Thanks to the COVID pandemic, the number of people remote-working has increased exponentially. It is somewhat surprising to many that this transition has been pretty successful for many entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations. Google and Uber, for example, have said that a large number of their employees can work from home until summer 2021 (more information here) – the normal boundaries of work/life balance may have been changed forever!
Whilst this is good news for many, the slow down of many industries – particularly travel & leisure sectors, has left millions of people worldwide without a job and suffering from economic hardships like never before. With this in mind, now could be the ideal time to take the plunge and start that business that you’ve been thinking about for the last decade. With all the tools & infrastructure in place, it’s a real option to work from home as your own boss too.
Working From Home
In short – “yes” – you can run a real estate business from home.
Traditionally, starting your own business would have required a fair lump-sum of money and committing to relatively large monthly bills. The first sum of money may have been required for equipment, stock, business cards, a website, a marketer and the monthly bills would relate to expenses such as office-space and accountant bills.
In 2020 however, the tools are in place to reduce or eliminate a lot of those expenses. For example, you can easily create your website in WordPress (there are dozens of step by step Youtube tutorials available for free), you can outsource to overseas freelancers on platforms such as PeoplePerHour and thanks to all the available software and hardware, it’s feasible to work from home without any issues. In 2020, you don’t even need any stock to start an online e-commerce business, you can dropship with thousands of companies using websites such as Aliexpress and Printful. You can even have your very own dedicated receptionist from real estate answering service providers such as Moneypenny – they even do a 24/7 service.
What Software will you need?
You will probably need:
– Accountancy app or software
– Website platform like WordPress
– Graphic Design software
– An account on advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads
They say that “data is the new oil”. With online advertising, data is so in-depth that you can target people of specific ages, locations, interests and hobbies looking to buy or rent a property within a few minutes.
With data so valuable, however, you must keep it organised and safe. Providers such as HubSpot and Zillow are ideal for real estate agents.
If you are working with a team or selling properties on behalf of a company, you may also need video conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Other Home Office Essentials
If you have the funds, it might also be wise to invest in the following:
– HD webcam
– Desk & desk phone
– Office chair
Some people go a step further and kit out their car as a home office too. This can be great when you need to get your head down and focus or just fancy a change of scenery. This can be pretty cramped, however, so is not recommended as the main office, unless you have a truck or an RV. If this is an option for you, consider purchasing the following:
– Car Desk
– Sunscreen or shield for the windscreen
– Internet dongle
– Mobile Printer
– Mobile Phone Holder
No Experience in Real Estate? Find a Mentor
Thanks to the internet, finding a real estate mentor is a lot easier than in years gone by. If you don’t have any experience with real estate, then reading some relevant books, watching a lot of informative videos on Youtube and getting a mentor too – can be a good starting point – especially if you are going to invest some of your own money into the venture.
Many people find mentors on accident. For example, you might make a friend at the local gym who is looking for workers and you end up labouring for and then learning off your friend. There are also local meetup groups that you can go to, volunteer organisations you can join and seminars/webinars that you can attend.
You can also look to invest in a joint venture (at your own risk, of course, do your homework before investing!) as a minority partner and go above and beyond in terms of the work you do and the knowledge that you acquire. You can use the venture to help educate yourself, learn of others and gain experience with minimal risk. There are also online academies that you can learn from (but sceptical and read reviews before joining) and dozens of courses on Udemy that you can learn from if you don’t find a mentor.
Finally, you could also reach out to people on websites such as Linkedin. Make sure to do your homework first, however – think about how you could impress and endear yourself to a potential mentor.
As mentioned above, just be very wary about parting with any money from the start, or at any point! There are lots of genuine mentor programs, but lots of scams out there too.
Have a Plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A mentor, or just a good template and a lot of information – can help you come up with a plan.
Step by step, map out what you want to do. Start with the end in mind as well
What do you want to achieve? How much money? What type of lifestyle?
Do you want to flip houses?
Will you rent out houses? Sell real estate?
How much risk are you willing to take?
If you already have a real estate business or you already work in real estate and are going to go it alone and start up your agency, you will need to think about:
– How you will reach your clients
– Which other companies will you need to work with to sell properties?
– Will you sell or rent out commercial and/or residential properties?
This has just been an overview of starting your own real estate agency. For a more in-depth look please see this video from Ryan Serhant.