Starting a real estate agency can seem like an insurmountable task – how do you setup processes, where will the clients come from, do you need an office? Here’s some tips from real estate experts on how you can make better choices in starting a real estate agency.
- Work for another agency first
The vast majority of real estate agents who start their own agencies will only do so after years of experience working for another agency. Whilst it might seem appealing to try start your own agency from day 1, you will short-change yourself from learning valuable skills and building your network. By working within an agency initially you’re able to cut your teeth on the real estate industry, learn tips and tricks from existing agents and understand what processes you’d like to replicate in your own agency and what you would like to change. Likewise during this time you will start to build your name as a real estate agent, build connections and form relationships which will help you start your own agency when the time is right.
- Don’t try to do everything
Many business owners, not just real estate agents, try to become a master of all – taking any business they can get and pretending to be an experts in all things. In reality what they do is spread themselves thin and not do anything particularly well. With real estate agencies a key example of this is positioning their brand as being experts across an entire city instead of a single area. What this means is they end up spending more time driving around and less time selling homes, their brand is more diluted and they don’t generate a name for being an expert of a particular location – which would otherwise bring them passive lead generation from the local population.
What do you think is a more potent selling reason for a property owner to list with you – you’re selling properties on the opposite side of the city they live, or that you’ve sold the last 3 out of 5 houses on their street? Greg Murphy from GM Real Estate says he re-positioned his brand focusing on the local Salisbury area after realising his mistake in being too diverse. This lead to a rapid uplift in listings since becoming a ‘Salisbury specialist’. Being exposed to a specific type of real estate or market (ie if you focused solely on commercial property) can put you at risk in case of downturns in that area, so factor this into your business plan.
- Create a lean, mean machine
Just as important as growing the revenue in your real estate agency, is containing costs. Whilst you definitely do need to invest in your business to let it grow you also need to be careful not to allow unnecessary costs to grow and put stress on your business. With SaaS providers developing low cost subscription based products it’s now possible for smaller agencies to offer services which only the largest agencies could once provide – but keep an eye on those subscriptions as they can start to add up.
- Develop a real estate agency marketing plan
Real estate agents may be great at selling properties and using the latest marketing strategies but often leave their agencies using the same old tactics which don’t work. Putting adverts in local papers no one is reading is dead money, so follow where the market is moving. Digital advertising, content creation, social media – agents moving into these markets are building resilient personal brands and lead generation tools which keep the listings rolling in for their agency.
Do you have any tips for those looking to start their own agency? Let us know!