There are dozens of real estate franchising opportunities available to those considering starting their own property business. However, choosing between different franchises, making sure that you’re fully prepared for the road ahead and developing the skills necessary to excel is not easy.
Here, we take a look at how you can realise your dream of becoming a property agent and successful franchisee.
Property agent jobs
If you’re going to be the best property agent you can be, you’ll need to know your local market inside out. This includes being aware of other businesses that are operating in the area and any current trends.
Which area is up and coming? Which neighbourhoods are well-suited to families who want to get their young children into good schools? Where should a young couple hoping to get on the property ladder look to buy? A good property agent knows everything about their local real estate market and understands how to leverage this information to increase sales.
Know your industry
As well as knowing your local market, it's essential to have a good understanding of the history of real estate and the industry as a whole. This means learning all the tips and tricks of the trade, as well as keeping an eye out for changes in legislation or governmental policy. Property is often subject to drastic legal changes. Therefore, a property agent who can see what's coming over the horizon is likely to gain the trust of clients and develop a reputation for getting the best deal possible.
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Consider what type of franchise you want
There is a diverse range of franchise opportunities in the property sector. Many businesses will also be able to offer franchisees flexible working arrangements. Although the vast majority of positions are full-time, there are also part-time or flexible, remote working opportunities on the market. If you don't mind earning a little less and want to fit your job in around your personal life, part-time franchises could be a great option for you.
However, franchisees need to ensure they’ve got a realistic picture of how many hours they can expect to work and what they will earn before they sign a franchise agreement.
Research the big brands
If you’re looking to benefit from a big property franchise’s brand, you’re in luck – there are loads of businesses to choose from. Whether it’s Platinum Property Partners, Century 21, Northwood, Nicholas Humphreys or Redstones, you’ll find that there is a large number of reputable estate agents offering franchise opportunities.
That said, it's still vital that you research every franchise and ensure you understand what they offer and what they expect from you. Franchise packages come in all shapes and sizes and will contain various incentives, support systems and bonuses. Don’t settle for a brief overview of the assistance provided by the franchisor – you need to dig deep and find out exactly what you'll receive.
Meet with a franchise consultant
Franchise consultants can provide fantastic insight into which franchises are considered safe investments and which have a reputation for leaving their franchisees in the lurch. Talking to an organisation that has a great deal of experience in the franchising sector can help you discard certain franchises and narrow down your choice. They’ll also be able to highlight similar franchising opportunities that you may have missed.
Research the franchisors
As well as researching franchises as a whole, you also need to look into the franchisor's history. When you've spoken over the phone or met in person, it's time to do a little digging. Take a look at their previous experience and financial past. Is there anything that makes you think twice about partnering with this individual? The franchisor-franchisee relationship requires close collaboration, and you need to be sure that they're trustworthy and that you'll feel comfortable working with them for the foreseeable future.
Talk to existing franchisees
Before you sign a franchise agreement, you should discuss the opportunity with franchisees already working in the business. They should be able to give you some insight into what life is like as a franchising property agent, how much money you can expect to make and whether the franchisor is as trustworthy as they seem.
Hone your skills
A good property agent never stops improving their fundamental skills. This means working tirelessly to hone your sales pitch and communication skills, while also ensuring your local area expertise is up to date and relevant. One of the best ways to do this is by keeping on top of industry news, reading trade publications and seeking out new learning opportunities.
Attend educational opportunities whenever possible
In the property industry, there are educational opportunities everywhere you look. While your franchise will provide you with essential training, you still need to take responsibility for your own education. Attend lectures, keep an eye out for new books and magazines on business management or the property sector, and enrol yourself on a course.
Sign the franchise agreement
Finally, to become a fully-fledged property franchisee, you’ll need to sign the franchise agreement. Before you do so, make sure it’s been read over by your legal advisor and that you’re comfortable with everything the document contains. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, there’s no going back, so don’t rush into any decision that you may regret later.
Becoming a property agent is not an easy journey. However, with the determination required to succeed and a supportive franchisor, you’ll have the tools to launch your very own profitable real estate business.
Advantages and disadvantages of starting a real estate business
- Help people find their dream home – The most obvious advantage of working in the real estate industry is that you can help people realise their dreams. While you are experiencing a standard ‘day at the office’, your clients will be initiating one of the most emotional periods of their lives. Any house move can have its complications – and most do – so by always being at the end of the phone and taking measures to smooth the journey for your clients will be greatly appreciated. Helping buyers and sellers can be extremely rewarding, as you can play a part in incredibly important moments.
- Real estate will never go out of fashion – While the real estate sector is not immune to economic downturns, it will never shut down altogether. People will always need homes and agencies to organise the rental or sale transactions. Unlike businesses that rely on trends and fads, you can rest assured that your business should be stable for years to come.
- Set your own hours – This point comes with a caveat. You can set your own hours and tailor your schedule to your existing commitments, but you will probably have to sacrifice some of your evenings and weekends. As you might expect, most clients will want to meet outside of standard working hours, so you’ll have to be there for them if you want to make a profit.
- Socialise – As estate agents take clients round properties they’re interested in, the role requires a lot of socialising. For this reason, you should be comfortable chatting to people you’ve just met and answering their questions in a friendly and informative way. As a business owner in the real estate sector, you’ll also need to maintain knowledge of any potential sellers in the area. You should also make an appearance at local events to keep your business at the front of potential clients’ minds. This is a major plus point for outgoing entrepreneurs who love meeting new people.
- Every day is different – While you will spend a portion of your time at your desk dealing with administrative matters, you’ll also have the opportunity to get out and about, showing clients round properties. You’ll always have new properties to showcase, so you’ll never be craving a change of scenery. This keeps things interesting over time.
- Limited repeat custom – While businesses in other sectors can cultivate a healthy pool of loyal customers or clients by providing long-lasting products or excellent customer service, for example, you won’t have this opportunity. The people you help buy or sell their property will use your services and then get back to their lives while you make new business connections. It’s true that the clients you meet may remember you when they come to sell their property, but this will be several years down the line if it happens at all.
- A lot of working hours – As we’ve already discussed, you may have to work a lot of hours, particularly in the initial stages of setting up your business. You may be able to choose your working hours, taking time off to pick your children up from school or meet with friends. However, it’s likely you’ll have to be available at weekends, if not in the evenings too. This can have an impact on family life, so it’s vital your loved ones are aware of the responsibility you’re taking on when you launch your business.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©