Are you thinking of opening a new real estate office in the current market? [coping with the cool]

Many ambitious agents will consider opening their own agency at some point.

In this article, industry expert, Lisa B explores the questions an agent must ask and answer before deciding to start an agency, and the factors that should be considered in a changing market.

As the market improves and the media celebrates improved auction completion rates, it’s fair for agents and consumers to believe the dip is behind us and we can look forward to further improvement from here.

Perhaps it means it’s the perfect time to make the next move and to finally open the new agency you’ve been thinking about and planning in your mind for the last few years.

But opening an agency isn’t a small decision. While it might be a dream, it can quickly become a nightmare if you don’t dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s in the consideration and planning stages.

This article is intended to provoke your thoughts and to encourage you to both ask questions and answer them. It is designed to help you and to play devil’s advocate, so if you do open an agency, you are ready for whatever the market, consumers, the industry and the law throws at you.

Be a realist: are you really better off opening an agency?

To start your thought process, I want to question your decisions so far and ask you to think about many things you may not have considered.

I have a hard question for you.

Are you better to ignore your desire to run your own show, and rather, stay a salesperson?

I’m serious.

Being a salesperson and being the owner of a business are two different roles; they are two different skill sets. As a business owner:

  • You will have a huge financial outlay.
  • You will have staff.
  • You will have a lot more responsibility.
  • You will probably need to work longer hours.
  • You may find it harder to take holidays.
  • It’s bloody hard work!

So…. are you better off continuing to work for someone else and employing your own PA?

Do you have a real plan?

Be careful of being lured into owning your own agency without a plan.

Next in your self-analysis, ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

Do you have real estate experience?

Do you have the right qualifications?

Have you worked at another office and do you have a restriction of trade? Be very, very careful!

Do you have any management experience?

Have you managed a business before?

Do you understand what a break-even point is?

Will you work from home?

Will you join a franchise?

Have you assessed your area?

How many offices are in your area?

How many agents are in your area?

How many sales have happened in the last 12 months?

Will you have a niche, or focus on one or two geographical areas?

Have you researched your legal obligations?

Do you have a business plan?

Do you have systems?

Do you have policies?

Do you understand how to deal with staff and the associated responsibilities?

Sideline Tip: Don’t expect your staff to work as hard as you do. It’s probably unlikely they will, mainly for the reason, they are NOT you and they don’t have skin in the game!

Are you prepared to do it all?

When you own your own business, you will have to wear many hats:

  • A sales hat
  • Property Management hat
  • A marketing hat
  • Human Resources
  • A counsellor
  • IT specialist
  • Receptionist / Admin
  • You might even be the cleaner

Are you prepared to give up being only an agent, focusing only on your clients and your sales, so you can start focusing on absolutely everything else… as well as your clients and sales?

Is it time to take the plunge?

Making this decision is exciting and it’s scary.

You need to decide that you are going to give it everything you can to succeed. You have to be determined. You have to be disciplined.

But mostly, more than anything else, you will need to believe in yourself.

If you believe you can or you can’t. You’ll be right either way.

Lisa B.

Call: 0412 210 558

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