans are yearly KPIs and the agency’s financial plan.”

“A very detailed business plan will also have a market review, which outlines your market place, where you currently sit in that market place, and where you want to be the following year."

Moreover, Mr Braithwaite agrees that is vital for all staff, particularly sales people, to have their own personal business plan in place.

“It can be similar to the agency’s business plan, with sales people outlining their KPIs, what they wish to achieve and sales target and goals.”

“But I think the really good sales agents go one step further and block out all time off, and operate in a six week cycle with three days off, sort of like a long weekend.”

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