Chapter 26 — Revenue: Budgets and Brokering

An excerpt from Volume 2 of Be the Better Broker

What’s your plan?

The key is actually having a plan to start with. In the A-Team’s case it may have involved some suspension of disbelief, along with the appre­hension of bad guys via a hailstorm of automatic gunfire, explosions and booby-traps that miraculously left all involved physically unharmed — but still, the guys had a plan. You should too.

There are entire books focused on the writing of business plans, and there are business plans that read like entire books. This is not the highest and best use of your time. Becoming a Mortgage Broker is not like launching a bold new Internet startup; you are not disrupting the marketplace. You are a speck of sand on the beach that is all things real estate, and you simply want to find your slice of sunshine.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. You need to spend 99 percent of your time doing (taking applications) and just one percent planning; a two-page business plan you can glance at daily will keep you on course.

Here’s what mine looked like:

Brokering Business Plan 2016—Dustan Woodhouse (Page 1)

  • Be ruthless with my time (say no to 90 percent of meetings).
  • Pursue excellence (of craft and person).
  • Focus on strengthening existing strengths.
  • Outsource areas of weakness (delegate).
  • Minimize business spillover into weekends.
  • Focus on protecting client relationships.
  • Focus on protecting referral partner relationships.
  • Focus on protecting lender relationships.
  • Focus on opportunities to assist Brokers.
  • Focus on opportunities to be challenged on my beliefs.
  • Say no early and often to prospective clients, referral sources, speaking opportunities, memberships, advertising and promotions when they fail to serve the points listed above. (Same point as first point.)

As a brand-new Broker, page one of your business plan need not have more than three points listed on it.

  1. Become an expert.
  2. Take applications.
  3. Fund files.

Without the first, completing the second and third is a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

Anything else you would list is likely a tactic to achieve the above objectives, and writing pages of ideas on tactics in a journal is a great idea. But the one-page plan you are focusing on should be all about the endgame, the result of the implementation of the tactics.

You want a simple plan that you can stay focused on.

So let’s get a bit more detailed.

I know dollars matter, but just don’t let them matter too much, or that will get in the way of your making clear decisions that are in your clients’ best interests. And your clients’ best interests will always wind up taking care of your own best interests.

Page two of your business plan can be as simple as this:

Business Plan—Revenue (Page 2)

Income Goal $
Average Net Commission $
Target # of Files # × Net Commission = Income Goal

Projections (# of files targeted each month to hit annual total)
January   #
February   #
March   #
April   #
May   #
June   #
July   #
August   #
September   #
October   #
November   #
December   #

The question of the day (every day): Did I hit my targets?

# of Applications (Apps) per completed file #  
# of Calls/Meetings/etc. per day per app #  
# of Calls/Meetings/etc. completed today #  

If yes, repeat tomorrow.

If no, double up tomorrow.