Rental Properties Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Rental Property Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their rental property business. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a rental property business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
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What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your rental property business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to purchase a rental property, multiple rental properties, or add to your existing rental properties business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your rental property business in order to improve your chances of success. Your rental property business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Rental Property Companies
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for rental properties are personal savings, credit cards, mortgages, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a rental property is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a rental property company. They might consider funding a rental property company with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Rental Property Company
Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of rental property you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, or do you have a portfolio of existing rental properties that you would like to add to?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the rental properties industry. Discuss the type of rental property you are offering. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of rental properties you are offering.
For example, you might offer the following options:
- Single family homes – This type of rental property is often owned by a single individual, rather than a company, who acts as both landlord and property manager.
- Multi-family properties – These types of properties can be subcategorized by the number of units per site. Buildings with 2 – 4 units are the most common (17.5%), while multistory apartment complexes with more than 50 units represent the next-largest, at 12.6% of the industry.
- Short-Term Rental properties – These are fully furnished properties that are rented for a short period of time – usually on a weekly basis for vacation purposes.
In addition to explaining the type of rental property you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include occupancy goals you’ve reached, number of property acquisitions, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the rental properties industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the rental property industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your rental property business plan:
- How big is the rental properties industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your rental property. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population or tourist arrivals.
The customer analysis section of your rental property business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: households, tourists, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of rental property you offer. Clearly, vacationers would want different amenities and services, and would respond to different marketing promotions than long-term tenants.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other rental property companies.
Indirect competitors are other options customers may use that aren’t direct competitors. This includes the housing market, or hotels. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who needs housing or accommodation will seek out a rental property.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other rental properties with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be rental properties in the vicinity.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What lease lengths or amenities do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior properties?
- Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to book the property or submit a lease application?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a rental property business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of rental property business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific options you will be offering. For example, in addition to long-term tenancy, are you offering month-to-month, or short-term rental?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the properties and term options you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your rental property. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your rental property located in a tourist destination, or in an urban area, etc. Discuss how your location might draw customer interest.
Promotions : the final part of your rental property marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your rental property business, such as customer service, maintenance, processing applications, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect 100% occupancy, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to acquire a new property.
To demonstrate your rental property business’ ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in rental property management. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in real estate, and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you have 1 rental unit or 10? And will revenue grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $200,000 on purchasing and renovating your rental property, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $200,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement
Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a rental property business:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of equipment like computers, software, etc.
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your property blueprint or map.
Putting together a business plan for your rental properties company is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the rental property industry, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful rental properties business.
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Rental Properties Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my rental properties business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Rental Properties Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of rental property business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a rental properties business that you would like to grow, or are you operating multiple rental property businesses.