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| By Aimee Miller

How To Create A Rock Solid Property Management Business Plan

It’s a tired cliché, but it happens to be true. If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Running your business is difficult. You’re being pulled in many directions and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Unfortunately, that doesn’t let you off the hook when it comes to planning. You need to have a documented property management business plan if you want to be successful.

Hearing the words “documented business plan” can sound intimidating. It needn’t be. The value of a business plan doesn’t reside in a fancy binder with charts, power point slides, or extensive spreadsheets. The benefits of a solid business plan result from the actions you take and the decisions you make while implementing your plan. Don’t focus on the presentation. Concentrate on the core principles. Be specific and action-oriented.

Here’s an outline of a simple, high-level business plan that will get you started:

1. Overview

  • Profile of the company’s ownership
  • Summary of the current state of your business
  • Stated goals of where you want your business to be in 1, 3 and 5 years (revenue, clients, properties, etc.)

2. Your Company

  • Define why you are in business
  • Detail short and long term goals
  • Outline type of ownership
  • Describe your business model
  • Perform basic SWOT analysis of your company (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

3. Operations

  • Operations structure/organization chart
  • Base services you offer your clients/owners/tenants
  • Value added services you can offer clients/owners/tenants
  • Partnering and subcontracting
  • Fee structure
  • Equipment inventory
  • Maintenance plan

4. Marketing Plan

  • Market you’re targeting (location, property size, rent parameters, target tenants)
  • Competition (services, fees, rents, amenities, special differentiators)
  • Your market positioning
  •  Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – What makes you different as a property management firm?
  • Marketing budget
  • Prospecting plan to attract new owners/tenants
  • Website
  • Social media plan
  • Email marketing plan
  • Direct mail plan
  • Networking plan (associations and affiliations)
  • Advertising plan (online, offline, yellow pages, local newspapers)

5. Budget and Financials

  • P&L covering the most recent fiscal year (revenue, material costs, personnel costs, profit)
  • Projected P&L for the next fiscal year by month
  • Balance sheet (equity, accounts receivable, accounts payable)
  • Capital equipment planned expenditures
  • Process for monthly monitoring of P&L actual-to-budget

Going through the process of writing your business plan can be time consuming. It’s the time you spend developing your plan that will ultimately provide value to your business. When you’re finished, you’ll have a comprehensive roadmap to successfully run your property management business.

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Aimee Miller

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Aimee Miller is the CMO at AppFolio where she is responsible for building awareness for the company’s web-based property management software, AppFolio Property Manager. Aimee has worked in product management, marketing and services for web-based technology companies and has held marketing positions at Citrix Online, Digital Island (Cable & Wireless) and other software organizations. It turns out that Aimee enjoys writing about lots of topics, including marketing!

Posts by Aimee Miller

  • The Self-Service Generation: Connecting with Your Modern Renters

  • Property Manager’s Guide: 7 Steps to Social Media Renting Success

  • AppFolio Wins a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award

  • Why Are Millennials Rejecting Homeownership? Or Are They?

  • Do Your Management Strategies Shift with the Changing Headlines?

Comments by Aimee Miller

  • Mortgage Meltdown’s Impact On The Rental Market (Infographic)

    Yes – Infographics are a great way to display information …

1 comment

  1. Samuel Shoshoo

    This blog was very informative and touched on detail everyone looking to get into this business should know. I have been at this for 10 years now. Thanks! -Samuel Shoshoo

Comments are closed.

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    Guide

    Write a business plan: step-by-step

    Business plan template

    A business plan is a written document that outlines your business objectives and how you plan to achieve them. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. Our business plan template is an interactive form designed to simplify the process of creating your business plan.

    Business plan preparation and research

    The template asks a number of detailed questions about your proposed business, so it’s worthwhile to carry out research before you complete it. Consider:

    • your business goals
    • legal requirements for your business
    • your business market and competitors
    • financial forecasts
    • sales plans
    • potential suppliers
    • staff and premises

    Writing a business plan: 5 top tips

    1. Outline your business goals
    Provide details of how you are going to develop your business, when you are going to do it, who will be involved and how you will manage the finances. Clarity on these issues is essential for securing finance or investment.

    2. Research your markets and competitors
    Demonstrate that you’re fully aware of the marketplace that you’re planning to operate in. Highlight significant trends and drivers. You should prove that your business will be able to attract customers despite potential competition.

    3. Provide realistic financial forecasts
    Show financial projections that support what you have said about your business. Your forecasts should run for three years. The first 12 months’ forecasts should have the most detail.

    4. Plan your executive summary
    The executive summary outlines the key points of your entire business plan. It is usually the first section that people will read. Include highlights from each section of the document. It is a good idea to write the executive summary last – make it engaging and avoid jargon.

    5. Present in a professional format
    A well-presented plan will reinforce the positive impression you want to create of your business. Use a business plan template to keep you focused and to simplify the process of creating your business plan.

    Download our business plan template (DOC, 874K) .

    For further support to create your business plan see what to include in your business plan .

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    Business plan: dos and don’ts

    In this guide:

    • Introduction
    • The audience for your business plan
    • What a business plan should include
    • Business plan executive summary – the dos and don’ts
    • Your business, its products and services
    • Your business markets and competitors
    • Marketing and sales
    • Business plan: your teams skills
    • Business plan: your operations
    • Financial forecasts for your business plan
    • Tips for presenting your business plan
    • Business plan template
    • Business plan: dos and don’ts
    • Developing an up-to-date business plan – AKC Home Support Services

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    • What to include in your business plan

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    • Write a business plan: step-by-step

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    How to Write a Business Plan for Owning Rental Properties

    August 9, 2017
    Tagged in:
    Landlord and Property Manager Tips

    A business plan is the most important part of owning and running any business that you aspire to engage in. Your business plan will offer you the ability to organize your ideas into clear and presentable objectives and outline the mechanisms that you will employ in the event of managing your activities. A successful business has a solid foundation in a clear and precise planning stage.

    Defining your goals and objectives with specificity will help you observe the golden rule when it comes to business planning: SMART goal setting (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time bound). This rule will measure your ideas and give you the analysis you need for you to proceed to the next stage of having a successful business. Wouldn’t you adore that?

    Be Specific

    Now that you have the golden rule on your fingertips, you begin by defining your goals and objectives for your venture into real estate. You will have to be very precise at this stage to eliminate all ambiguity from your objectives.

    Having clear objectives will ensure that you will go through the entire process smoothly and successfully. Give yourself enough time in this stage to do some good amount of thinking. Analyze your ideas and envision yourself actualizing them. Create a straight path for each of your ideas separately from start to end and merge them together and imagine all possible outcomes. The most efficient routes will be your beginning options which you will have to carefully weigh and analyze for you to derive the best possibility.

    When describing your goals you should ensure that you have the answer for the following questions:

    • What?
    • Why?
    • How?
    • Where?
    • When?
    • Who?

    A good example of a goal can be like: buy a four story residential property in Kingston for $800,000 in two months’ time and lease to family tenants. The aim here is to have a clear and concise description of your goal in order to develop precise strategies and plans of action to realize them.

    Have Measurable Goals and Objectives

    Can you measure your goals and objectives? Each of your goals must be able to be broken down into measurable units. It defines the outcomes and effects of achieving your goals. When defining these elements, you will need empirical evidence to describe your goals. You may have to present your goals through both qualitative and quantitative analysis. By doing this you will be able to scrutinize your goals objectively and have a bias free analysis.

    Having such kind of goals will be of much profit to you and your business by refining and sharpening your focus. Outlining the actual realization of your objectives is like viewing your target through the scope; clearer and easier to hit.

    From the example above, the objective can be broken down into measurable elements as follows:

    • Type of property
    • Size of property
    • Cost of property
    • Tenants
    • Duration

    Have Attainable Goals and Objectives

    You must be able to demonstrate how your goals and objectives can be achieved. Show the logic behind each of your strategies and how they will be effective at realizing your goals. This is where you will prove that your abilities are in line with your goals and objectives. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and see if you can achieve what you propose. Weigh how much effort and resources will be required to achieve your goals and how much you will gain if you achieve them.

    Here you will also have to rely on the S.W.O.T. analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) for your goals. You will be able to identify and describe internal and external factors that are both favorable and unfavorable to the achievement of your goals. By doing this, you will be able to identify the most favorable path to direct your business through to have the maximum profit. You will know which obstacles to avoid and which opportunities to capitalize and concentrate on.

    Be Realistic

    This is where you must judge whether reaching your goals are relevant to you. If, for example, your goal will evolve into a multinational organization, do you have the relevant skills to manage an entity of such a magnitude? Or if your idea will require a lot of resources to implement is it a worthy enough venture to deploy resources on?

    Assess the amount of impact your achievement will have to the local economy. Is the solution you are proposing solving a relevant social or economic problem? If you’re proposing a solution for a felt need, achieving your goals will mean that you have addressed a relevant solution and the scales of the economy will favor you. The basis of this is to measure the objective behind the goal. The question to ask is why have this objective? This should show the reason for the desire to achieve the particular goal you have.

    Another feature to look at here is the notion that you claim an advantage towards achieving your goal but will the advantage work for you?

    Make Your Plan Time Bound

    This is a very crucial aspect that will have several impacts on your business. All investors pay a keen eye to this aspect for time is money. You must portray that you understand the chronology map for your business. You must show how your idea conforms to the expected timeline and how you achieve the business milestones. The most important part of this aspect is the break-even analysis. This is the amount of time it will take for your business to make the amount of financial capital that was invested into it. The shorter the duration, the more attractive that your business will be to investors.

    At this stage, the time aspect will have more effect in the planning of your business more than it will attract investments. You will have to install deadline for meeting certain milestones for you and your team. Let the timing be realistic and flexible. Give enough room for postponing the deadline with specific allowances. This will make your business an enjoyable venture rather than being too strict on timeline making your business a venture of racing against time.

    Implementation

    After going through this rigorous stage, you will have covered the planning part of your business. The next stage will be implementing the idea. But before we get there, we must go through the plan several times to fine tune the details.

    Proofreading is also important for your plan as it will display how orderly you which will show how skilled you are in business planning and management .

    You should have already built a checklist for your business venture and built other important business notes which can include the following highlights:

    • Your main objective in investing in owning rental properties
    • Information          that you possess on the different types rental properties  
    • Location of the rental properties        
    • The cost of owning the rental properties
    • The marketing strategies
    • Management of tenants
    • Maintenance of the properties
    • Exit strategies

    The statistical part of business planning is very important to the success of the venture. Having clear figure of what you are going into can save you a lot of trouble when things won’t work to your favor. You will be able to detect danger before the calamity strikes. This is important as you will know what is coming your way and prepare for the impact. Better yet you will be aware of the course you are to take in the unmarked ocean of business uncertainty.

    A business plan is comparable to a compass. It points you towards a certain direction which you have to take in order to reach a particular direction. A good compass will direct you more effectively and you will reach your destination with precision. A bad compass will result in you losing your way and never reach the destination.

    Conclusion

    Your plan will most definitely affect the outcome of your business in owning rental properties. Venturing into this business without a plan is a definite failure for your idea. The thesis statement definition for this kind of business will describe a number of resources needed in purchasing or building the properties; the purpose of this is to provide a clear organization schedule and proper planning. All the best with your business plan!

    Author Bio: Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

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