Starting a home-based business is a move that more and more people are opting for on a daily basis. It is usually triggered by poor financial situation, overwhelming day-to-day workplace situations, getting tired of being “bossed around” and many other reasons. However, it is not very easy to choose the specific branch, especially if you take into consideration your preference and financial stability. With that in mind, think about diving in the real estate industry. Although real estate market is fluctuating, it is never in a complete crisis because people always need a roof over their head. This makes real estate a reasonable career choice, especially because it is quite possible to start with it from the comfort of your home.
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It all starts with a plan
So, you’ve decided to get into real estate business? That’s great, but do you have any idea about how property market works, the amount of money you need to invest, competition, licensing requirements and brokerage models? An idea is one thing and it is usually conceived as a simple thought, while a plan is a complex way to turn that idea into reality. Here are several steps that lead to a fail-proof realization of your business plan:
- Do a market research (percentage of renters, buyers, their characteristics, and property prices)
- Evaluate your competition
- Find out everything about licensing (usually you need to work for some time as a salesperson before obtaining your broker’s license)
- Determine your budget
- Assess the expenses and potential gains
- Develop a strong business plan
Set up a home office
If you work from home, you don’t have the luxury of having separate and equipped space for your work hours. However, as long as you have a spare room (or even a nook in a peaceful room), you will manage to design a professional home office. If you have an option to include waiting space, that would be great. If not, just make sure your clients are not spending much time in your living space. As for the essentials, you’ll need a desk, a chair, a computer, and storage space.
Set up an online foothold
Although a great majority of home buyers are still working with real estate agents in their search for a home (88 percent), a lot of them search for homes online as well, and 90 percent of real estate companies have their websites where they present their work and experience, as well as their property listings. Set up an easy-to-navigate website and complement it with social media accounts. Facebook is really important since it offers great advertising tools, publishing tools, and messaging system.
Don’t be exclusive
Some real estate agents decide to only provide service to those who are willing to buy property. However, since you are at the very beginning of your career, you shouldn’t be so exclusive, especially in highly-competitive markets, such as New York or Sydney, inhabited by a lot of millennials who are more prone to renting. However, if you pay closer attention to the market demands, you will see that many home builders in Sydney and other bigger cities (in the suburbs, to be more specific) have their hands full these days, so don’t remain blind to this option either.
Invest in branding and marketing
Even a small home-based real estate agency requires some clever branding in order to step up on the playing field. Besides having a website and a Facebook page, you will really need to use them to the maximum to make yourself noticed. Write a blog with helpful tips about your branch (how to find a perfect house, what to watch for when choosing a rental, etc.), create a logo, give promotional gifts, and hire a search engine optimization company.
Recruit agents and develop a clientele
These two are two sides of the same coin. Whenever your clientele grows, your workforce must grow with it. Your clientele will grow as a consequence of a successful marketing strategy and your good work which will produce word-of-mouth recommendations. As soon as you see that the amount of work you’re having is too overwhelming, start hiring new people. It is always best to hire experienced salesmen first, and later you can start with enthusiastic and inexperienced employees, because you’ll have enough workers to provide them with the necessary training.
These strategies should help you make a safe jump into the real estate playing field, but from there on, it is all up to you, your persistence and resourcefulness.