So, you have long waited to unchain yourself from the 5-9 work environment, and now you have a chance to start your own real estate business. But unfortunately, you are having a hard time determining where to get started. Worry no more. Experts at Absolute Strategic Agent have got you covered with a comprehensive list of practical ways to plan, start, and take your real estate business to new heights. Let us dive in.
Table of Contents:
- How to Plan a Real Estate Business
- Starting a Real Estate Business
- How to Grow Your Real Estate Business
» How to Plan a Real Estate Business
Get Your Life Goals Right
Success in an investment primarily lies in aligning your personal goals with your business goals. Admittedly, you look to venture into real estate with the ultimate goal of reaching several heights higher than your current position. But only with clear life goals can your business goals have a sense of direction.
It all boils down to what you want in life. You will want to decide what time you want to start and finish work, the amount of salary to take home, the amount of money to save towards particular expenses, how you want to feel every day, and when to retire. With this in mind and writing, it becomes easier to channel your profits towards your ultimate life goals.
Draft a Business Plan
A business plan details your real estate company’s future, clearly outlining what you want to do and how to it. A good real estate business plan is precise, easily understood, and clearly outlines the following essential details:
- Industry summary– Identifies the key players, trends, and estimates of real estate sales.
- Market research and analysis– Looks into your target clients, their geographic location, and their needs.
- Marketing strategy– Outlines how you intend to market your business and convert prospects into paying customers.
- Competitive analysis– Highlights how your direct and indirect competitors meet their goals and how you intend to distinguish your business from them.
- Operating plan– Details your business location, kind of employees you desire for your business, and other operating essentials.
- Financial plan– Highlights all things financial, including expected startup costs.
Find a Mentor
Do yourself a favor by finding a mentor who can help you with advice, guidance, and connection you need to grow your business.
A mentor can help review your business plan, get you the connections you need at an early stage, and help you manage critical aspects, from problem clients, nightmare customers, marketing tricks, tax strategies to market downturns. Top professionals to consider for real estate mentorship include real estate experts, marketing gurus, financial advisors, and even social media influencers.
Pick an Entry Point
There are plenty of entry points to pick in real estate. You probably intend to start as a real estate agent and grow your way to owning a brokerage company. Perhaps you want to start with smarter homes and work your way up to dealing with luxury homes. Or you have secured enough finances to move directly into an ownership position.
Whichever entry point you pick, understand that your business will grow over time as you gain expertise and make a name for yourself. Gradually, you form a foundation for additional responsibilities, growth, and various types of client services.
Get Your Marketing Plan Right
As you set your real estate ball rolling, typically, it is all about a business plan, engaging mentors, and building awareness among friends and family. But these are not enough to grow your business to the levels you desire. A Robust marketing strategy can do the trick.
An effective real estate marketing strategy starts with identifying your unique selling proposition(USP). What difference can you bring to the real estate sphere? And what do your personality and unique approach mean to your prospects? It is also essential to familiarize yourself with the industry trends and identify the best ways to communicate them to your prospects.
Build a Website
Over 85% of home buyers start their search online, and almost 41% contact a real estate professional after perusing the web for a home. Therefore, building a strong web presence becomes non-optional for real estate agents looking to edge over their competitors.
Most importantly, get a website. It makes your business’s first impression and will often be the first point of contact between you and your prospects. A functional real estate website is attractive, easy to use, mobile-friendly, and offers value to visitors. Ensure it communicates your unique selling proposition, speaks your customers’ language, highlights success stories with your previous customers, and offers visitors an easy way to contact you.
Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy
Lead nurturing is the process of guiding your ideal buyers through the sales funnel, right from the familiarization stage to the buying stage. It involves communicating with your prospects regularly on their preferred channels.
Your lead nurturing plan should list all the materials you intend to invest in this strategy. Back the lead formula with a sales plan, which ties your prospects to your calendar and helps accelerate the sales process. Whether you opt for a series of emails, direct mails, or meeting prospects in person, leverage CRM (Customer Relationship Management) automation tools to get the most out of your lead nurturing efforts.
» Starting a Real Estate Business
The first step towards starting a real estate business is getting a real estate license. In most US states, a real estate license allows you to deal with residential properties. You need a commercial license to sell business properties.
The costs, qualifications, and timeline for a real estate license differ from state to state. But typically, you will be required to enroll in a pre-licensing course, which includes topics such as fiduciary responsibilities, types of property ownership, fair housing laws, contracts, etc. Secondly, you need to pass the real estate licensing exam by answering 70%-75% of the questions correctly. The next step is submitting a real estate license application and pay any applicable fees. Still, the licensing board may require you to submit your fingerprints for background checks.
Join a Brokerage Firm
Work towards joining a brokerage firm, and carefully choose between a franchise brokerage and boutique brokerage.
Most states require real estate agents to work in the industry for two to four years and complete a minimum number of real estate transactions before applying for a broker’s license. You also need to complete a pre-licensing education and pass a broker’s exam. The last step is completing a broker license application and paying applicable fees, which typically range between $150 and $200.
Register with The NAR
Another milestone for your real estate business is becoming a member of the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR).
With NAR membership, you enjoy exclusive resources that will get you ahead of the curve, from the NAR Library, Member Value Plus Program, REALTORS Benefits Programs, and more. You also get access to several member-only insurance options as well as financial and risk management programs. Cognizant that continued learning is elemental to a REALTOR’s success, NAR also offers you a wide selection of educational tools.
Among the most rewarding elements of starting your own business is the incredible opportunity to build a personal and business brand. Branding is more than the font type you use or the appearance of your letterhead. It is also about the message you convey to your clients, colleagues, and the public and how you communicate this message.
Choose a motto that speaks deeply held personal and business beliefs. And work on artistic elements, such as font, logo, color scheme, and others, that convey a particular feeling around your business. It would help if you also put a face behind the brand. As such, capture great headshots that inspire investors and potential customers to work with you.
Define Your Ideal Customer
You cannot serve all types of real estate customers, the same way trying to be a master of all real estate trades is detrimental to your success. You do not expect first time buyers, second-time buyers, senior buyer, and prospects with a preference for luxury to have similar concerns, goals, needs, and even budget.
It, therefore, helps to settle on particular types of prospects. To fully resonate with the prospects, identify their desires, problems, and pains, and look for ways to address them. From there, tailor your marketing efforts, brand awareness, and messaging towards driving more of your ideal prospects to your business doors.
Be Realistic on the Profits
Understand that it takes dedication and time to build a sustainable career in the real estate industry, and have the patience to learn the process. So, do not be carried away with generating million dollars in sales in the first few months. But by offering value and consistency and amassing valuable connections, in the long run, you build a reputable brand, profitable audience, and contacts database that will propel you to your financial targets.
» How to Grow Your Real Estate Business
Be More Purposeful with Networking
To grow your business, focus on meeting and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who can help you reach specific business goals. In events, aim to connect with professionals who can bring value to your business, whether you need someone to offer you financial assistance or a professional who can share some advice.
Create a Referral System
Using personalized and straightforward emails, request current and past customers to recommend your business to friends and family. And do not forget to reward each referral. It shows your thoughtfulness and encourages the referrers to drive more leads to your doors. Test several referral ideas and optimize the most effective ones.
Optimize Your Website
The failure to optimize your website means that your prospects will not find your website organically. Make your site crawlable by search engine bots and optimize it with highly relevant keywords to increase its ranking and visibility on search engines.
Publish Blog Posts Regularly
One of the most effective ways to increase your site’s visibility is blogging. Cognizant that Google ranks webpages, strive to create content that resonates with your prospects. Offer helpful tips for buyers and sellers, write about industry trends, and leverage other blog ideas for real estate agents to drive more leads to your website and grow your thought leadership. And always remember to optimize your content with keywords highly relevant to your real estate niche.
Leverage Social Media Campaigns
Chances are plenty of your prospects actively use social media. Tap into this potential by running social ads and sharing engaging content, including pictures and virtual tours of new properties on the market.
Share your success stories while congratulating new homeowners on social media. This allows you to showcase your commitment to improving people’s lives, instilling more confidence and trust in potential customers.
Harness the Power of Google Ads
Elevate your online visibility quickly and drive instant traffic to your website via Google ads. Success in search ads primarily lies in creating compelling ad copies backed by effective bid and keyword management.
But note that real estate is a highly competitive industry with high keyword prices. As such, ensure you pick highly effective and affordable keywords that will bring in leads without breaking your pockets.
Promote Your Testimonials
Testimonials play a critical role in building trust and credibility for your business. After every successful transaction, send your clients a link via email to leave you an online review. It does not matter whether you direct the customers to Yelp, Google, your website, or a property search site, but make sure you get their reviews.
Manage Your Time
Focus on things that will take your business to the next level, rather than forever struggling to reach the end of your to-do list. And use time management software, such as Trello, to organize your day, week, and month. Doing so, completing essential tasks becomes a walk in the park.
Propel Your Real Estate Business to the Next Level
There are plenty of ways to grow your real estate business and stand out from the pack. Test each of the above ideas, identify the most effective ones, and optimize them to become the most sought-after real estate agent in your neighborhood.
At the heart of working real estate marketing strategy is an intuitive website that inspires visitors to take the desired actions. Absolute Strategic Agent can help you build an alluringly beautiful, interactive, Google-indexable, and mobile-responsive website that speaks your brand and your customers’ language and quickens the process down the sales funnel. Call us today at 805-413-7895, or reach us online to receive a free estimate for your new website or learn more about our website services uniquely tailored to real estate agents.