You’ve already launched your real estate business, and if you’re like most, you may have learned that it’s often a slow start. Real estate can be a lucrative field for motivated and dedicated entrepreneurs, but it takes time and effort to grow your business into a money-making success.
The good news is: with the right planning and people in place, that success is attainable. We’ve got the steps you need to hire the best and market your brand to make your real estate business worth all the energy you’re putting into it.
Hiring Employees for Your Real Estate Business
As a business owner, the most powerful asset you have is the power of people. When you have the right talent for the job, you have the support you need to stop worrying as much about the day-to-day tasks and focus your energy on growing the business into the future. So, what are the best practices you can implement when you’re ready to expand your real estate business?
Decide Which Roles You Need to Hire
If you’re still a one-man or one-woman show, but you find the administrative duties that go along with operating your business overwhelming, it might be time to hire an assistant. Assistants can help with numerous tasks, such as answering phones, photographing and posting listings and managing your social media. If you’re wondering if an assistant is the right hiring decision for you, here are a few things to consider:
- A licensed real estate assistant is what you want to look for if you need someone who is already knowledgeable in the legal details of the real estate market. They will be prepared to handle closing paperwork, prepare contracts and manage escrow arrangements. They will likely cost more than an unlicensed employee, but their experience can bring enormous value to your business.
- If a full-time assistant isn’t feasible, you have many other options to secure the help you need. You can look for a part-time employee, hire on a freelance or contract basis or create an assistant-share with other local realtors. If your business is part of a larger brokerage firm, you may also have opportunities to seek funding at the broker level.
- Expand your hiring pool by looking at virtual assistant options. In today’s remote work world, virtual assistants are well-versed in the technology needed to manage your business effectively, no matter where they’re located. This can also help reduce your overhead, bring in better or more diverse talent and also help you find the best rates that fit your budget.
Real Estate Agents
If your business is growing and you find yourself with too many listings to manage on your own, it might be time to expand your team by hiring a real estate agent or agents. Remember that your agents are coming in with many of the same goals you started with: to expand their earning capacity, make their own hours and have the autonomy and freedom of working for themselves. Keep these tips in mind when planning to hire a real estate agent:
- You don’t always need the best in the business. You’re looking for an employee, not a competitor. Open your talent pool to those just starting out and getting their feet wet in the industry. They are generally eager to learn, ready to put in the time and effort it takes to thrive and are often open to a lower commission than more experienced agents.
- Help your agents help you. Implement a training or mentorship program so agents can grow their careers while helping your business become more successful. Encourage them to take a leadership role in the sales process, and help them score a few wins to build their confidence.
- Remember that their personal brand reflects on your business’s brand. Work together to market the business and to market your agents as individuals. Be sure their tone, methods and processes align with your overall brand.
Buttoning Up the Details
When you’re ready to hire for your real estate business, be sure you have all the details in order so you’ll be ready to roll as soon as you find the right person for the job. This includes:
- Making sure your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is secured. Our guide to getting your EIN can help.
- Check your new hire's eligibility to work in the U.S. Be sure to perform a comprehensive background check, and verify any professional licenses.
- Prepare contracts, and make sure your responsibilities as an employer are covered, including a safe work environment, payroll system and tax withholding and reporting. The U.S. Department of Labor can provide insight into your duties as an employer.
Marketing Your Real Estate Business
Once you have your dream team in place, the next step to growing your real estate business is to market it effectively. Here are a few key considerations when it comes to expanding your real estate brand.
Take Advantage of Technology
Sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com offer paid profiles you can use to connect to your real estate listings. When an interested buyer finds the listing, they’ll be able to contact you directly to set up a showing.
Make Lead Nurturing Easier
Implementing the right CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is important, not only for tracking the many leads that flood into your business, but also for weeding out unqualified leads and providing insights about those who are likely to convert. The right CRM tool will help you automate communications and keep you connected with your clients at key points in their buyer’s journey.
Advertise and Maximize
While the days of flashy billboards and faces smiling from bus stop benches are far from over, newer forms of advertising are proving more effective for real estate businesses. Google Ads, Facebook ads and pay-per-click campaigns help you stick to your budget while reaching a more targeted audience.
Search Engine Optimization
What are your potential customers searching for in a real estate broker? Understanding and analyzing keywords will help you create content that will boost your organic search rankings and make your business easier to find. Keywords should be included in prominent locations on your website, and if you have the bandwidth, creating a blog that will drive traffic and provide opportunities for backlinks will also help you rank.
Don’t Forget to Go Local
Advertising online and optimizing your search rankings are priorities when it comes to marketing your real estate business, but don’t forget the power of marketing locally. After all, your audience is likely to be looking for properties in one general location (your location), so if you can target them where they aspire to be, you’ll bring in more motivated, qualified leads. Consider advertising in local publications or on local TV and radio stations, send direct mail to your targeted geographic location and don’t forget the aforementioned billboards, benches and other signage — they still work!
Once your business is growing, take time to learn from and get inspired by those who are achieving success in your field, like Incfile customer Hopemont Investment Group. And if you have your own story to share about how hiring the right people and marketing your real estate business helped your company grow, we may just make you our Spotlight of the Month!