Strategies for Successful Business Planning in the New Year: Part 2 with Matthew Rathbun

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We are so glad you joined us to help you start your new year! This episode's guest is Matthew Rathbun. Matthew discusses business suggestions, strategies, and ideas to help you make your plans for success this year. This is Part 2 of the interview with Matthew on Business Planning. The first part was launched earlier this month. In this part 2 episode, Matthew leads us into a conversation about the people you’re partnering with in your business and gives some great suggestions when you consider the rhythm of work and home life. We would also love to hear your feedback on this new format with two parts and shorter episodes.

[2:30] Matthew urges you to choose your sellers and buyers carefully. Allot your time and attention to the right people.

[7:30] Matthew explains that you are alienating your market if you post what a great time it is to buy. It is a very different marketplace today with a different cost of living and a weaker job market than past markets.

[8:27] Whatever you post in a public forum, consider how it impacts your target audience. Tell them you understand their pain points and villains and you have the solutions to their problems.

[12:27] Matthew sits on the board of a housing non-profit. He had a recent conversation with a board member about the challenges people have coming up with the down payment.

[13:40] Matthew recommends apps that can function as your Personal Knowledge Management System.

[16:49] Matthew discusses digital mind mapping and a powerful tool for this.

[18:01] Matthew does his business planning in October and November to get ready for January. Do it when it's right for you.

[21:43] Do not trade your family for your career. Your career is alluring; everyone's feeding your ego. It's an ego-driven industry. What your spouse and kids think of you is eternal.

[30:21] Matthew's last word: He has a business planning workbook that you can download on this site.

[31:15] Look for things like virtual assistants. Start budgeting; this market is going to create opportunities.

[31:55] The world is changing rapidly. There is going to be a lot of opportunity in the changes with the right mindset and the right plans.

[33:35] We hope you will consider taking the ABR®, the Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation, this year. You can learn more at

[34:02] We will be continuing with great education to help you work more clearly and more intentionally with buyers. Join us every two weeks for new episodes and review the past episodes if you need help with specific topics. Thanks for joining us! Go out there, improve your system, and sell some property!


"[Use a] Personal Knowledge Management System. Our brains were designed for creating ideas, not for remembering things." — Matthew Rathbun

"It is not worth trading your family for this career. I have watched it happen way too many times." — Matthew Rathbun

"I don’t expect my family to support my career. I think that's a misalignment." — Matthew Rathbun

About Matthew Rathbun

I'm unapologetically me. I love learning and sharing what I've learned with anyone willing to listen. It's what I've done all of my life. I'm a restless and demanding learner myself, so I focus on people in the audience who want advanced information, a little humor, and actionable information when they leave. If a learner attends one of my sessions, I feel honored to have them there and feel that I have a duty to ensure that the time they have given me will be valuable to them. I believe that every moment with learners should count.

I still work with clients and actually practice the skills and information that I deliver in each class. I'm also a licensed broker in Virginia, DC, and Maryland and a licensed instructor in many states in the U.S. I am the Executive Vice President of a large multi-office firm in Virginia and oversee operations, risk management, and agent development among other things. Before becoming a broker, I was a high-performing agent and received a number of awards and accolades throughout the year including the Virginia Association Instructor of the Year, and was recognized by RISMedia Newsmaker Thought Leader in 2020.

My course offerings are pretty extensive and I'm always happy to create unique content if it's within my knowledge base. I'm a certified CRS instructor and have contributed to or written various national certification and designation courses for RRC, REBAC, and REBI (all three NAR education institutes). My emphasis is on leadership development, technology, risk management, and advanced practice of real estate. I have a wide range of experience with risk reduction, including serving on the local, state, and national professional standards workgroups, MLS compliance committees, and various other industry opportunities that have given me broad exposure to what should be the best practices in the industry. I am an alumnus of the VAR Leadership Academy. As an author, I have contributed to many real estate industry magazines and online industry news venues.

A few accolades:

  • REBI National Distinguished Instructor of the Year 2021
  • CRS National Instructor of the Year 2020
  • Virginia Association of REALTORS® — Instructor of the Year 2007
  • RISMedia Newsmaker — 2020 Influencer
  • Virginia REALTORS® Graduate — Leadership Academy — 2007
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — Realtor of the Year 2020
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — President's Award 2010
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — Code of Ethics Award 2011
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — Rookie of the Year 2003
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — Honor "Role"
  • Fredericksburg Assoc. of REALTORS® — Production Awards
  • Coldwell Banker Recruiter Award — Virginia