Whether your estate agent is just starting up or you’re well established – whether you’re a one-person agency or a national chain, the same principle applies. In order to understand your business and how it stands in the marketplace, compared to your competitors, you need to carry out a SWOT analysis – not just as a one-off – but as a regular element of your business planning. In this article, we’ll look at what constitutes an effectively executed SWOT analysis, why they matter, and how to carry them out.
A SWOT analysis is a business planning tool. It sets out to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a business. For your Estate Agency, a SWOT analysis is a framework for matching goals, plans and capacities to the environment in which you operate. It considers not only your position and potential in the marketplace but also those of your competitors.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could look into the future with your estate agency business so that you could prepare for the opportunities and the challenges ahead? An impossible dream, but one that you can come close to realising by making use of a carefully constructed SWOT analysis.
An effective SWOT analysis will help you to gather the right information in the right format to enable you to plan a successful path for your business, both short and long term.
First of all, there’s the SWOT itself. The analysis follows after.
The first two of these, Strengths and Weaknesses, are intrinsic to your business and very much within your control. Opportunities and Threats, on the other hand, are external factors not caused by your business but which you can plan ahead to respectively take advantage of or avoid.
Your SWOT analysis can be as simple or as complex as you wish. Suffice to say that the more effort you put in, the greater depth of research you apply, then the more helpful it will be to your estate agency business. Here are some of the considerations to take into account as you plan the approach to your SWOT analysis:
We’ve looked briefly at what constitutes a SWOT analysis. Each aspect might comprise numerous separate elements:
You’ll see that certain elements occur under both opportunities and threats. This is simply because future changes in circumstances, depending on your response to them, can be seen as either threats or opportunities. One man’s damaging disruption can be another’s opportunity for growth.
A well-planned, carefully-structured SWOT analysis will bring your business enormous benefits. Carried out regularly and consistently, the analyses will prompt thought, discussion and decision-making based not on whims or prejudice but on real, concrete data. You’ll develop strategies for improving your estate agent business - new practices, systems, processes and efficiencies.
A SWOT analysis helps you to look at your business as it is today. It helps you to see where your competitors stand too. You’ll realise how your business might be affected by current or upcoming trends, market shifts, economic factors, and even your own passions and inclinations.
In addition, a SWOT analysis will also enable you to see beyond conventional ways of thinking. You'll gain a clearer idea of how apparently insurmountable challenges can be turned into opportunities – setting up your business for positive results and successes for years to come.