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How to use SWOT for your 2018 business plan

One of the most common mistakes many real estate agents make when approaching their business plan is not reviewing their previous year. Looking at how you did in 2017 will help you be stronger in 2018. Using a SWOT analysis allows you to assess your performance as well as the market. It is also one of the best ways to get a good picture of your effectiveness and address opportunities to improve.

Business plans require balance. Using past performance will help you achieve goals.

What is a SWOT analysis?

For those of you not familiar with a SWOT analysis, it is a commonly used marketing assessment that looks at:

S - Strengths

W -Weaknesses

O - Opportunities

T - Threats

By fist looking at these four points for 2017 you will discover where you can improve as well as where opportunities lie when looking towards 2018.

Both Strengths and Opportunities are used to look at positive influences while Weaknesses and Threats look at the negative aspects of your year. Strengths and Weaknesses tend to be more external, whereas Opportunities and Threats are usually external factors that can impact your performance.


Strengths assess all your positive attributes and influences on your business. Objectively look at where you have performed exceptionally well. Some factors might include:

  • Your best connections and alliances

  • Your successful marketing and social media campaigns

  • Your quickest sales

  • Your best referral clients

When you look at these points you can decide how you can leverage them in 2018. Areas to apply your strengths would include your strategic plan and the systems and processes you plan to use for 2018.


Your weaknesses are extremely important, but also can prove the most difficult to address honestly. However, if there is a place where honesty comes into play it is definitely here. Look at yourself and your own performance, but also those you work with such as your assistant. Points to address would include:

  • Lack of knowledge with market trends and technology

  • Basic things such as poor follow up and disorganization

  • Missed opportunities for continued education

  • Financial challenges

  • Missed opportunities with alliances and past clients

This review will provide you with the fuel you need to come up with your goals and objectives as well as set out a plan for courses you might want to take, where finances might be best spent for upgrades to technology and marketing, and even harder calls like finding a new assistant. Always keep in mind any weaknesses you identify are also opportunities for self-improvement!


Looking at the positive influences that are available to you will help you find growth. Some factors to consider here would include:

  • New changes in the industry you can take advantage of

  • Technology and/or services that can save you time and money, or get you more exposure

  • Changes to the market that will work in your favor

These points will come in handy for many aspects of your business plan including goals, financial investments to improve your business, strategy and even your mission statement.


This is a market analysis that will help you identify negative influences and factors that will hurt your business. You might already know who your main competitors are and therefore you can look at their negative influences on your performance. Other potential threats would include:

  • The market

  • New legislation

  • Social changes

  • The economy

Often threats work as a good indicator when it comes to timing for your goals and objectives. The more dangerous a threat, the more urgent managing it and coming up with tactics to counter attack becomes. This allows you to prioritize points in your plan, such as upping your game for marketing, increasing your presence in the neighborhood and online, and ensuring you are matching the services and technology your competitors offer.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to turn threats into opportunities, and weaknesses into strengths whenever possible.

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