building my first business plan

14 Replies


I'm just starting in REI and still looking for my first peoperty. I feel kind of lost with everything; what niche to start in, how to finance, realtors, lawyers, and GC's. I want to start with a business plan to focus my efforts. Would anyone be willing to share a business plan template or their first? Any advice or stories would be great to hear too. Thanks everyone.


Welcome to Biggerpockets!

Our niche/business plan is buy and hold rentals. We buy them as personals future rentals, pure investments and self-manage. My husband is active duty so local is relative so we have created process and criteria that allows me to do this. Definitely check out peoples who writing and heights you like in the blog and forum. In my work in progress blog/website I will have my philosophy, business plan, information about my niche. I know tons of great people have the same information Iin their website.

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Your business plan really depends on your real estate investment strategy that you plan on using.  Do you plan to buy and hold, fix and flip, wholesale, invest in notes, seller finance, what?  If you're unsure, you're in the right place.  

Here's a business plan template:

Objective - write down your objective (e.g., I want to own enough properties so I am financially independent)

Goals - put specificity in your objective (e.g. 

1. Passive income equals $10K/mo or better;
2. Own enough single family homes to meet #1)

Strategies - these are 3-5 choices you make to help you achieve your goals
1. Learn my RE market and focus on buying single family homes in B & C areas
2. Utilize my good credit to acquire Homepath properties to be able to put 10% down
3. Raise the downpayment from saving 20% of my income + raise it from family & friends

Tactics - these are ACTIVITIES or TASKS you intend to do to help you implement the Strategies, by whom (at the beginning, everything is going to be done by YOU) and by when
e.g., On Strategy #1 (to learn my RE market)
Tactic #1: Identify and talk to 5 RE agents in my city by 8/12
Tactic #2: Research on Google facts about different areas of my city by 8/7
On Strategy #2 (to buy Homepath properties)
Tactic #1: After identifying 2 good agents, visit 10 properties and make 10 offers in the next 10 business days (by 8/15)
Tactic #2: Learn how to calculate ARV by talking with an experienced real estate investor by 8/7

The whole point of having a business plan is to start with your end-in-mind. Then think of focusing your thinking on the few strategies you want to pursue. But don't stop at big picture strategies: you have to bring it down to the level of actionable tactics or tasks. Then your job everyday is implement those tasks and add more tasks as you finish them.

Once a quarter revisit your Strategies. If they're not working change them.

awesome info everyone. Thank you so much and Wendell thanks for the template. 

@elizabeth....just subscribed to your blog. Looking forward to checking it out soon

@ben...really liked the opening statement on your site. It's very inviting and gets your mission across. Thanks for the help

Really liked how Wendell Broke that down for you @Rob Ringlehan

Have you listened to the BP Podcasts? Hearing the stories of the many guests might help you identify a niche/strategy that fits your strengths/goals. After that you'll learn what you need to educate yourself with to make that particular strategy work for you. 

@mehran...I've seriously listened to almost all of them lol. I'm going to have to go back thru them and take notes next time 

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to thank all of you for the help with my business plan. Wendell, I used your template as a guide and spent a couple hours last night with it. I wanted to share it with you all. Let me know what you think. I feel like I have some direction now and already got in touch with a Realtor. I set up a meet so we can discuss what I'm looking for. Thanks again.


 -Ringlehan’s REI Business Plan-


§  To build a business that Alicia and I can run from home that:

1.      Keeps us from have a job we are not HAPPY with (schedules/9-5+ hr days/people/work stress).

2.      Be able to pay to have our own BABIES.

3.      Allows us to spend as much time with our FAMILY as possible.

4.      Provides us with the FINANCIAL FREEDOM so we can TRAVEL the WORLD, explore HOBBIES (photography, WW, surfing, psychology, girls sports, activities, coaching), take FAMILY VACATIONS (w/o have to budget everything, stay at nice places, stay extended time, do any/all Activities).

5.      Allows us to PROVIDE our children with every ADVANTAGE we did not have ($ for college, stress free time w/ us, more time w/ us).

6.      Grows into something we can RETIRE early, happily, and securely on.

7.       Becomes a family LEGACY that we can pass down to them.

8.      Would keep us from having to stay in the AF.

9.      Be an example for our CHILDREN that you do not need a job to be successful

10.  Allows us to LIVE where ever we want (Family, Hawaii, Beach, Country)


§  Have a Passive Income of (8.5k/month) that allows us BOTH to be able to live comfortably without having a JOB.

§  Flip 5 or more houses a year.

§  Buy our first investment property before the first of the year.


1.      Learn as much about the Okaloosa County RE market to become confident in making profitable investment purchasing choices.

2.      Capitalize on growing/stable Military presence to provide quality rental properties.

3.      Research ways to Fund Purchases (Hard Money/CC’s/Conventional/Private/Homepath)

4.      Start a direct mailing campaign that can give us the best chance to buy homes at the lowest prices for potential flips/rentals.

5.      Save $10K as a down payment to be able to purchase an REO/HUD/Homepath home.


·        Strategy #1: RE Market Knowledge

o   By 8/16 - Talk to at least 2 Realtors in each city of interest (Crestview, Fort Walton, Niceville, Destin) about each market:

§  SFR:

·         Inventory

·         # of Sales and Hot Neighborhoods

·         Price ranges

·         # of Foreclosures

·         Rental Prices/ Inventory/ Best Renting home types

§  Duplexes/ Townhomes:

·         Inventory

·         # of Sales and Hot Neighborhoods

·         Price ranges

·         # of Foreclosures

·         Rental Prices/ Inventory/ Best Renting home types

§  Realtors:

·         Do/Have they worked with investors?

·         Issues with putting in Low Offers?

·         Give them type of Properties we are looking for.

·         Ask for resources for RE market research

§  Analyze:

·         Find and Analyze 2 deals every day off of the MLS for Practice


·        Strategy #2 – Provide Military focused rental homes

o   Stay current on Military News and Affairs

§  Read Hurlbert and Eglin Papers

§  Information on 7th SFG/ New Contract Awards/ Growing Units

§  Find information on times of year orders drop and people are PCSing.

§  Look for For Sale By Owner Listings in Base Papers

§  Research what most Military Families are renting

·         Price

·         Type

·         Size

·         Location/ Length of stay

·        Strategy #3 – Funding

o   Build a Presentation of an example of a flip to present to lender.

o   Have all paperwork together to apply for loan.

o   Meet with:

§  2 – Community Banks

§  2 – Small Credit Unions

§  2 – Regional Banks

§  2- Hard Money Lenders


·        Strategy #4 – Marketing/ Direct Mailing Campaign

o   After Strategy #1 is completed:

§  Order Business Cards

§  Choose best starting location and find a company to do a Direct Mailing Campaign to find motivated sellers (pre-foreclosure)

§  Add a line (flip phone) and voicemail to receive calls from

§  Put a script in place to follow for incoming calls

§  Practice script

§  Have 3 plans understood on how to help sellers in multiple situations.


·        Strategy #5 - Save $10K as a down payment to purchase an REO/HUD/Homepath

o   Go over Budget with Alicia and make a plan to save money for Down Payment:

§  Find ways to decrease bills

§  Build/sell restored furniture

§  Start FB page for my furniture

§  Garage Sale


 Please excuse the formatting, I had to copy and paste from Word.

@Rob Ringlehan  have you thought about vacation rentals on the beach? Destin is a great area, you may have to look a little harder to find something on the beach but if you could find a deal, it'd really make you some money.


My approach to putting a business plan would be some what brief but at the same time it's very effective. Since your just getting started you need to generate some income. So start with WHOLESALING. From there start "Buying and Flippin" w/ HARDMONEY. Build your credit as you go, this will open up opportunities for traditional financing. After your cash reserves are built I then would implement a BUY AND HOLD strategy.

@Rob Ringlehan  - What is the niche you are targeting at? If you are in rehabbing area, you can look at @J Scott business plan. Available in Market place as well as on his website

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