Real Estate Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

how to start a real estate business

Real estate businesses come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from one person offices that handle a few homes in a handful of neighborhoods to enormous chains that cover both commercial and residential properties across the country. Many new real estate agents try to expand too much too soon, failing as the result of unsustainable growth. A written business plan will keep you on track and help you grow your real estate business in an organized way. In addition, if you plan to seek funding, investors and lenders will use your business plan to determine the level of risk.

What Is a Business Plan?

Your business plan provides a snapshot of your real estate company as it currently exists, and lays out a road map for the next three to five years. It highlights your business goals, identifies potential challenges, and describes your strategies for overcoming adversity and meeting your goals. It is a living document that should be frequently updated as your real estate business grows and evolves.

Below is our general template for real estate business plans. We also have templates for specific types of real estate businesses as follows:


Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a real estate business or grow your existing real estate business you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your real estate company in order to improve your chances of success. Your real estate business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

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General Real Estate Business Plan Template

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

Although it serves as the introduction to your business plan, your executive summary should be written last. The first page helps financiers decide whether to read the full plan, so provide the most important information. Give a clear and concise description of your real estate company. Provide a summary of your market analysis that proves the need for another real estate business, and explain your company’s unique qualifications to meet that need.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of real estate business you are operating. For example, are you an existing real estate agent looking to launch your own company or are you an existing real estate brokerage looking to expand?

Describe the company’s founding, current stage of business, and legal structure. Highlight any past milestones, such as lining up key clients or hiring an agent with a proven track record. Elaborate on your unique qualifications, such as expertise in a currently underserved niche market and include a mission statement, if possible.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the real estate market. The real estate industry is incredibly large and diverse, but your analysis should focus on your specific segment of the market. Do you specialize in multifamily residential buildings? Single family homes? Office buildings? Small commercial properties? Figure out where your real estate company fits in, and then research the current trends and market projections that affect your niche. Create a detailed strategy for overcoming any obstacles that you uncover.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your real estate business plan:

  • How big is the real estate market (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your real estate business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

Who will purchase your real estate? Are they first-time homebuyers? Upwardly mobile young professionals? Developers, speculators, or investors? What is important to them in a real estate agent? Do they require hand holding through the entire process, or are they savvy buyers that just want you to show them the properties that interest them? How do they decide on a particular property? Narrow down their demographics as closely as you can, and then figure out what their unique needs are and how you can fulfill them.

Competitive Analysis

Your direct competitors are those real estate companies that fulfill the same needs for the same target market as yours. Your indirect competitors are real estate businesses that target a different market, or other companies that fulfill a different need for your target market. Describe each of your direct competitors individually, and talk about the things that set your real estate company apart. Categorize your indirect competitors as a group and talk about them as a whole.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses in a SWOT analysis. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

Marketing Plan

A solid marketing plan is based on the four P’s: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Your marketing efforts should center around these four marketing strategies. The Product section describes the real estate you sell along with any other services you provide. Price will change according to the specifics of the property, but you can delineate your fees here. Promotion is your means of getting new business. Place is your physical office location, along with your web presence and the areas where you sell. Another category, Customer retention, refers to the ways you will build loyalty.

Employing a marketing strategy based on these four principles will allow you to generate leads for prospective clients.

Operations Plan

Your operations plan explains your methods for meeting the goals you set forth. Everyday short-term processes include all of the daily tasks involved in signing up clients, showing properties, and closing sales. Long-term processes are the ways you will meet your defined business goals, such as expanding into new markets or new types of properties.

Management Team

The management team section highlights the backgrounds of the key members of your team. Focus on those aspects that prove your team’s ability to build and run a successful company. A business mentor or advisor can help fill in any gaps, provided you can identify the specific ways that your advisor will influence your company’s growth.

Financial Plan

Investors and lenders heavily scrutinize the financial plan, but it is often the most challenging part of the business plan to write. Real estate is a fickle market, subject to changing whims and economic cycles. Yet the financial plan requires you to detail your specific business model and individual revenue streams by implementation timeline and relative importance, and disclose any sources of outside funding. You also need to summarize your past and future Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, and Balance Sheets, based on key assumptions that must be both reasonable and verifiable based on an analysis of similar companies. You should also provide a solid exit strategy that shows your understanding of the market and your desire to capitalize on profitability.


Your full financial projections should be attached in the appendix along with any other documents that support your claims, such as letters from key partners.

Real Estate Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your real estate business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the real estate industry, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful real estate business.

Download Our Real Estate Business Plan PDF

You can download our real estate business plan PDF here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.


Finish Your Real Estate Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Real Estate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your business plan today.

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink business plan consultants can create your business plan for you.


Real Estate Business Plan FAQs

You can download our real estate business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

This can be used for a commercial real estate business plan too.


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