Starting your own business is the way to go for independence and control of your future. And starting a real estate company can be one of the best careers for company growth and franchising opportunities. But, the road is long to get there, and only the committed few will achieve their goal.
To own and operate a real estate office, one must be a licensed real estate broker and in good standing with the board. To take the broker exam, the applicant must be a currently licensed real estate agent with a fixed amount of real estate sales on record. Once you've passed the exam and the formalities are out of the way, you're ready to strike out on your own as a real estate professional.
The first decision is the location of your office. Spaces with high public visibility will give you a marketing edge over an unseen office located inside of a commercial building. Your marketing plan is essential to kick start your client base, and remember to double your numbers with referrals. A popular promotional angle is to give a gift to your buyers. This is a great way to motivate a sale, but you must be clever and generous to compete with your rival broker down the block.
Perhaps the most important element to survival in this industry is building community trust. There are many public relation campaigns the broker may use that cost little to nothing to operate. Try a community outreach approach by joining a club with charitable functions. For the broker operating in a small or mid-sized town, this will get your name and face in the local newspapers free of charge. But, be sure to contact the papers when you launch an event, or your efforts will be null and void.
Hiring agents is a process you must handle with great care to ensure your clients receive quality service. It's in your best interest to hold several ongoing training classes per week along with a recognition segment with achievement prizes. Keeping your staff alert and motivated comes from the top, and all works to the broker's benefit in the end. And by keeping your agents in top form, you reduce the amount of litigation aimed at your establishment. Lawsuits are a way of life in the real estate industry; it's not if you'll be sued, it's when. For the first year broker, he or she will need to contribute monthly to build a slush fund and retain legal council.
The real estate field has its highs and lows, so be prepared to roll with the punches. But, for a broker with wise planning and a determined attitude, this can be one of the best and most rewarding careers of our time.