Industry expert, Lisa B has been on all sides of real estate — a sales agent in someone else’s agency, the licensee-in-charge of her own businesses, and now a coach and consultant.
This month, Lisa reveals the cold hard truth about your next career move and confirms if being in-charge is a better path than remaining an employee.
Speaking from personal experience, being a business owner and an employer is amazing.
It is challenging and it is rewarding in a way that working for someone else never can be.
Owning your story, determining your direction, building something and guiding others, is a day-to-day experience that shapes you as a person, allows you to grow as a professional, and gives you the opportunity to create wealth and a legacy you can leave behind when you’re done.
Being a business owner is perfect for the RIGHT person (at the right time).
But there are many ups and downs in a business owner’s world.
Before you consider taking that next step and moving away from the relative stability of employment, it’s important you consider every aspect of what this decision might mean for you.
Why become a real estate business owner?
Often, if you’re contemplating business ownership, you have already considered all the reasons it is the right move for you. Let’s look at just three of those, to rehash the pros:
A lot of the time, a major reason for starting your own business is that you want to take the steering wheel — you’re part of an existing business, and though you might like the company, the boss and the team, there are things you would do differently, and you want that opportunity.
As a business owner, you are in the driver’s seat — you determine everything from the strategic direction and trajectory of the business, through to how your team services clients. You have the chance to shape this business exactly as you choose.
Management approach and business culture play a big role in how much you enjoy your job. If they don’t feel right for you in the company you work for now, they can be key factors in motivating you to go out on your own.
As a business owner, you don’t need to go and find the right culture somewhere else, you can create it. Selecting employees, setting values and building culture all starts at the top, with you.
Possibly the most compelling reason for leaving employment to start your own agency or another business, is simply that you want more out of what you are doing in terms of rewards and remuneration.
As a business owner, not only do you have the opportunity to make more money and to set up a nest egg (your business) you can sell off later to fund your retirement, you also answer only to yourself, so you can set your own hours and try to build more flexibility into your working life, if you choose.
These three factors drive many agents to consider and even take the leap into owning a business. But in addressing this topic very openly, it is important we note that even with the best of intentions, business owners don’t always achieve what they hope to when it comes to control, culture and conditions. So, is making the move, worth the risk?
Why remain a real estate employee?
I’ve read many times that more than half of small businesses fail in the first year.
That’s a pretty scary statistic.
Deciding to go out by yourself is a big decision. In playing the devil’s advocate, below are some reasons you should consider remaining an employee.
As an employer:
1) You are responsible for other people’s employment
You can argue that owning your own business gives you freedom, and it does in lots of ways.
BUT you have responsibilities — a lot of them. Not just to yourself and your clients, but to the people you employ. If you decide you aren’t happy anymore, you can’t just pick up and leave anytime. You can’t just walk out!
As an employee, you may have to give appropriate notice to leave, but your job is easily liquidated! You have the freedom and flexibility to give notice, to leave and to go wherever you like at virtually any time.
2) You are responsible for the business’s operation and finance
Business owners need to deal with huge financial obligations. They have to suffer through mounting bills with rising expenses!
Business owners feel the pressure when there are no sales for the month and even though it should be the whole office’s responsibility to make sure the business is safe and performing as required, it is the owner of the business who has to wear the brunt.
Beyond day-to-day finance, the administration can be daunting!
Some of the duties that need to be considered are:
- Taxes / BAS
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Business planning
- Understanding break-even points and business growth
Being an employee, you have less pressure, less responsibility and much less liability.
3) You are responsible for productivity
As an employee, you can focus on what you want to do! You don’t really have to do too much administrative work, so you can focus on being ‘belly to belly’ with more sellers and buyers. You can focus on making more money for yourself.
Business owners are responsible for ensuring the office and its people are productive. Sometimes, this is straightforward management, other times, you will need to micromanage everything to keep the business on track.
4) You are responsible for your business every minute of every day
While employers can set their own hours and adopt a more flexible working pattern if they choose, this isn’t always realistic, as ultimately, you are responsible for everything that happens in relation to your business — regardless of the time of day.
This means, when it comes to time, you may not have as much of it as you would have hoped.
It takes so much time to build a business and it takes time to start making money. During that period, most business owners work long hours, and when they are not at work, they are thinking about it.
Even when your business is established and running well, legally, as the licensee-in-charge (especially under 2020 licensing changes) there are tasks only you can do, and your absence will mean the business may not be able to function productively.
Time is one of the most important commodities to a business owner — and something you never seem to have enough of!
5) You are responsible for staff satisfaction and well-being
As an employee, you don’t really need to worry about other staff outside of being friendly and supportive — a team player.
As an employer, staff problems are the pits. There are lots of potentially-difficult situations that can arise:
- Staff can demand pay rises
- Disputes can occur over when staff want to take holidays
- There can be internal conflict and issues
- You can face disputes over entitlements, for example, superannuation, long service etc
- Staff can have personal issues and require support
- Staff may require guidance and you have to be available to nurture them
6) You are responsible for your own happiness
While, as an adult, you are always responsible for your own happiness, as an employee, if something in the workplace is making you unhappy or uncomfortable, you can approach you manager to seek their help in working it out.
When you are the manager, there is no one else responsible for you and how you are coping and feeling. On top of worrying about the finances and operation of the business, ensuring productivity and supporting staff, you somehow need to maintain your own happiness and some semblance of balance in your personal life.
Allowing your happiness and well-being to decline can defeat the purpose of starting your own business, so though it may seem trivial, it might actually be your biggest priority, and certainly, one of your toughest challenges.
You think being a boss is for you? Do it!
You don’t want to be the boss? That’s ok. Don’t!
If you are happy.
Stay as you are!
Phone 0412 210 558