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in this issue… Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995™ • WCAoR Installation Banquet • CRS Installation • WCR Installation Reception • Holiday parties • WCAoR Christmas Tree Gala • and much, much more! Associates in Progress 5% Commission Inventory Homes page 21 details on page 27 TM JANUARY 2012 • VOLUME 16 • ISSUE 9 Business budgets: how to get your financial house in order Start with a business plan By Stacy Hale I Visit us online 24/7 at P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708 TM austin RL Putting a Face on Real Estate since 1995 Printed on recycled paper. Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Paid Permit #715 f just the mention of the word budget makes you cringe, you’re not alone. It’s a four-letter word for many in our fast paced industry—especially at the start of the year, when you want to hit the ground running. But budgeting and planning to be profitable needn’t be stressful; with a few simple ground rules, you’ll establish a process that you can rinse and repeat, and even stick to. Here are a few tips. The first fatal mistake so many real estate professionals make is failing to make a business plan. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Setting a workable yet flexible business plan is job number one. If you haven’t already, create (and keep handy) a living document that clearly states your overall business goals and what you plan to accomplish in the long-term as an organization. Put it in writing and put it where you and your team can see it every day, then follow it and adjust it accordingly as things change. If you don’t know where you are going, you aren’t going to know it when you get there. Set workable workablegoals goals and work and work backwards backward For most organizations, setting an annual budget is a team effort. First, decide what kind of milestones your business needs to hit in order to be profitable. Then work together with each team member. Ask everyone what they want to earn, then picture your pipeline and work backward from dollars and number of deals closed to the number of referrals you need, leads you need to work, phone calls you need to make, etc.—down to the most granular level. How many new clients will you need to bring on in the new year? Break your production and income goals for the year down into quarterly, monthly—and if you can do it—even daily goals. Before you know it, you’ll have your day mapped out for you. Know yourself Caveat No. 1, of course, is that for an individual plan to work, it must be suited to the personality and abilities of the individual. Some mortgage professionals prefer to work mostly with REALTORS, while others are more builder-centric. Others prefer marketing to and harvesting their own prospects rather than going through builders or REALTORS. That’s why each plan must be tailored accordingly. If you put something in someone’s budget or business plan that he or she is not comfortable with, that person mostly likely won’t do it. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you’re going through the process: How am I going to brand myself? What corner of the market will I carve out and how will I go about doing it, down to my day-to-day activities? Which activities will ultimately be most profitable for me, and how can I minimize the things I spend my time on that have the least yield? These are critical considerations to work out before you set your plan. Front Page: Continued on page 18 Upcoming Events Wednesday, January 18 AYREP 2012 Kick Off Event Kung Foo Saloon - 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 20 Champions School of Real Estate Career Fair - Round Rock Location 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 31 Annual CCIM Central Texas Symposium Sheraton Austin Hotel - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday, February 2 WCAoR Super Bowl of Builders WCAoR Office - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, February 7 HBA Lakeway/Bee Cave Chapter Fore @ 900 RR 620 S - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 9 NAPMW Valentine Wine Social Shoal Crossing Event Center 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 15 CRS Luncheon - Westwood Country Club 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 16 ABoR 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off Mueller Browning Hangar 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 21 HBA Georgetown Chapter Bob's Catfish 'N More - 12 to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 23 WCR Business Resource Meeting Cool River Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. More at

Realty Line January 2012 Issue

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