Business Management

How to Write a Business Plan for a Real Estate Investment Company

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Wholesaling, Real Estate Investing Basics
90 Articles Written
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There are numerous clichés about planning—especially if you read a ton on leadership and business development. Here’s one: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

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You’ve probably heard that one and several others. The reason I bring this up is because there are some novice investors who do not have a written plan, yet they expect to be successful.

Writing your plan down is imperative. Many can tell you their plan aloud; others will try to say they have it in their head. But a plan is of little use if it cannot be evaluated or referenced.

Being successful is not as difficult as it seems when there’s a written plan and a way to measure the efforts. That said, let’s quickly review the key elements needed in a business plan for a real estate investor.

Related: The 5-Step Process for Writing a Simple Business Plan (That You Will Actually Use!)

How to Develop a Business Plan

Industry Information

Industry information refers to the dynamics of the industry. For real estate, it’s important to be aware of general market trends, as well as specific market data.

In the Phoenix market, I use two tools that keep me abreast of specific market trends:

  1. The Cromford Report: This provides detailed information to track the history and current status of the greater Phoenix residential resale market and offers unique insight into its future direction.
  2. Arizona Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS): This provides industry information regarding real estate activity, such as number of units sold, active listings, days on market, etc.

Gathering industry data is not difficult—but too many people do not actively monitor trends.

As part of your business plan, some key data points to monitor include:

  • What is the average selling price in an area?
  • Have any drastic changes to the job and population growth occurred?
  • How have days on market for resale units fluctuated, if at all?

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Again, these and other trends reflect back to how the market is moving. To an investor, this information indicates if it’s a seller’s market or buyer’s market.

Point being, the difference in market trends could help save thousands on purchases.

Current trends are of course important. But as investors, we also need to be progressive, and knowing where the industry is headed is essential.

For example, in the residential market, we are looking at how to compete with hedge fund iBuyers like Opendoor, Offerpad, and—soon enough—Zillow. How will this shift in strategy affect margins and deal flow?

I’m sure most of you feel that effect already. With more institutional buyers entering markets, how does your business need to pivot?

Related: Think Your Business Plan is Flawless? Don’t Forget This Key Element!

Business Model

Identifying the appropriate business model is critical. The model will inform which strategies to deploy and how to get things accomplished.

If the business is incorporating a fix and flip model, then focus should be on ways to leverage that strategy. In this industry, there are so many different methods of investing—it’s easy to get distracted.

So, take a look at this quick outline of a business model:

  • Strategic Vision: Ideas for the direction and activities of business development.
  • Guiding Principles & Values: A broad philosophy that encompass your personal beliefs and values and guides an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, or type of work.
  • Mission: This describes the company’s function, markets, and competitive advantages. It also includes business goals and philosophies.
  • Financials: This specifies start-up costs, projected revenue, and pro forma.
  • Goals: This describes what the business expects to accomplish.

These all are easily identifiable but somewhat difficult to incorporate in a business plan. It takes thought and plenty of self-awareness. If done correctly and integrated fluidly, success is only a matter of persistence.

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Strategy Implementation & Evaluation

The business strategy always looks amazing on paper, but implementation is where the rubber meets the road. During the implementation process, it becomes easy to identify whether the strategy is too aggressive or the financials are below expectations or vice versa.

So, how do you pivot once an analysis is done? Herein lies the delta between theory and practice.

All business plans are constructed on theory, but implementation and evaluation is practice. The theory of the business was perfect, but market changes, financial changes, team structure changes, and so on can either create opportunity or adversity. How a business handles both and keeps in line with its model is crucial.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve read this far, then there are likely some things you may need to re-evaluate. Or if you’re lucky, maybe you now feel you’re right on track.

Either way, a brief review of your business plan can reinvigorate you. Honestly, I don’t do this as often as I used to. The daily grind of trying to get deals done, or in my case, working with property managers and contractors, can tie up the day.

Since noticing this, I am making a conscious effort to review my business practices and goals weekly.

Is there something I may have missed?

I would love your comments so those planning or re-evaluating their business plan have an in-depth rubric to use.

 

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who wholesales virtually in multiple states while building his investment portfolio. He has also converted some of his deals into cash-flowing rentals. Marcus holds seven rentals, two of which are commercial units. He’s even purchased a school, which was converted into a daycare center. His overall goal is to turn what is a marginal profit into a significant equity position. He leverages the equity by using the BRRRR (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat) strategy to increase his portfolio without any money out-of-pocket. Marcus has been featured in numerous podcast such as the Louisville Gal Podcast, The Best Deal Ever Podcast, The Flipping Junkie, and many others. He contributes content regularly to his YouTube channel and blog.

    Don Taylor from Raleigh, NC
    Replied 3 months ago
    Nice read
    Josephine Barnett from Meridian, MS
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Thanks for this article. Very informative. Can you provide a copy of your business plan? We are a new company serving the Mississippi market. Our mission and goals are exactly the same as yours--we have 3 arms including our realty company which buys, rehabs and rents to tenants; our community restoration company which focuses solely on restoration of the communities in which we buy, rehab, flip, rent and sell houses; and, our rent to own company which helps low income individuals own their homes for the cost of renting with very affordable down payments. Can you post a link showing your business plan or share via email? I sent our email to your message box. Also, are you looking to sell any properties including turn key rentals or fix and flips?
    Pete Tinsley
    Replied 15 days ago
    Hi Marcus - Nice read and I too would benefit by seeing a copy of your plan. My partner and I are just getting started and I agree with you that have a business plan is critical. Thanks for anything you can share. Pete Tinsley Tinsley and Associates LLC [email protected] Carmel, IN