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22 October 2008

Setting Production Targets and Pumpkin Pie

Last week we kicked off our agent business planning program with part one of Planning for Profit: Getting Started. With the current economic conditions it is more important than ever for agents to develop sound, written business plans. However, it is also more difficult than ever.

The first ingredient in our business plan recipe is to set your production targets for the upcoming year. The uncertainty and concern from the agents was obvious. They asked questions like:

  • Given the market, how can I possibly set production targets?
  • Should I set my target lower then I actually want?
  • Should I set my target higher then I actually want?
  • Why bother, I’ve got no control over what is happening in the market. (Most are feeling this sentiment.)

I’ve been coaching and training agents on business planning for years. Never have I sensed a stronger feeling of helplessness or a stronger attitude of “do nothing.”

Agents, brokers, managers—now is not the time to do nothing. You can’t stick your head in the sand and hope that this market just goes away. Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

To keep our recipe analogy going, let’s look at the market as a wonderful Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Over the last few years, the pie has gotten smaller than we would like, but there is still pie. People are still buying and selling properties. We can’t control the size of the pie, but we can control how big of a slice we have in each of our local markets.

Setting your production targets is the first step to determining the size of your slice of the pie. Notice I said the first step. It is like the crust of the pie. The next three ingredients are what make up the filling. And I’ll talk more about those in upcoming posts.

Start working on the crust. As my grandmother used to say, the crust makes the pie! And speaking of pie, if you’re in need of inspiration why not bake one Better Homes and Gardens style. We’ve got the best recipes!

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