Be SMART about your business planning

— Weichert Franchise

With the year winding down, you may be reflecting on how many business goals your brokerage has met. Some? Most? Have you lost track of your goals completely?

Take heart. Along with the endless responsibilities of running a brokerage, it’s challenging to set and meet goals for yourself, your business, and your growing rosters of agents. But that’s exactly why a sharp focus on business planning is so vital to success.

If your business planning efforts have lost focus, one handy framework to adopt is the SMART method. Developed in the 1980s by George T. Doran, director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company, the acronym encourages goals to be:

  • Specific: What exactly are you trying to accomplish? “Sell more” is far too vague a goal to be meaningful or motivating.
  • Measurable: How will you measure success? By the sheer number of transactions? How many marketing videos are created and posted? New referrals you received? It’s best to quantify, or at least suggest, an indicator of progress.
  • Attainable: Do you have the tools, resources, and expertise to achieve your goals? Sometimes, big goals require a reality check. If training ten new agents is your goal, but your training tools are outdated, perhaps an upgrade is in order first.
  • Realistic: Are your goals realistic? Finding that sweet spot between too easy and impossible can motivate your whole team towards greater achievement year over year. Brainstorming as a group is a great way to formulate ideas and gain buy-in.
  • Timely: Even the most motivated humans can be hopeless without deadlines. Every goal you set should be put to a timeline. If you’re working with annual targets, stop at regular intervals (say, monthly) to check your progress.

Besides meeting your profitability targets, goal setting is an exciting way to align your strategic vision with the needs of your agents. Remember, highly productive people thrive on hitting targets (especially ones that translate to earnings). Melding your business goals with your agent’s personal ambitions can ignite a shared purpose, infuse meaning into the workday, and be a powerful engine for momentum and growth.

Business planning the Weichert Way

At Weichert, business planning is so central to the success of affiliates that we’ve developed a formalized system around it. Our team of business consultants works with owners to create their written business plan. Together, they brainstorm, set specific goals, and prepare for a new year of successively higher targets.

At the agent level, we also encourage offices to hold a formal event called “Planning Day”. Typically held in the fall, affiliates invite all of their agents to join in a lively working session utilizing Weichert business planning tools, which help them set their income and productivity goals for the year and discuss what they’ll need to do to meet them. Our corporate team provides everything affiliates need to make the most of these sessions, from slide decks to promotional materials.

Instead of being a daunting task, business planning should actually offer relief. As a concrete, accessible reference point, it can serve as your north star through the ups and downs that are to be expected.

Need a better framework around your brokerage? Hear how some Weichert affiliates are getting the job done. Have questions about real estate business planning? Reach out today!

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