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A business plan is essential if you want to be successful as a real estate agent. A 2021 business plan will allow you to track your goals and results, ensure you are prepared for market changes and allow you to stay ahead of the competition—one of the keys to long-term success. Remaining competitive, however, can only happen if you develop an effective business plan and stick to it! In this series, we present steps for developing a winning business plan in 2021. Join us on the journey to success.
Focusing on Your Sphere of Influence
Before we commence on that journey, let’s look at the main point of focus for your 2021 business plan: your sphere of influence.
Inefficiency is one of the most damaging, though unintended, results of a real estate agent’s business model. Since income relies directly on deals closed, you need to ensure that the majority of your time is focused on transactions. Unfortunately, too many agents waste an immense amount of time conducting research and contacting dead-end clients.
To help overcome such challenges, we recommend you focus your business plan on your sphere of influence. By honing in on just a select handful of prospective clients—those who bring value to your business—you can balance your time while generating maximum income.
Who is in your sphere of influence?
Sphere of influence refers to individuals in your network who provide the highest probability of generating business. This sphere includes clients who have some sway. It can also include clients with whom you have transacted, those who have provided referrals, and those who rely on you for your expertise, to name a few. It is recommended that you keep your sphere of influence to 200 or fewer individuals.
At the end of the day, it just goes back to relationships. I have people in my sphere that have never bought real estate from me, and they’ve never sold real estate from me. But they keep referring me. If you keep referring me, it doesn’t matter if there’s been no sale or buy, you’re still in my sphere.”
– Shirley Yoon, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
2021 Goals: Building Your Business Plan
Now let’s look at how to build your 2021 business plan based on your sphere of influence.
Remember: The goal of the business plan is to create balance in your personal life while keeping your business on a growth track! It is all about efficiency and balance.
January 2021: Start the Year by Getting Organized
January’s goals are quite extensive, but they are intended to set you up for a fruitful 2021.
GOAL #1: Invest in Your Database
A well-organized database can help you streamline your business. However, to leverage your database, you should first ensure that it is organized and structured.
Here are some tips for cleaning your database this year.
Identify Who Is in Your Sphere of Influence
Your goal for the upcoming year should be to maintain stable social relations with the people in your sphere of influence. As an expert in the industry, you should focus on becoming their trusted real estate advisor. The more individuals who rely on your expertise and trust your business model, the more business you will build. As a result, you will waste less time chasing cold leads and allocate less capital for lead services.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 64% of home sellers either worked with their previous agent or found an agent through a referral, while 89% of home buyers said they’d work with their real estate agent again or recommend their agent to others. These stats demonstrate how vital relationships are!
Therefore, your first goal for 2021 should be to identify who is in your sphere of influence. Spot those who bring value to your business, and don’t be afraid to remove contacts who do not fit this criterion.
Organize Your Database
Next, organize the contacts within your database. Whether you are just getting started in real estate or a seasoned agent, Cloze makes it easy to organize your contacts by automatically creating a database of everyone you know from your email accounts, phone contacts, and more.
When you connect your Office 365, Google, iCloud, and other services, Cloze goes back in time and automatically creates contacts for you – even for those not identified in your address book. Cloze handles de-duplicating and consolidating from all the services you connect – so connect your phone address book and as many accounts as you would like and let Cloze do the work.
With all of your contacts in one place, you only need to focus on organizing your sphere of influence.
Tip: Don’t try to organize every contact. It is critical that you only spend time organizing your sphere of influence. You don’t need to spend time organizing everyone you know.
Consider organizing your sphere of influence according to categories to help manage future tasks. Here are some possibilities to consider.
- Hot leads: Those transacting in the next 90 days
- Warm leads: Those considering transacting in 2021
- Those with whom you have transacted previously
- Potential future business clients
- Clients who provide referrals
- Your power sphere: The top 20% of your sphere of influence
Utilizing your CRM is an efficient way to manage your contacts.
For example, we recommend using Stages and Segments to track a buyer or seller’s journey with you.
Once you organize your database, it is essential to stay updated throughout the year! Keep your sphere current—know what they are doing and continue to remove contacts who do not bring value to your business.
Cloze helps you keep your contact information up-to-date automatically. As you interact over email, Cloze analyzes email signatures from the emails you receive and lets you know when the sender’s contact information has changed, or that new contact information is discovered.
GOAL #2: Set Your 2021 Goals
Success as a real estate agent is all about setting measurable goals – These are goals that allow you to track your progress and analyze where you are succeeding or falling short. Depending on your business model, your measurable goals may vary. However, here is a good baseline for any real estate agent whether you are just getting started or an experienced agent who wants a refresher.
Set goals related to the following transactional tasks:
- Connections per day: How many people do you expect to talk to each day?
- Transactions per month: How many transactions will you aim to close each month?
- Average commission per deal: What commission do you expect on each deal?
- Anticipated income: What income do you expect to earn?
If you need a bit of direction, check out My Ninja Business Plan for 2021. Not only will it help you set goals for 2021, but it will also provide direction on how to assess your success from 2020.
GOAL #3: Create Your Schedule
A good CRM is more than just a database of your contacts — it works alongside you, assisting where it can, and becomes part of your daily routine. Cloze’s Agenda guides you through everything you have to get done for the day — things you remembered as well as suggestions from Cloze’s artificial intelligence engine.
Cloze helps everyone feel like your #1 client with timely yet meaningful outreach that doesn’t overwhelm your day. For example, Cloze will remind you of a client’s birthday or their purchase anniversary. As a result, you can scale up without losing the authenticity and personalized touch your sphere of influence expects from their trusted real estate adviser.
Additionally, to ensure timely follow-up with your contacts, Cloze prompts you with contact recommendations based on your real-time activity. These include recommendations for calls and emails, scheduling meetings, etc. This keeps your schedule nicely organized while ensuring that follow-up contacts are completed. As a result of Cloze’s built-in system, you no longer have to schedule weekly blocks to do tedious tasks such as sending mass postcards every Monday or calling your Hot List every morning.
Instead, your schedule is detailed for you automatically in Cloze, helping you stay connected to your sphere of influence while maintaining balance in your busy days. By spreading your relationship-building activities into one continuous flow, this small amount of thoughtful outreach can make a significant impact over the entire year.
By using Cloze, your daily routine now looks more like this:
Start your day on the Cloze Agenda (15-60 minutes)
- Reach out to your sphere – based on Cloze keep-in-touch reminders
- Reach out to clients – based on Cloze reminders of birthdays, real estate reviews, anniversaries other recurring anniversaries
- Review the day’s meetings
- Write handwritten notes*
*Note: You can log activity like this into Cloze as well.
Around Lunch (5 minutes)
- Review your afternoon schedule
- Add notes in Cloze from any meetings or calls
- Open for showings and other activities
- Check the Cloze Agenda for any remaining open items
- Follow-up on leads
End of Day (5 minutes)
- Review calls and meetings from the day
- Confirm meetings for the next day
Overall, Cloze can meaningfully impact your daily and weekly routine.
Now it’s time to focus on closing transactions and creating connections. In the next part of our How to Build A Business Plan Series, we will take a closer look at actions you can take for the rest of Q1 for a profitable first quarter. We will look at steps to developing an effective marketing campaign and how to leverage your network to build your sphere of influence. Stay tuned!
Have you tried Cloze?
Cloze is a smart CRM (customer relationship management) platform with a built-in AI personal assistant that gets rid of data entry and helps you close more business with your leads and your sphere of influence.