Running your own business successfully is a matter of hard work, determination and passion. The career is rewarding, but time consuming, so loving what you do is a huge advantage. If estate agency and property appeals to you - changing people’s lives and connecting them with homes - then an estate agency might be the perfect career change.
Property is always in demand, but right now, the market is absolutely booming. The average UK house price was £249,000 in January 2021, up £17,000 from the previous year [Office for National Statistics], and in 2019-20, 827,000 first time buyers got in the game, an increase of 100,000 on the previous year [English Housing Survey].
Desire to find a home is sky high among the UK public, and for estate agents, no two days are the same. If you’re looking to make a career change, and perhaps enter the world of franchising, becoming an estate agent is a great option, and a path down which success and profit are highly likely. Here’s how to get started.
Why start an estate agency franchise?
Franchising, as a business model, is unique. Franchisors provide franchisees with extensive training and support, and this means that in many cases, franchisees with no experience can enter a new sector and thrive, as they might not have been able to alone. This training and support includes:
- A comprehensive initial training programme
- Ongoing training and development opportunities
- Operating standards and procedures to follow
- Support with employee recruitment, training retention and management
- Marketing and advertising assistance
- Financial management and business administration training and support
- Access to approved suppliers
- Access to ongoing guidance whenever an issue happens to arise
Whatever you love, there’s room for you in the franchising industry, and if you love property, a career as an estate agency franchisee might be perfect for you. Running your own estate agency franchise comes with many perks, including the pleasure of helping people find their dream homes, the security of working in a high-demand market and the flexibility of working hours and investment options.
The mission for anyone considering joining a [real estate] franchise is to find one you can place your trust in, one that has a plethora of happy real estate professionals who can attest to the value of the brand.
—Chris Turcotte, Forbes
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How to become an estate agent in three steps
To ensure that you’ll find success and profitability as a franchisee, even with the back-up and training of your expert franchisor, you’ll need to do your research and complete these three crucial steps. Once you’ve done these things, your journey towards a career as a successful real estate agent will have well and truly begun...
1. Get qualified
Many franchises operating in the real estate sector won’t require you to have any specific qualifications, but partaking in training before entering into a franchise agreement, or at least having an awareness that it will be needed, will put you ahead of the curve. If you want to take the initiative, consider completing an Estate Agent Diploma or completing an Estate Agent & Personal Development Training Course.
You won’t need any prior experience to participate in either of these courses. If these options don’t suit you, there are plenty of other certifications and programmes available. Being trained and qualified in the art of estate agency will help you to:
- Make a good impression with your franchisor and fellow franchisees
- Understand the role you’re committing to ahead of agreeing to a contract
- Work better with clients
- Value properties
- Sell, buy, finance and negotiate more effectively
- Understand the legal requirements and rules involved
2. Assess your skill set
Before entering any industry, including real estate, it’s important to assess your skill set to see if you’re suited to the kind of work you’d be undertaking. Though many skills will be learned in the training process, you might find that you possess some important transferable soft skills already, such as communication, enthusiasm, ambition, time management and negotiation.
When you’re researching franchise opportunities that might suit you, you’ll find that many companies tell you, outright, what kinds of skills they’re looking for in franchisees. This will give you a great sense of whether you’d be a suitable fit with the franchise. For example:
Benjamin Stevens - The ideal Benjamin Stevens franchisee needs grit, determination, the ability to work hard and the hunger to succeed. They need to see the huge potential that the company’s business model has to offer.
No Letting Go - The ideal No Letting Go franchisee should be ambitious, hard-working and keen to provide excellent customer service. They should have a can-do attitude and be self motivated about their work.
Northwood - The ideal Northwood franchisee needs high personal integrity, financial acumen and strong communication skills. They should be hard-working, able to persevere and committed to getting the job done.
3. Do your research
Finally, research. Research is a vital part of choosing the right franchise for you and making that career change a success, as it ensures that you’re making informed, sensible moves. Before starting a real estate franchise, consider all your options and gain a clear picture of the market, your situation, and the opportunities that are out there for you. Ask yourself plenty of questions before committing. Consider:
- Yourself - What are your passions? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your transferable soft skills? What experience do you have?
- The business - How long has the franchise been around? How was it established? What has it done since? What are the franchisor’s long-term plans? What’s the success rate of franchisees? Are other franchisees happy?
- The franchise agreement - How long of a term does the agreement cover? How will territory be determined? How will disputes be resolved? What training and support does the franchisor commit to providing? What operational rules and regulations must you follow? What is the site selection and fit-out process, if applicable?
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With franchisor support, becoming a franchisee in the real estate sector is easy
Building your own estate agency from the ground up is a possibility, but it will come with many more risks than franchising with an existing estate agency. As a franchisee, you won’t have to build a customer base. You won’t have to create operational procedures from scratch. And when you run into issues, you’ll always have someone to turn to. Explore opportunities in the estate agency and property sector today.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©