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business_planning_meetingThe Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of Realtors® and Jeff Barnett, NAR’s Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

For most of us, it’s been a gratifying summer. Phones ringing…buyers bidding…inventory in growing supply. But now the leaves are turning and the days are shorter – sure signs that summer is over – and it’s time to start thinking about setting a course for your business in 2014. Or are you too busy basking in today’s hot market to think about planning ahead? When is the right time to start business planning, anyway, and is there a right way to begin? For answers, we’ve invited a diverse panel – three real estate professionals who see it from varying perspectives.

Moderator: Jeff Barnett, Special Liaison for Large Firm Relations, NAR
Panelists: Greg Zadel, Broker/Owner, Zadel Realty, Firestone, Colo.
Tracy Kasper, Broker, Silverhawk Realty, Caldwell, Idaho
Christine Dwiggins, VP Marketing, Realty World, Northern Calif./Nev.

Jeff Barnett: Greg, why don’t we start with you. How important is business planning to the growth and development of your business – and how do you decide where to put your planning emphasis?

Greg Zadel: For me, as the owner of a smaller company, we never stop planning ahead. We ask ourselves, every day, every week, what can we do better? But certainly each fall, we do sit down to take a closer look. We look specifically at our positioning in the market and try to earmark definitive ways for us, and our associates, to grow. What changes do we foresee in the market? Who will our customers be? How can we tweak our budgets and methods to make the most of those changes?