In the previous post, we discussed why you should make an annual plan to help reach your goals for next years. In this post, we will flip that on its head and take a look at why you shouldn’t make an annual plan. As mentioned before, there are valid arguments for both. Also, as a reminder, it is vital that, whether you plan or not, you have a solid set of goals to propel you forward.
“One step at a time is good walking.” – Chinese Proverb
1) Annual plans look too far forward to be useful.
If there is one constant in real estate, it is that things are always changing. From mortgage rules and regulations, to taxation and valuation, to economics, there is never a dull moment in our world. Planning for a full year makes you set your plan in the present. Taking your plan and chopping it up in to smaller portions allows you to react to market changes faster and easier. Quarterly plans for most of your strategic decisions might be better served by a quarterly plan.
2) An annual plan can cause you to overlook opportunities.
Imagine you are sitting in Houston, TX at the end of 2007 and putting your plan together for 2008. Sure, things may have slowed a little, but you might not have accounted fully for what was coming in 2008. The market slowed dramatically and a lot of people were left holding relatively useless plans. Following a rigid plan can cause you to put blinders on. Instead, you might have been one of the lucky ones to get in on the investment/REO market early and make a bunch of money.
3) You probably won’t use the plan anyway.
Let’s be honest, again. Most agents won’t even plan. Those that do, while the exception, probably didn’t plan based on goals and, at best, will only follow the script. Just as many will not follow the plan at all. So, what’s your time worth? Is it worth it to you to spend a bunch of time planning when you probably either have a flawed plan or won’t follow the plan anyway? Let’s hope not.
So, there you have it. Why you should and why you shouldn’t plan for the new year. As mentioned previously, there are valid arguments for both. I believe that there is a good mix of planning and being spontaneous that can serve agents correctly. Not to beat a very, dead horse, though, having a plan is worthless if it doesn’t drive a solid set of goals you have thought out, written down, and shared with someone else.
All the best for the new year!