RTRE 40 – 2019 Business Plans

What are you doing now that will make tomorrow that much better? Join us on this week’s episode as we discuss our 2019 planning efforts. We share our goals, tactics, and how we are planning for next year.

Follow Us

Nathan White

Chris Lazarus

Christian Harris


Download this Episode

reThink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 27:24

RTRE 40 – 2019 Business Plans

[music] [Chris] Welcome to re:Think Real Estate, your educational and hopefully entertaining source for all things real estate, business, news and tech. 

[Christian]: I am Christian Harris in Seattle, Washington.

[Nathan]: Hi, I am Nathan White in Columbus, Ohio.

[Chris]: And I am Chris Lazarus in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for tuning in. 

[music] [Chris]: Everybody and welcome back to re:Think Real Estate. We’re so happy to have you with us today. We are talking about business planning for 2019. I am Chris Lazarus here with Nathan White and Christian Harris. What’s up guys?

[Christian]: Hey.

[Nathan]: What is happening everyone?

[Chris]: Well everybody right now is talking about 2019 and what they’re gonna do next year and why next year is gonna be so great. 

[Christian]: Are they talking about it Chris? Are they?

[Chris]: They are. Everybody. Everybody is on the conversation Christian. Where have you been? [laughter] [Christian]: OK. Not here apparently. OK.

[Nathan]: For the first hour today he was not around. 

[Christian]: I was not around. 

[Chris]: That’s true that’s true. While we were having that conversation. So one of the…one of the things that I have noticed a lot of people putting focus on and I think it’s fantastic is that they’re starting now. They’re not waiting until January 1. Because you know let’s face it we’ve got like 3 or 4 weeks right now and we can take that and put it to work or we could just kind of sit around and twiddle our thumbs and wait. 

And I know that everybody here on this podcast we’re workers not waiters. So Nate what are you doing right now to prep for 2019? Like what do you have scheduled and what are some things that you are working on? Does it include your CRM?

[Nathan]: So…Well so yeah we can talk [laughter] really like you said next 2 months for me we can make jokes CRM. I started. I have found it extremely difficult for me. This guy that likes to bounce off walls and not sit still. But I am working on it and I have got about 20 minute increments that I can sit there and do it. But it’s better. It’s something better than nothing. But looking at…

[Chris]: I am glad you’re making progress.

[Nathan]: There is progress right. It’s something. Talking about 2019 specifically I do plan. I don’t want to call it conventional to wear. Break down conversions and leads and this and the other. I set a specifics sales goal in mind. And I set some personal goals, some financial goals, some spiritual goals. If you want to know what I use if you go to Lewis House who wrote School of Greatness, everybody has heard me talking about him a lot. But he’s got a PDP and a PSP, a personal development plan and a personal statement plan. And that’s really what I use to go throughout my year. 

The other side we have talked about is a dream board. And just having a vision of what I want that year to look like. And then it goes back and you have to revisit that. There are those sales plans and spreadsheets that you can plug in “If I want to do this than I need to convert this many leads in it. Requires you know all these different conversions and theories”. I…for me that’s just a little too much. But I do think you have to have a goal in mind. 

So what’s my goal? I will tell you. I like to do about 5 million volume. Do you want to call that that’s closed on my end. So 10 million if you’re counting total or as we get sides here that would be 5 million. I think that is comfortable for me. I like that. I am gonna do…I am actually gonna do…I said this last year. What I found important this year looking at planning for last year is I have done almost the identical number the previous year but I did it in 10 transactions or 10 fewer transactions than I did the year before. So my dollar amount increased which I liked. That meant I worked a little bit smarter and not as hard.

[Chris]: Love it.

[Nathan]: So you know can I up that to you know that many transactions I did the year before and increase the volume that would be awesome. But I am happy and what I want is to have some organized chaos in my life. I am taking the last few weeks of December off and unplug.

[Christian]: Me too.

[Nathan]: I am not gonna work. Why? No one gives a damn about houses on Christmas anyway. Let’s be honest. Or New Year’s day or any of that. They are not thinking about it so I am not gonna think about it, easy. I want to get my 2019 set. I want to have some personal time. With myself. Hopefully that works in having some idle hands. With my family more importantly and my son and my wife and my daughter. And really hit 2019 fresh. And ready to go instead of unprepared. What is it the 7 Ps? Right? Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance? So I just want to…

[Chris]: I like that. Could you say that again for the audience?

[Nathan]: Sure. Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. 6 Ps whatever.

[Chris]: I love it.

[Christian]: OK.

[Nathan]: You know just…that way I go into 2019 ready. I…again find what works for you is what I would suggest if you’re an agent. The…I have seen several different plans but I have found one that works for me that really doesn’t have to do anything with real estate. It has to do with it but it doesn’t if that makes any sense. So…

[Chris]: Well I mean business planning…Business planning is universal. Right. Goal setting is universal. It doesn’t have to be real estate specific. So I mean that is fantastic. I am glad that you got your plan in place for 2019. I know that so a few weeks ago we had our office planning session. So we bring our leadership team together. We spend an entire day we bring in food, breakfast and lunch and we sit down and we hammer out what worked this year. What we can make changes on next year. 

And then we’re setting goals. And we set our goals and we put a timeline. We don’t…We don’t say “These are our goals and this is what we’re hoping to achieve”. But we have…we have a calendar and we have target months and we usually do 2-4 main goals every year. Whether that’s upgrading a system or changing the training program. Or adding something for the agent benefit. Usually these things take quite a bit of time and man power. 

So we usually do about 3 or 4 a year and we set different months throughout the year that we want. So usually about 1 a quarter. So we’re…right now we’re just focusing on continuing the culture development. We’re gonna start adding more agent kind of networking events where our agents can get together and just have some collaboration and comradery. So those are some of the things that we’re working on. 

We’re gonna try and do at least 1 event per quarter now. Whereas it was 1 per year so we’re starting this month in December. We’ve got our first holiday party which is awesome. We finally have the facility to do it. And the whole plan is just to get the ball rolling now. We don’t wait until the first week of January. Because by than everybody…we’re already behind the 8 ball if we do. So you know from that…That’s our perspective from a larger office. With you know lots of different team members. Christian what are you doing for your 2019 business planning?

[Christian]: I haven’t really like officially tackled it yet but kind of thinking back you know on this year you know we made some big strives on you know how many agents we have on kind of fine tuning our call it marketing or whatever. But you know kind of going organic with the networking and mixtures and events and volunteering. And that kind of community outreach type stuff. 

So I think we’ll probably continue that and double down on that next year. I would say that the big focus we still have to kind of crunch the numbers and see you know where we need to be for real kind of profitability and that kind of thing. But probably continue focusing on growth. But then get into the weeds of set agent…agent support. 

You know like specifically what we’re gonna do is get into better rhythms to be able to you know better support the agents so they can you know do what they do. Our big challenge has been that we attract newer agents but then there’s that longer kind of ramp up to become productive and it’s kind of killing it about our line. So…so just trying to figure that out. 

I really want to ramp up our marketing and you know make it feel and look kind of what our culture you know what I am trying to get our culture to be. So just kind of some tweaking as far as that kind of stuff goes. Yeah I mean I have to kind of sit down kind of look at the…you know where we were this year. Where we want to be next year. You know and then kind of those I would say probably 3 big goals to shoot for. But…yeah.

[Chris]: So Christian in your planning, what is your planning session look like? So how…Is it currently…because how many agents are you up to now?

[Christian]: We have 12.

[Chris]: 12 so OK it…does your planning session involve the agents? At a brokerage size? Are you getting their feedback on what they want? What works for them? Are you bringing that together or is it just “This is my baby and this is what I want to accomplish this year”?

[Christian]: Yeah I would say just…It is historically just been me. I mean in January we will be 2 years in and I found that like I said in the OR agents tend to be newer and so I don’t think they know what they want. Nor they are as invested as I want them to be as far as our culture and what we’re doing and what not.

[Chris]: So you’re working towards that?

[Christian]: Still working towards that. I think we’ll provide more value and get more buy in for our monthly meetings and kind of what we’re putting out there and stuff. But still we’re…

[Chris]: Love it.

[Christian]: Where I want it to be. So historically it has been just me but at the beginning I brought on one of my finds who is a bit more business and numbers minded. And so we’re kind of the leadership team. And then I have got a couple of others who aren’t officially on the pay roll or even invested in the company but I respect them and probably bring them on. “Here’s what we plan. What are your thoughts on this?”. 

You know because like a lot of…I think there is a lot of strength in having you know a healthy leadership team whether it be 3 or 4, 6. And the challenge I have always had is that it was me. And “This is my idea. My baby” and realizing that is also why I have ultimate control. I also am the only one person and you know it bothers them pretty quickly. [laughter]. As you’re growing. 

So trying to figure out you know…I have certain skill sets but I don’t have others. So trying to figure how to flush that out so that we’re not stifled or limited by me. And that’s kind of…that can be a tough pill to swallow when you’re kind of like “This is my baby and I am doing this thing” but you know trying to get other people that can help me see the blind spots and get past those.

[Chris]: Good for you. That is awesome. So up until now it’s been really you and you’re bringing in a little bit more outside thought, outside critique and really using that feedback to change the direction and make those tweaks for next year.

[Christian]: Exactly we’ll make a little adjustments yeah.

[Chris]: Good. Good. So Nate if next year is gonna be a success for you what is one big thing that you’re just like “I want this. I want to crush this one aspect of my business for 2019 and if I am able to do this is a huge success?”.

[Nathan]: It’s to branch into something a little bit different.

[Chris]: OK.

[Nathan]: I want to stay in real estate doing what I do but I want to…we talked about it a little bit but I want to find a way to speak to others. Talk about my story a little bit that you know we have not discussed here in depth but that how to create success and what success looks like. I think it’s a lot different than a lot of people. Maybe it takes us a little bit later in life to figure that out as it did me. But it…to how to influence people. 

[Chris]: In a positive way right?

[Nathan]: Yeah in a positive way [laughter] absolutely.

[Christian]: All influence people. 

[Nathan]: You know I think a lot of us you know we never talk about really the struggles you know. You know it goes back to you know earlier…a little bit earlier off air we were talking Chris when I said you know It [censored] me off when all these realtors are like “Best clients ever. Oh my God amazing clients. Oh my good first time home buyers that are the best”. 

No [censored]. They’re not all that way. You know what in my life and by no means is perfect. It has been a [censored] struggle. And it’s one that I am proud of. It is one that made me who I am and I think we often forget that in this world of the internet the faux life if you would of you know what you type behind a key board that is all rosy…It’s not all [censored] rosy. And it’s OK not to be rosy. 

That you know what I have struggles every day. I struggle with the CRM and that led to me finding out some other things that I have gotten and it’s not perfect and I fail. And that’s OK, it makes me human. So I just want to be able to go out and kind of speak about that and affect change in somebody else life. And give somebody else hope if you would. Because I have been in that place where there is no hope. 

And can you get out of it? Can you do something cool with it? Absolutely and I think it’s a lot of fun but it is hard. So goal, to speak to share my story, to create change in one person’s life. If one person at some point next year said “Man I heard your story and it inspired me” than that creates a web for me. So that would be the big goal.

[Chris]: That…If you’re able to do that with one person I think that that would be a year well spent. 

[Nathan]: I would agree.

[Chris]: So good for you. For all of our listeners if you need a key note speaker give old Nate here a call.

[Nathan]: Well you know it’s like and you know I doubt David listens to this podcast because he is not in real estate but David Clark who wrote the book The Story of All to Recovery, that guy right there is the guy who inspired me. And you know he has inspired hundreds. But you know again for him you know he will tell you all the time when I talked to him on the phone and we were just shooting the [censored] he was like “Man…” He doesn’t care about the money. He cares about affecting change and helping people get through some tough [censored]. And that’s what I like to do I guess.

[Chris]: So anyway it’s great stuff.

[Christian]: Well Nate and you’ve already affected my life in a positive way so what are you gonna do for your 2020?

[Nathan]: [laughter].

[Christian]: No but seriously part of that, you kind of talking about growing an inspiration that book you gifted me for my birthday, thank you very much. 

[Nathan]: Yes.

[Christian]: Tribal Mentors by Tim Pherris, just reading the introduction of that like had some great takeaways. So I think that’s one thing that I am gonna do more of. Not only to you know start cycling and working out again but also to start reading more to continue growing and learning and be inspired. To get that…the ideas flowing instead of “Oh I am too busy in the weeds of my business to take in any more information”. You know.

[Nathan]: Right. No I am right there with you brother. It’s…You know a lot of people wouldn’t believe I would say it but man the…you know reading and some of those things gives us growth. It gives us a different perspective. Even me. I can look at things differently sometimes. 

[Chris]: That’s good stuff. So one of the things that I want to do next year like if it…if next year is a success for me 2 things have to happen. 1, we’re starting an E team so we’re lead generation for online and we have agents that are working at so I want that to be successful. And then 2, I want…I want us to hit our goal. I want 100 episodes on the podcast and if that is done than you know for me next year is a success and we’re almost halfway there. This is episode 40. So thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in with this. It…this just means the world to me that we’re able to get together and just talk real estate. And this is considered work. So Christian for 2019 if it’s gonna be a success for you what is one thing that really has to happen for you?

[Christian]: Hum [laughter]. This awkward pause now. One thing that has to happen. I would say get a better grip on the numbers so that it’s not just…I think I am really good at the culture driven strategy stuff but when it gets down to numbers like I still need to know what I need to do to actually become profitable and not lose my shirt. So I think getting a better hand on the numbers. Is one thig I need to do to really succeed. 

[Chris]: I think that you know we all need that because we are limited to real estate software right and we only know the numbers that we can track and sometimes it’s hard to track stuff. I mean it’s hard to track whether or not your agents are following up with leads or whether or not they’re doing the right things that they’re supposed to do. Because frankly most agents have their own CRM so it’s almost impossible for us to coach based off of numbers in real estate unless we have some super expensive system, right?

[Christian]: Yeah I mean the way we are set up is essentially not mandated but kind of is. You know the CRM that we use and the system that we use so we can track that pretty well but again it’s completely buy in you know so…

[Chris]: That’s good. You know one thing I would like to see next year I am trying to really work on the business, right, instead of in it. You know I am trying to make that move from you know being…well I have already made the move from being a producing broker to a non-producing broker. Now I am making that move from being the broker to really being more of an owner. 

Still doing the broker roles but doing more business development. Thinking from 100.000 feet rather than 30.000 feet and looking down at the whole picture to see where we want to take this. Want to spend more time with the family and less time in the office so those are…those are some major goals that I have. And actually started that recently so no longer working weekends and really ever since I started doing the miracle morning Nate, that you and Obi recommended a few months ago…

[Nathan]: Whoohoo.

[Chris]: Since I have been doing that I am not working at night. It is beautiful. 5 o’clock comes. 5:30 I am done. I am home. Computer is away. Phone is away and I get to spend time with the kids. So I am getting that stuff done in the morning now. So I mean those are some of the things that I am really looking forward to 2019 on. I think that we’re gonna be able to implement most of it. Anything else for 2019 that you guys wanna see? Maybe industry wide or in your personal lives or your business lives? What else do you got for 2019 that you want to see? 

[Nathan]: No I mean for me I got personal. Gosh I got my first full iron man. That’s gonna be important. I got 3 50 mile races I am running so you know that but I am big. So those…those personal things again miracle morning, having that schedule and again just keeping that going and moving forward. And again just evolution. I don’t know. I want to be a good person doing good things for good people. I think it helps. So you know try to just be better. I got a lot of room for improvement on that so…try to be better. You know just be a better person.

[Christian]: Like we all.

[Nathan]: Yeah you know I get tired of looking at the [censored] news and you see all this negative. Because I know there is a lot of good in the world so I would rather block out the noise that kind of noise and just be good. Trying to have some fun and let other people have fun. So yeah I don’t know. Iron man like plus that’s my big one.

[Christian]: Well there you go. I mean it sounds…it sounds like we’re all kind of sinking up on this healthier life rhythms leading into this year. 

[Chris]: I am gonna drink more whiskey.

[Christian]: Drink more whiskey. That’s on my list too.

[Chris]: Yep.

[Nathan]: Not mine.

[Chris]: Yeah [laughter].

[Christian]: I mean Nathan you get up early to run and bike. Chris you’re getting up early doing your miracle morning. 

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Christian]: I started getting into that rhythm with exercising. And now reading and stuff. So it’s good. I would…I would classify all that as just being more intentional as opposed to scrambling and just trying to take up every minute of the day with work you know.

[Chris]: Oh yeah. Intentionally is huge.

[Christian]: Have room for growth.

[Chris]: Like when we…at least I have found that when I make decisions with intention you know like figure out “OK what do I want to accomplish with this?”. And then have that as part of the decision rational I mean the outcomes are just way more important. I mean it kind of makes common sense. Like “What do you want to accomplish?” “I want to accomplish this”. OK do something that accomplishes that.

[Christian]: Right.

[Chris]: And…but for the most part [laughter] like a lot of people don’t do that. They just are like “Oh let’s try this and see what happens”.

[Christian]: Sure. Well it’s…it’s tough to re-formulate you know, how your day goes. I mean it’s much easier to get into the office and just go. You know but your end result and productivity is gonna be exponentially greater if you start your day and you work with “OK what are the first things that I need to accomplish”. That’s my priority you know you don’t have to be a super organized planner to you know live with some intention.

[Chris]: Whenever I…Whenever I rock a to-do list my productivity sky rockets.

[Nathan]: Well I think about like going to yoga with one of the instruction Kelly. A class I really enjoy going to. You know, she talks about at the beginning of the class of like you know blocking everything out and really focus on the intention of that class and focusing on me and you know we said that word “Intention” a lot. I think it’s huge. Because when you do focus on that intention you seem to get a lot more [censored] done. 

[Christian]: Oh yeah.

[Chris]: Absolutely. So I think we’re all…we’re all kind of on part for 2019. We’ve got some big goals both personal and business that we all want to achieve. You know for our business planning Nate as a solo agent you’re going through and doing the…what was the…

[Nathan]: Lewis. Lewis House School of Greatness We’re not getting paid by him but check out his website [laughter]. I will tell the listeners I have submitted multiple requests to have him in the show. We can have a whole show based around him because he was important in my development in becoming what I am. That book the School of Greatness is huge. So maybe one day he will be like “Sweet I will be on their show” but again it’s planning and development. [crosstalk] [Christian]: [inaudible].

[Chris]: Yes so you are doing the individual planning for your personal and business. Christian you are at that smaller stage now. You’ve got 12 agents. You’re bringing in some outside influence to help guide the direction of where you’re going next year. And you know on my side we’re 115 agents and this was the first year that we did a formal business planning session and we brought in our leadership team, all the ownership and some of our top agents. And stuff. And we all sat down. We talked about what worked this year. What we want to see next year. 

We sat some goals and we figured out how we can improve some of the processes that we’re currently working on. We just did that in a day. So from all of us here at re:Think Real Estate we’re doing it a little bit differently. But either way we’re all planning for 2019 now. Either our planning is currently going on or is already been done. And we know our goals and we know what we’re gonna do. Because let’s face it there is no point in putting off a couple of weeks before we get into 2019. 

[Christian]: And I was gonna jump in you know I would love to hear…I think we would all love to hear from our listeners you know our audience. 

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Christian]: What’s your 2019 goals this year? Personal, professional. Leave it in the comments below. I think it would be awesome it be able to share that and hear what you guys have going on.

[Chris]: Yeah definitely. Leave comments on our website or on our Facebook profile. You can find us on Facebook at re:Think Podcast. Or you can find us on the website at www.rtrepodcast.com. Thanks so much for tuning in everybody. This has been re:Think Real Estate. We’re almost done with 2018 so take the little that we have left, double down. Make the time worth it and we’ll see you next week.  

[music] [Chris]: Thanks for tuning in this week’s episode of the re:Think Real Estate Podcast. We would love to hear your feedback so please leave us a review on iTunes. Our music is curtesy of Dan Koch K-O-C-H, whose music can be explored and licensed for use at dankoch.net. Thank you Dan. Please like, share and follow. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rethinkpodcast. Thank you so much for tuning in everyone and have a great week.