Each Spring several BoomTown team members hit the road for Atlanta to attend the annual RETSO conference. It has always been an event filled with great technology, actionable strategies and talented “doers.” We bring back quality takeaways for our clients each year. This year the focus of the event shifted from tech tactics to comprehensive business planning. Or as the hosts of RETSO put it, “our task at hand is to refocus the real estate industry… No more chasing shiny objects. No more infomercials. It’s time to focus on building unique business models that add value to people’s lives.” Our team was excited about this new focus because it falls right in line with what our Success Managers help our clients do at BoomTown. We take their unique business plans and work through how our technology and services help in achieving their unique business goals.
RETSO largely focused on the Business Model Canvas as a tool to give attendees direction on reevaluating the way they run their companies. The canvas is broken out into 9 segments as seen below. The planning process starts on the right side of the canvas with customer segments and wraps up on the left side with key partners.
Here are a few top takeaways from each session at RETSO. This is just skimming the surface and will hopefully get you thinking about a more comprehensive plan.
Customer Segmentation: “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words.” – Cicero. Identify who you bring value to and focus on that customer as you build your plan. For example: Brokers attending RETSO focused on Agents as a primary customer segment, while Agents focused on Home Buyers and Sellers.
Value Propositions: Start by identifying your customer's pain points and design your value proposition from here. What pain relievers are you delivering through your services? Brokers focused on delivering training, support, and tools to their Agents. Agents focused on adding value for Buyers and Sellers through contract negotiations.
Channels, Relationships and Revenue Streams: These 3 segments identify how you'll reach your customers (channels and relationships), what you'll offer them, and at what price.
Key Activities, Resources and Costs: These 3 segments help with identifying where you should spend your time as a real estate professional (revenue-producing activities vs administrative) and what resources you should aquire or outsource (technology and/or human resources).
Key Partners: This portion of the canvas helps with taking key activities that are not handled effectively in-house and finding trusted partners to manage or assist with those activities.
RETSO presenters also shared some great resources to organize your business strategy:
If you're looking for a way to effectively evaluate your business and put a plan in place, the Business Model Canvas is a great tool. Just remember that the canvas is a living, breathing document that should be revisited regularly to make sure you maintain focus.