A Basic Template for a Real Estate Investment Business Plan
By Joe Cooke
As with most planning, the process is often more important than the actual product.
Your plan will raise questions that will inspire solutions before you need to face those
problems, it will help you to recognize what will be required of you, it will identify your
strengths and weaknesses and highlight areas where you need assistance and it will serve
as a tool for guidance and measurement.
The business plan will act as a guide throughout your development and allow you to
measure your progress against planned expectations. You can make adjustments
Your business plan should contain the following elements:
1. Executive Summary: Write the rest of the plan first, then come back and
summarize everything, including your goals, objectives and assumptions. Even though
this plan is for you, write the summary as if you were analyzing and reporting on the
finished plan in an objective way for a third party.
2. Market Analysis: Give a brief description of the market and the niche that you
intend to work in, and your acquisition strategy. For instance, state that you intend to
concentrate on four-plexes, or concentrate on a particular area of town or a particular
3. Implementation Plan: This section outlines your purchasing process, renovation
strategies, vacancy allowances and rental policies.
4. Sales Strategy: This section outlines your disposition strategies. Most investors do
not flip homes, they buy and hold until they are positioned to either leverage their
property or move up (usually in the form of tax deferred (i.e. 1031) exchanges.)
5. Financial Forecasts: Include cash flow projections, purchases, income from
rentals, repairs and maintenance, ongoing expenses like property taxes and gains and
losses from sales.
6. Assumptions: Outline your major assumptions as you create your plan, including
interest rate forecasts, market appreciation and depreciation and other econ