10 Essential Steps to Start Your Own Real Estate Agency
Starting your own real estate agency could be the most personally and financially rewarding move of your career. Whilst there are many things you must consider to ensure business success, here are 10 essential steps to help you get started.
1. Complete Real Estate Agent Licence Course
If you want to start your own real estate agency, gaining the right qualifications is the first step. You must complete the Real Estate Agent Licence Course, which can be done at Validum Institute, so you can apply to the Office of Fair Trading to become a licenced real estate agent. This gives you the authority to then start your own agency.
2. Prepare Business Plan
As with any new business, it pays to be prepared. Putting together a business plan is essential if you want your agency to succeed. The plan should outline your business’ objectives, strategies, growth and capital requirements. Putting everything in a written document helps you make strategic decisions about how to achieve business success. The steps that follow are all areas you should include in this plan.
3. Research Market Area and Competition
Carrying out research is a critical step when starting your own real estate agency. Understanding the market you are entering and its existing competitors allows you to gauge perceived opportunities and threats. It also identifies gaps in your market area that could be filled with a differentiated brand or service-offering. As a result, the research findings help you make strategic decisions about your agency.
4. Select Real Estate Business Model
Once you’ve completed your research, you can select the best real estate business model for you. There are many things to consider when selecting the right model. Will your agency offer sales and property management, or specialise in one service? Will you have a virtual office or physical shopfront? Will you be independent or part of a franchise? You should make these decisions according to your findings, expertise, resources, company size and growth plans.
5. Decide Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Your research should reveal opportunities to differentiate. These opportunities are gaps in the market which no other real estate agency has filled. Filling these gaps can become your agency’s sustainable competitive advantage. For example, it could be a distinctive brand, untapped demographic, superior customer service, or creative marketing. Whatever you choose, make it different to your competitors to ensure you stand out.
6. Implement the Right Legal Structure
It’s important that your real estate agency has the right legal structure. Your structure impacts your tax, profits, losses, exit strategies, and legal obligations. To find the best structure for your agency, you should talk with your accountant and solicitor. Whilst your legal structure is not fixed and should change as your business grows, it’s essential you have the right one to begin with to help your business succeed.
7. Forecast Costs and Earnings
Now is a good time to crunch your numbers. Preparing a cash flow statement and revenue projections show you what you need to start and grow your business. Forecasting your costs, income and profit also allow you to see when new team members and resources will be needed. This knowledge helps you make informed decisions about the sustainable growth of your business.
8. Prepare Marketing Plan
Putting together a marketing plan is just as important as doing your business plan. Your marketing plan should use your research to create a unique agency brand. As well, it must outline your promotional strategies and channels. For example, you should consider how social media, direct marketing, public relations and content marketing could build awareness for your agency.
9. Design Agency Operations
Designing your business’ operations is an essential step when starting your own real estate agency. Putting in place proper systems, policies, procedures and processes ensures your agency operates seamlessly and consistently. As well, since your operations are the backbone of your agency’s brand, team, and culture, you need to get them right from the start. Engaging industry trainers is a great way to ensure you design optimum operations.
10. Plan Training and Incentives
Starting a successful real estate agency means building a successful team. To ensure your employees grow with your business, each one should have a training schedule and incentive plan. Keeping your team at the top of their game with ongoing education and bonuses is a great way to boost productivity, performance, and profits. Validum can help keep you and your team upskilled with our range of online real estate courses.
Setting up your own agency is a great way to progress your real estate career. Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are important steps to help you get started. If you’re thinking about starting your own real estate agency, get in touch with Validum today to find out more about our Real Estate Agent Licence Course.
DISCLAIMER: Advice and information are provided in good faith; however the advantages of your real estate business should always be maximised by seeking formal advice on your specific financial position through your own professional advisors prior to making any decisions.