Avoid downloading a one-page business plan template
While many resources let you download a free business plan template, they often lack individuality. Instead of using a standard plug-and-play template, create your own business plan that addresses and includes the main points you're trying to communicate.
You can create your own design and presentation style to make your business plan or executive summary professional and unique. I've used Canva to create investment executive summaries and business plans and I consistently receive praise for how great they look.
Whether you use a free business plan template or design your own, you'll include the same information. To make sure you cover everything, use these four steps to create a commercial real estate business plan:
1. Optimize your business plan for a target audience
The length of a commercial real estate business plan depends on the target audience and what the plan is for. It can be one page, two pages, 10 pages, or more.
You can have a business plan to educate potential investors, agents, sellers, or lenders on what you do, how you do it, and your vision for the future growth of the company, such as where the company will be over a one-to-five-year period of time.
Or you can focus your business plan on a specific investment opportunity and outline:
- who you are;
- what the investment is;
- what's needed to make it a success;
- how the investment will be executed, improved, and managed; and
- plans for disposition of the property.
I have multiple business plans tailored to specific audiences. One is a general business plan that I use to educate potential sellers, lenders, or partners on what I do and how I do it. The others I created for specific investment opportunities to help raise capital.
Before you begin writing your business plan, determine what you’re trying to accomplish and who your target customer is.
2. Seven key points to include in an executive summary for a successful CRE business plan
Most business plans start with an executive summary, which is a brief introduction. It gives the reader an overview of your investment focus, area of expertise, education and/or experience, strengths and weaknesses, and your mission -- often written in the form of a mission statement.
When writing an executive summary in your business plan, include the following points:
- company name, including your entity structuring;
- when you were founded;
- where the company is based;
- who the principals or owners are;
- your investment area of focus or specialization;
- why you can invest in this property type, including your experience or education;
- your mission statement.
For example, your executive summary could look like this:
ABC Real Estate Corporation is a boutique real estate investment firm based out of San Francisco that invests in apartment complexes throughout the Bay Area. Founded in 2012, Leader 1 and Leader 2 have purchased over $5 million worth of Class B multifamily housing properties and have over 15 years of collective real estate experience. ABC Real Estate Corp. is currently focused on acquiring three additional Class C+ or B- value-add multifamily apartment complexes with a minimum of 20 units per building in the greater Bay Area by 2022.
Your mission statement is a one- to two-sentence summary of who you are, what you do, and the goal of your company or the impact your company hopes to make. For example, your mission statement could read
Our mission at ABC Real Estate Corporation is to provide quality, affordable housing to Bay Area residents while creating positive profits for our partners.
From there, you can highlight specific skills, an in-depth explanation of your experience, or relevant education. The executive summary is typically one page or less but could be longer, depending on the number of partners or leaders the company has.