In the real estate world, a general plan refers to a local government's long-term use agenda for certain pieces of land. Cities typically have the power to decide on zoning regulations and how they would like certain areas used. Some cities work with local businesses to develop large commercial areas. Others work with developers to plan for mixed-use residential communities. The general plan is an overview of how these different parts will work together within the community. Real estate investors and developers need to be generally aware of the land-use plan that the local government is putting forth. This can help a real estate buyer determine the best places to purchase a home or position a business. Property value is largely determined by location and the things that surround the property. Good knowledge of the city's general plan gives interested real estate parties the chance to take advantage of things that might come in the future.