With housing market predictions steadily rising every year, it’s no surprise why many investors started to take the initiative to learn how to start a real estate business. However, besides a solid business plan, do you know exactly what it takes to enter the real estate industry? In this post, let our seasoned realtors give tips and guidance to make your new ventures worthwhile.
About Real Estate Businesses
As you may already know, the real estate market remains one of the most successful business ventures around the world. But, as enticing as it sounds, operating your own real estate business requires a basic understanding of how this industry works.
Contrary to common misconception, real estate transactions go beyond buying or selling. If a business entity deals with raw land, properties, buildings, or any physical location, then it also deals with any legal rights above and underground of that particular land. All these business obligations perfectly align with the category and function of real estate companies.
Although real estate business profitable perks cannot be denied or refuted, obtaining success in this field relies heavily on how you handle your acquired assets, which we’ll discuss further throughout this guide.
Advantages of Establishing a Real Estate Business
While we’re sure that you’re already aware of the advantages of having a successful real estate business, let our team of trade enthusiasts break it all down for you. First, did you know that you can generate income consistently and passively through a real estate business idea?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a real estate investor who wants to know what an assignment sale is or a business owner just looking for an office space to commence your operations — the fact that a real estate property is profitable through appreciation will not change.
On top of that, real estate business ideas are diverse, which ultimately means you have the option on how to take profit on this venture. For example, you can supervise your own brokerage transactions or remain the business owner managing and overseeing operations. The choice is all yours.
And did you ever wonder why many real estate businesses still thrive despite fluctuating market conditions? It’s because any real estate professional is aware that they can constantly adjust their marketing strategies and redirect resources to other potential clients and niches. In short, your target market isn’t as limited as different types of services.
10 Steps To Begin Your Real Estate Business
1. Set Goals for Your Business
Before you embark on your real estate career and craft a business plan, let us ask you one question — what are the goals you want to achieve through this venture? Surely, now that you’re learning how to start a real estate business, it would make you think of your personal and professional objectives in five, ten, or fifteen years. But how important is it to have a goal ?
When you enter the world of real estate investing, you must decide the financial milestone you’d like to achieve in a certain amount of time. Giving your company a clear path to take allows members of your business to feel guided. It also lessens the chances of trailing away from tracks, which could cause delays on your company’s long-term objectives.
Setting goals doesn’t have to start with big steps. After all, profiting from a real estate business requires time and patience. Instead, you can commence with weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals that’ll accumulate and lead up to your annual objectives.
2. Research and Find Out More About the Market
Starting a real estate business requires more market research than you’d think. From the practices that many real estate agents do up to the niches fitting your budget and goals, you’ll have to comb through and select from these options wisely to craft your business plan.
Competing with other real estate investors with extensive industry experience also means that you need to find what niche and specific target market to let your brand be known to potential clients.
If you don’t want to waste time and money, our team’s advice is to take market research seriously. You may not know it, but looking into the rental and home values, community amenities, and other location specifics could help you determine which strategies to execute to expand your real estate business venture.
3. Financing Your Business
After finishing your market research to support your business plan, let’s discuss one of the most crucial factors to consider when starting a real estate business. While being a real estate agent and establishing your own business in this market do generate consistent cash flow, investing first is the inevitable nature of this trade.
Despite that, there are actually ways a real estate broker could explore without incurring any cost from personal funds. Other real estate businesses resort to seeking funds from lenders. However, this procedure will expose your financial history. So, our business enthusiasts recommend reviewing your credit accounts or other investments.
When starting a real estate brokerage firm, you can also opt for traditional financing alternatives like getting a mortgage or government load. In addition, real estate brokers can also try crowdfunding or business partnerships to complete your budget. Being familiar with these procedures will be beneficial to you while moving forward with your real estate investing journey.
4. Accomplishing Legal and Licensing Requirements
Real Estate LLC or Other Legal Structures
Suppose you’re starting a real estate business with the intention of expanding. In that case, our experts highly recommend filing formation documents to officially declare your company as a legal entity operating within the state. Doing this ahead of time will save you from penalties you may incur for non-compliance with the real estate law.
Real estate brokerages have the freedom to choose which business structure to register their company or brand under. And, of course, this filing also affects how you’ll pay taxes to the state.
If you’re an independent real estate sales agent, you can file your company as a sole-proprietorship entity. Nevertheless, even without the registration process, as long as you’re involved with the trade and have a broker license, you’re technically a sole proprietor.
However, should you decide to form a limited liability company instead, you will not hold personal liability on any legal disputes involving finances or assets. Other companies in the real estate market choose to register as an LLC for specific tax strategies as some states impose tax advantages for these types of business entities.
On the other hand, you also have the option to register your real estate business as an s-corporation or a c-corporation. Technically, these businesses are on a large scale of operations, so it’s a no-brainer that their taxation conditions tend to be more than small companies.
There are specific forms, fees, and procedures that you have to accomplish, but these requirements vary depending on the state where you’re incorporating your business.
Real Estate Licenses
The legal registration of your real estate business does not end with the submission of formation documents. As a company or brand offering professional services to clients, the state law will require you to obtain a real estate license before legally commencing your business.
If you intend to conduct real estate transactions yourself, make sure that you have accomplished pre-licensing education and passed the broker exam to qualify to operate this kind of business.
On the other hand, if you’re planning just to supervise, you have to hire someone who already passed the state’s licensing exam and has a real estate license. You also have to make sure that this person could manage multiple agents under his/her wings while carrying on with the transactions.
Let’s face it. There’s no denying that dealing with contracts is part of the trade when dealing with the real estate business. Ultimately, if you’re planning to expand your business into franchise brokerage, hiring a legal professional to assist you with contracts (or disputes) will benefit you in the long run.
5. Mapping a Business Strategy
Knowing which approach to use when seeking potential clients is the key factor of any business plan. It’s important to know where you stand in terms of the financial and professional aspects of your strategy.
After defining your goals and doing in-depth research, you can now put everything into action by deciding which strategy you’ll use to enter the market. For example, beginners in the field tend to lean on the wholesaling approach — an excellent method to learn more about the trade.
There’s also the buy-and-hold strategy. However, this technique requires extensive experience as it involves examining a property thoroughly before buying and knowing when exactly to sell it at the peak of its appreciation potential.
Keep in mind that the research and goals you’ve set beforehand, along with your financial allocation for this venture, are responsible for the business strategies you’ll use throughout the operation.
6. Develop Your Real Estate Brand
As previously stated, dealing and outshining competitors is a common dilemma in any type of business market. Like you, everyone has a broker’s license. However, if you want to stand out, you need to know your brand’s unique value proposition.
It’s not enough that you just passed the broker’s exam. You have to build trust in your brand’s image, but how do you start to do that? Your marketing campaigns will play the most significant part in this process, which we’ll discuss further in this post.
Besides that, you have to come up with a tagline. It’s a single sentence or set of words that’ll appeal to your target audience and allow them to view you in the best light. You also have to decide what trade name you’ll be using, especially when you register your business as a legal entity.
Moreover, you’ll most probably need branding assets like a logo, color palettes, and other marketing elements that’ll set your company apart from the rest. If it’s applicable, you can even select a representative that’ll be the face of your brand, depending on what kind of emotion or feeling you want your brand to evoke across your clients.
7. Launch Online Platforms For Your Business
With the advancement of internet technology, building a real estate website has never been easier than before. However, as convenient as it seems, you have to incorporate your business goals when creating this platform.
While it’s cool to craft a traditional site where all details about your business could be seen on the website, some real estate companies opted to create a customer relationship management system (CRM). These types of platforms aren’t solely dedicated to transactions but allow you to educate the industry, recruit a talented workforce, and serve clients better.
Another effective strategy is to focus on the properties in your local area. That way, you’ll be able to distinguish yourself from competitors easily and make your brand stand out. This real estate website in Texas is a good example of that. Because their platform focuses on certain locations like Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio, potential buyers interested in these areas can easily browse through the properties within that scope.
8. Talk with Prospective Clients
You can only gain satisfied clients if you communicate with them. So now that you defined your business goals and launched your services, it’s time to talk about it and let your brand be known. The only question is, how?
If you insist on going traditional, our team’s best suggestion is to direct mail a good ol’ try. While it’s true that the digital approach is the new form of communication in this era, some potential residential real estate clients may be just one mail post away. The most crucial part of this approach is consistency until you get the response you desire.
Then, there are email campaigns. This method is a highly cost-effective method for formal transactions like real estate. It could boost the professional nature of your business, but it also takes time to build a solid mailing list.
And last but not least, communicating through online channels. We know it won’t surprise you, but the social network response rate is by far one of the best methods to talk to your clients and attain your marketing goals.
(For more helpful tips, here’s a quick guide to digital transformation for businesses.)
9. Network With Fellow Real Estate Businesses
Socializing with fellow real estate agents opens more business opportunities than you initially think. While attending networking events could impose a bit of a hassle, especially when running a business, these engagements give you more insights about the industry and eventually lead to collaborations and partnerships.
Joining events and communities like the National Association of Realtors could benefit your business in the long run. If you’re not familiar with where to start your professional network, you can explore social sites for real estate agents and begin there.
10. Promote Your Business Online
It’s not a secret that traditional marketing materials are a thing of the past. In this digital era, making your web presence known through social media platforms gives you a higher chance of connecting with your intended audience and potential customers.
More importantly, make sure that the content on these online platforms properly aligns with the goals and services of your business. Consistently maintaining marketing assets in online channels will eventually generate leads and sales when handled with proper strategies.
Tips to Grow Your Real Estate Business
When you embark on this industry, the only way to grow is to keep on learning. While it’s enticing to experience everything all at once, mastering one niche before moving onto another is crucial and a good practice to consider. After all, real estate investing is a long-term commitment.
Like any other industry, the real estate field will continue to expand. New trends and strategies will emerge, so it’s highly recommended to develop your competencies by seeking knowledge through talks, conventions, or even supplemental courses. Acquiring additional designations and certifications could lead you to reach more clients in the long run.
If there comes a chance that you’ll transact with people you share close relationships with, never proceed without a physical contract. No matter how much trust between two individuals, there’s always a fine line to set when dealing with business.
In addition to that, always craft an exit strategy. Although it’s great to have confidence in the profitability of your business, it’s wise to track your financial capability before overextending yourself.
As discussed before this, the real estate industry could change dramatically. Popular niches may cool down, and new trends will always emerge, so you must be ready for these circumstances financially and professionally.
How do I start my own real estate company?
To start your own real estate company, you have to pass the licensing exam required by the state and acquire a professional license. However, if you don’t intend to be involved with transactions, you may hire a manager who passed the broker’s examination to handle the operations for you while you supervise.
How much does it cost to start a real estate company?
The cost to start a real estate company is at least $10,000, depending on the state you want to incorporate into. If you’re an independent contractor, the costs are a lot less than those of other business entities. However, keep in mind that recurring fees like taxes and filings will add up to your expenses if you decide to elect your company as a corporation.
How can I start my own real estate business with no money?
To start your own real estate company with no money, you can approach lenders to invest in your business. While it’s a great idea, especially if you’re on a tight budget, you have to make sure that your financial records like credit and investment histories are clear of hefty liabilities. Otherwise, your funding request won’t be granted.
Now that you’ve begun learning about how to start a real estate business, all you need to do is take a step forward and embark on the journey. Although it might be intimidating at first, especially for beginners, we assure you that you’ll do well once you follow these steps diligently and put your utmost effort into what you’re doing.