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Starting A Business - Estate Agents

Jan 29, 2008
The Estate Agent business is basically about helping other people buy & sell their properties. But even in this field you do get a lot specialization. Some estate agents focus purely on commercial properties, other on the lower end of the residential market whilst a few focus purely on the expensive luxury end.

Generally speaking what you choose to specialize in is often dictated by who / what you know and the location you have chosen for your estate agents business.

This business is all about communication. How you interact between the seller and purchaser can make or break a deal. You will also need the ability to do large mental calculations and think quickly on your feet.

The seller's requirements are that the property is marketed quickly and the best price is achieved with the minimum of hassle. For this service, clients will pay the estate agent a commission around 0.5% to 1.5% of the sales price achieved. This percentage is often dictated by the competitive forces in your area.

You will be required to have intimate knowledge of your local market place so that you can give your clients a ball park figure that is likely to be achieved for their property. Depending on market conditions you can then advice your customer whether they should market the property at "offers over" or at a "fixed price."

The buyers on the other hand want the estate agent to help them find the ideal property for their requirements at the lowest possible price. Often they will not have the time to scour the market place and this is where a really good estate agent can score really well, by sourcing the ideal property quickly, arranging viewing times and helping in negotiations once the right property has been found.

There are also additional services that can be offered like conveyancing, insurance & finance. Some of the best estate agents offer a complete one stop service and can handle everything from putting the property on the market, to finding a suitable buyer, arranging a survey report and helping the buyer secure funding to buy the property.

If you get frustrated easily then this is definitely not the business for you. All sorts of problems can occur that make life difficult for an estate agent. The seller might take the property of the market at the last minute even though you have met all their requirements. The buyer might not be able to raise funding even after all the paperwork has been completed. Sometimes the sellers and buyers can only complete the sale after their respective properties have been sold!

Hours can be long and arduous as in many cases viewing can only be done in the evenings and weekends. Most people that are in the market for buying or selling a property are usually either in paid employment or running their own business. They will often need to be met out with normal working hours to secure a deal.

There are several estate agent franchise models available. When buying an estate agent franchise it is important that you choose a well known brand that has already achieved public recognition. Check out their property portal and make sure that it is easy to use. Make sure that you have an exclusive territory in which to operate your business and speak to existing franchisees to see how profitable the business model really is.

The property market can be highly unpredictable. Within 6 months conditions can change dramatically from being a buyers market to a sellers market. Seasonal fluctuations also serve to confuse the issue. The worst time to start marketing a property is before Christmas and in the beginning of the New Year.

People will always need a property to live in and this business can be highly lucrative for the right person with good people skills and the ability to work hard. When market conditions are right, an astute person can make decent money in this business.
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