2 Business Planning Exercises Every Team And Brokerage Should Be Using
October 25, 2023
Last post and newsletter we talked about the importance of planning time off (see Have You Planned To Be Busy). Planning such things is a crucial part of life with a successful real estate team or brokerage, and right now is also prime time for doing another sort of planning: business planning!
Are you ready to start business planning? We have two exercises that we recommend you bring to your team. It takes a little work, but it can make a huge difference on the success of your business on both the individual and collective level.
Individual Planning & Goal-Setting
The first step in business planning for your brokerage or team is that it is important to get everyone thinking about how they want to move forward. Even if the goals may differ between the sales team and the administrative team, this is still an important step.
The best way to ensure that each member of your team has that set of goals and a clear direction forward is to give them the responsibility of creating a personal business plan for themselves. Task each team member with writing up an individual business plan, outlining their goals for the next year, regardless of their position in the business. You will need to provide the framework for this (blank business plan) to each team member and I’ve found that doing it together in a group is a fabulous solution.
When it comes to the administrative team, having them think about goals and objectives for 2024, and writing them down helps guide them and makes it easier to talk about accountability. It also makes your job easier when it comes time to review work performance and discuss bonusing objectives.
A written copy of everyone’s work-based goals is a great tool for determining what the entire business numbers could be for the next year and what you need to do if the numbers don’t match your goals. For example, if your team business plan calls for 100 transactions and the team members predict they can only produce 80 transactions, you will need to enhance your sales team with an additional member or two.
Collective SWOT Analysis
We highly encourage you to take the time to analyze a SWOT analysis within your business and your team. This exercise is often overlooked, but it can have a huge impact on the attitude and enthusiasm of your team members.
If you aren’t already familiar with the term SWOT, it stands for:
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
The goal of this exercise is to…
Collectively analyze and discuss what the strengths and weaknesses are in your business.
Put forward ideas regarding opportunities for growth.
Consider potential threats towards that growth.
While this encourages you to reflect on how to improve your business, the real benefit comes from getting your team involved in the discussion process. This way, when you decide to implement a new strategy in the workplace to try and strengthen some of those weaknesses, your team members understand the thought that went into developing that idea. Even better, they were included and involved in the discussion.
You will want to set up a drawing board of sorts where you can draw out the four sections on a whiteboard or preferably large sheets of easel paper ( 20×30 Post-it sheets are perfect). Then, prompt your team with a question such as “What are our strengths as a team?” Have them write down their ideas on a sticky note and put it in the appropriate section on the whiteboard.
When you have addressed all 4 SWOT components, debrief each component in depth. Collective discussion could uncover more strengths and weaknesses to add to the board, reveal more opportunities that weren’t originally thought of, or uncover new threats.
This discussion is where the magic happens! While working through the notes, focus on the weaknesses and opportunities. How to strengthen the former and capitalize on the latter? You may want to some notes between sections, and that’s perfectly all right. What someone may have considered a threat could actually be an opportunity if you know how to take advantage of it, etc.
At the end of this discussion, you and your team members should have an idea of what you should all be focusing on for the business to thrive.
So, what are you waiting for? A little bit of business planning in your brokerage or real estate team can go a long way.
Introduce these strategies into your workplace and see how team morale and work ethic improve with the help of goal setting and strength analysis. If you still feel a little unsure about how to implement this in your business, reach out to us. We can help!