Real Estate Business Planning Made Simple
What To Say Now: Episode 30

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Dan Stewart (00:12): Hi, how are you? I am so happy to be doing the 30th episode of What to Say Now. 30 episodes, that just drives me absolutely bonkers. And some of you may have heard me cough. You may have heard the long lag between the start, or maybe we've actually got it figured out and there was no gap this time, which is what I'm hoping for. So I love that you're here with me today. I love that so many people, once a week, every Tuesday at 2:00 PM Eastern, tune in for episodes of What to Say Now, and today, as we're headed towards the end of December, here in the week of Christmas 2020, the weirdest year we've ever lived in, we're going to talk about a very critical process that most of you sadly are doing wrong. And I know you're doing it wrong, because I did it wrong for an awful long time.
Dan Stewart (01:03): And this is the process of business planning. Business planning. I mean, how sexy is that? On one hand, it should be simple. What is a business plan? It's a plan for your business. That sounds pretty easy. We should all get that. And yet, most of us don't. Most of us view business plans as something that's really complex. We think of the guy with the MBA or the finance degree, who's sitting in a room and figuring out all these little things, and it can feel like a really intimidating process. So my goal for today is to make this process completely intimidation free. It doesn't have to be. We're going to make business planning really simple. We're going to provide a framework for you that you can deploy immediately. And of course, I'm going to make myself available to answer any questions that you may have as you encounter some difficulties.
Dan Stewart (02:02): So first, let me tell you a little story. Behind me, you see those Inc 500, 5,000 awards on the wall. I'm a serial entrepreneur. Happy Grasshopper is my seventh company, believe it or not. And there've been six other companies that preceded this. Some have been really amazing and others have been utter dumpster fires. So no matter where you are in your business, it's okay. If you're currently struggling right now, it's okay. You're here, you're in the right place. If you're currently killing it, if you've just had the best year you've ever had, and you can't imagine how it could get better, you're in the right place, because today we're going to absolutely nail something that's really important. See, a business plan isn't just a plan for your business. A business plan is a plan for your business that solves your problems. Write that down. Put that somewhere. Stare at those words. A business plan is a plan for your business that solves your problems.
Dan Stewart (03:09): Too many of us walk around, we think, oh, you know what? If only we had more sales, like sales cures all. That's probably a tattoo I don't have. I believe that sales makes most problems go away. It's a good thing. And yet, it can also create a lot of problems. So it's not enough just to say, oh, I want a specific GCI. I want a specific number of transactions. Your plan for your business has to include things that you really need in your life. And those things that you need are problems to go away.
Dan Stewart (03:42): So in previous discussions, we've talked about how pain is really nothing but knowledge rushing in. I love that quote from Jerry Seinfeld, "You get out of the bed in the middle of the night, you bang your shin on the bedpost, ah, that's knowledge of where the bedpost is rushing in." So when you're sitting down to create this plan for yourself for 2021, think about what was really painful in 2020. What was it? I want to know. Tell me, call it out in the comments below, send me an email, reach out to me on messenger. Let's have a conversation about this. What really hurt?
Dan Stewart (04:22): For some of you, it may be the pain of not having enough opportunity. For others, it may be the pain of being uncertain about what was going to happen this year. It may be the sense of isolation from the community that you've been so entrenched in. For example, this is my detached garage out at my horse farm. For 10 years, we've had office space for Happy Grasshopper. Now we don't. 2020 has had a lot of change in it for most of us. And yet, if we're really clear about what our intentions are, we can really weather almost any change.
Dan Stewart (05:03): So what I would like you to focus on more than anything else right now is that your plan for 2021 must be a plan that doesn't just produce a revenue outcome, a profitability outcome you're looking for, but it provides a quality of life outcome that you're looking for. I call these things meaningful results. Your plan should guide you towards a meaningful result. And of course what's meaningful is up to you. You get to decide that. Is it more time with your family? Is it less pressure? Is it having a team member coming on board and taking over more responsibility, to give you more freedom? I can tell you're really, really clear and certain about what that objective is. It's almost impossible to achieve it.
Dan Stewart (05:53): So now is the time, as we're coming into the very tail end here of 2020, it's time for you to be really clear about what it is you're willing to create for yourself and how hard you're willing to work to do it. So a big part of this involves you being brave, and bravery starts in your heart. It starts with being honest with yourself. It starts with saying, maybe the goal I want isn't someone else's goal. Have you ever done that in your life? Have you ever been part of an organization where you feel compelled to achieve at a level, and you start on that rat race and you're running and you're running and you're running, and you lose sight of why you're even in the race to begin with.
Dan Stewart (06:43): As you might guess by the name of my company, Happy Grasshopper, it's not enough just to have financial fulfillment. We want to have a complete and completely satisfying life. So we need to really be clear and consistent about what's meaningful to us, and this way we can take the steps to achieve them. So what are those steps? Well, I believe there's a very clear path that leads to your goal. Whatever that goal is, the path that you need to follow to get to that goal, it's likely one step behind achieving that goal is sales, right?
Dan Stewart (07:21): And where do your best sales come from? Well, they come from opportunity, and opportunity may be a lead that you're purchasing, or if it's a really valuable opportunity, it likely comes from a relationship that you have. Well, where do relationships live? They live in one place, and that's inside conversation. So if you have a goal of selling X number of homes, of earning X dollars in GCI, you can track that back to the number of conversations that you need to start. So here's some simple math. For every 100 contacts that you have in your database that actually know who you are, there should be 12 items of business per year from those contacts. And an item of business would be something like a direct transaction or a referral to a transaction that you get to conduct within that year.
Dan Stewart (08:16): So set your goal. 50 houses, 50 sites, 50 transactions, half a million GCI, whatever it might be. And you can look at your database, you can calculate back exactly the number of conversations that you need to have. And of course, if you need help with this, I want to be here to provide that help for you. So please connect with me via Facebook. Follow us at Follow us on YouTube. Find our YouTube channel. Send me a direct message. Send me an email at [email protected], or just come to our website, come to, and book a tour for yourself with one of our specialists.
Dan Stewart (09:00): Now is the time to go through and take a look at what you will accomplish in 2021, and to lay the foundation that will allow you to get there. So thank you to everyone who's attended today. I really always appreciate you. I love that we've got so many people here. Hello to David [inaudible 00:09:19]. Brian's here. Kevin Cooper. My man, I saw that frozen tundra on your Facebook post the other day. That looked like a frozen tundra. I'd love to see that. I've got some more comments coming in here. More people joining. It's awesome to have you guys here.
Dan Stewart (09:36): So with so many people here that I've had meaningful conversations with, I would be remiss not to take a moment to thank you. I sincerely appreciate you. David, Kevin, Brian, Maya, Melissa. So many of the people in my life have made an impact for me in ways I'll never be able to repay, and I hope that just by sharing some of what's allowed me to enjoy the success I've created, I'll be able to pay that forward just a little bit. So Merry Christmas, everyone. Thank you very much for joining me today, and let's make 2021 amazing. Cheers.