Planning will help you narrow your options and give you a clear path forward.
Plan your business approach
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
How will you operate your real estate business? Will you operate as a sole trader, form a partnership or work with a team?
Will you handle both sales and property management, or stick to property sales alone?
Choose your style of operation
Do you want to buy into a major real estate franchise with all associated costs or go for a simple and economical licence model with the choice of a ‘virtual’ business, where you’ll be far more likely to be profitable from the start?
Will you have an office?
In many businesses today, the company website is a virtual shop front, which means an office is an overhead you can easily do without. In fact, with the One Agency model, we recommend that you start without an office and meet clients in their homes or at a café, for example, unless you really feel the need to get out of the house and work somewhere else. Offices or shop fronts are not taboo, but you have the option, and if it’s not needed, then why do it? There is good acceptance either way these days.
Create a business plan
Here it’s essential to be honest with yourself and do your homework, factoring in all of your expenses to work out what you need to cover each month and how much you need to get started. Ideally, you should have around three to six months of both business and living expenses in the bank so you don’t need to be turning a profit straight away.
- Work with an accountant to check your own thinking and to outline all of your costs and help you forecast earnings.
- Seek out a mentor who can offer advice and provide a sounding board as you make these key early decisions.
- Identify your niche (or biggest) market and work out how you are going to reach those clients with your marketing and business plan. Your path to success is working out where the gap in the market is in your area, and aiming to fill it.
- Set aside a budget for marketing and training to ensure that you are staying current and competitive, and constantly developing your professional skills.
Invest in technology and expert advice to simplify your life
Starting with the right CRM software to record client contacts is essential. (Under the One Agency model, we share knowledge, although you are not obliged to follow our advice. We find that many members appreciate this support.)
You’ll also need to invest in branding for business cards, signs and stationery, plus a website and associated social media accounts. A professional logo and brand name is essential, but coming up with a company name and creating all of your material can be both expensive and time-consuming. (At One Agency, we cover all of this for you with our low set monthly fee, which eases the pressure on agents starting out on their own.)
Setting up a real estate business also requires administration, such as registering your Australian Business Number and GST, and opening a business bank account. In addition, your business needs to have the right legal setup from the start, so consult with a solicitor to find out what will work best for your situation.
Engage a bookkeeper or learn how to do it yourself if you are on a tight budget ‒ though bear in mind that your time and energy may be better employed elsewhere.
Along with a real estate agent licence, you’ll need to register your business name with ASIC and join your local real estate institute.
Support is at hand
In summary, there’s much to consider when opening a new real estate business. Here at One Agency, we are experienced in guiding new members as they get started, offering a step-by-step guide that takes the pain out of setting up.
So if you are thinking of going it alone, please consider the One Agency model. We offer all the freedom of going solo with the security of an established brand and the clout of a large international network. We believe we have an exciting future together. Please give us a call today.