Business Planning, Part 2: Applying Business Principles
Successful business planning comes when we develop the habits to utilize them. There are three guests joining Monica on the show today, to talk about how they’ve been successful with their business planning. Misty Woodford has been in real estate for about 10 years and formerly owned her own brokerage. She no longer owns her firm and now works with Benchmark Realty and is actively selling. Trish Myatt has been in real estate for nearly 14 years, and right from the start got into a good system and long-term planning. Barry Owen was in the Army for 12 years and has been in real estate for 24 years. He owns his own firm and teaches and still does some selling but mostly runs the company.
Why is business planning so important? For Misty, the motto that stuck with her is “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Having a plan allows her to continue to move forward with tasks, following the plan like a roadmap. It is a stress reliever for Trish, and having a plan allows her to have something to come back to when things start getting crazy. Barry uses business planning because it gives him a place to go — it boils down to whether what he’s doing right this minute is contributing to where he wants to go.
When making her business plan, Trish reflects on what worked for the past year and what she wants to carry over and tries to look ahead to see where the market is going, to see if there are any proactive changes that need to be made. Barry starts business planning for the next year on the first day of the fourth quarter. He tries to think of three big priorities to hit in the next year and uses the remaining time in the quarter before the new year to figure out how he’s going to turn those goals into practical steps he can achieve. Misty sets aside three days towards the end of the calendar and sets three business, personal, and spiritual goals. By November she likes to have what the plan will look like for the next year.
It’s important to schedule in family time and time away from the business as well, as well as any marketing events you want to do for your clients. Trish talks about her “pumpkin run” and how she uses time to show appreciation to her clients.
Making time can be difficult, but you just have to do it. Planning it as part of your day and guaranteeing you will do it is vital for making sure the business is supporting the clients. Barry does this first thing in the morning each day, so he doesn’t have to think twice about anything during the day. This makes it easier to deal with obstacles as well. Clients often understand that you need time away from them to best help serve them when you are helping them. Misty turns her phone off at a certain time each night.
When working on your plans, it’s important to consider how much business you want to do, your finances, and take a look at what systems you have that help you focus forward. Misty lays out what she has to have, what would be nice to have, and what is the dream level. Knowing what is enough in all those areas is an important start. Also understanding what you can delegate or refer to other people can help redefine success for you and your business plan. Barry’s plan is about moving forward every single day towards a better quality of life.
Financial planning is incredibly important as part of your business plan. Trish focuses on the synergy between business purchases and how they come back to reward her. Sometimes investing in something personally can help you focus on making smart business decisions. Misty talks about giving yourself permission to know what you thrive on and allocating resources for the other things. Spending your money on the right things is also important to make sure your business is sustainable. Barry ended up outsourcing for some positions he needed to be filled and it’s been a huge help to his business.
Barry, Trish, and Misty talk about some of the software and technology they are using in their businesses. Some of the things they are using are Commissions Inc, Brokerment, Top Producer, QuickBooks, and Wise Agent.
The panel shares some tips for keeping up with their businesses. Trish uses the checklists in Top Producer to follow up with clients and maintain to-do lists for each day. Misty also utilizes checklists but she uses the Wise Agent program to help manage transactions. Members of the panel also still use paper planners, as well as Gmail and Barry uses Google Drive as a backup. Having these systems is beneficial, but only if you have the right habits to utilize them! Having an accountability partner is very useful for getting the most out of systems and making sure you’re getting done what you’ve said you’re going to do.
Barry’s final closing thoughts are about the idea of 80/20 — 20% is the vital few or the stuff that must be done and 80% is everything else. If someone wants to succeed, they have to know who and what the 20% are. This can help prioritize your projects and organize your day.
Trish has brought some of her customer service background to her real estate business. She uses her systems to manage customer information so she can recognize their house anniversaries, birthdays, and annual reviews. For people who aren’t too high tech, you can still grow a big and healthy business.
For Misty, the key to making business planning and time management work was knowing who she was as a person and knowing what she needed the systems to do for her. Finding what worked for her is what made her do it.
Education is a huge help to stay focused on your business and provide creative ideas. It doesn’t have to be real estate-centric. You can also learn from peers that you admire — don’t be afraid to ask them for tips!
Monica shares three final tips for successful business planning. The first is setting an appointment: set an appointment with yourself to do your planning, then actually go to the appointment — make it a priority! After you have met with yourself and done your planning, meet with a friend who can hold you accountable to stick to do you plan. The second tip is to choose one new system that can help you improve your business next year. Her third tip is to find or pick a new source of education for yourself. Is there an area of your business where you are weak? Find a source of education that will help you grow in that area.
About the Speakers
Misty Woodford is a 3rd generation REALTOR®, currently serving as a REALTOR®, trainer, teacher, and coach in the Middle Tennessee real estate market. Misty’s primary focus is residential resales and buyers working with new construction in the Williamson County and immediate surrounding areas. Licensed in TN for 10 years, Misty owned her own brokerage for the first 8.5 years of her career. Needing a life focus change, she closed up shop and joined Benchmark Realty in February 2016. When Misty isn’t selling or teaching, you can find her chasing her two young children around Franklin as they pursue their wildest dreams.
Trish Myatt is a Broker with Benchmark Realty in the Greater Nashville area. A native of the region, Trish has a wide knowledge of where the market has been and pays attention to where it is heading. With 13 years in the business, she holds the ABR, CRS, SRES, and ASP designations and serves as a Director for both her local and state associations. She is excited to serve on her first NAR committee in 2018. A long-time supporter of RPAC at the Golden R level, Trish understands the importance of staying on top of local, state, and national legislation that impacts her clients. Ask her about the annual “Pumpkin Run” and you'll learn how she cultivates her strictly repeat and referral business.
- Visit Trish Myatt's web site: nashvilleonlinerealestate.com
Barry Owen is a Broker/Owner of the firm Pareto Realty in Nashville, TN. The Pareto Principle is the 80/20 rule — The Vital Few — and Barry models his life and business after this model, focusing on what he considers to be the most important items every day first. His career started in the Army as an Engineer. He went on to be a consultant in the field of Organizational Development and Transformation. In 1993, he started his career in Residential Real Estate. During that time he has been a founding member of several real estate offices, Principal Broker, and Career Development Coach. He has served on the Greater Nashville REALTORS® Board as a Board Member, Committee Member, and Ombudsman. He loves to blog, coach and train. His program to help agents live High-Performance Lives is called, “The Life Rhythm Way.”
- “You just do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t have anybody to blame but yourself.” — Trish on making time to plan
- “Success is only definable by the individual. The business plan is part of you defining what’s going to be success.” — Monica
- “The happier and more settled I am, the more successful I am, the more productive I am.” — Barry
- “I don’t think any of us do this because of the income, we do it because we like to help people reach their goals.” — Trish
- Find classroom training for a designation or certification at Training4RE.com
- Center for REALTOR® Development
- Certified Residential Specialist Live and Online Classes
- Contact Monica
- Visit Monica's website