If you’re just running your real estate business solo, you don’t need to worry about employees. If you are hiring people to work for you, you will need to know what to do. See our ten tips on hiring employees.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Contact the IRS and let them know you will need an EIN for your real estate business. This is a number you will use to file and pay your taxes. We put together this guide to getting your EIN.
Make Sure Your Employees can Work in the US
Your employees must be legally able to work here. Carry out background checks and ensure they have any necessary legal documentation. Additionally, they may need separate professional licenses.
Report Employees as “New Hires”
In most cases, you will need to report the hiring of employees to your state.
Learn About Legal Requirements and Responsibilities to Employees
You do have certain responsibilities and requirements for hiring employees. In addition to getting a proper employment contract in place with them, you have a duty to provide them with a safe working environment, proper training, regular pay and certain other criteria. OSHA covers your health and safety requirements, while the US Department of Labor provides information on other responsibilities.
Get Worker Compensation Insurance in Place
As listed above, you will need to make sure you have proper worker compensation insurance to cover injuries, illness, medical costs and the like.
Pay Employees on a Regular Basis
You will need to run payroll and compensate your employees on a regular frequency. Your state may mandate how often employees need to be paid.
Withhold Income and Payroll Taxes
You will need to calculate and keep back income tax so you can pay the appropriate bodies. You will also need to pay the employer portion of the payroll tax.
Market Your Real Estate Business
When it comes to marketing your real estate business, you have a few options.
Offline Advertising and Promotion
- Local Advertising — as you’re selling to people locally, advertising in the local press, on billboards, through radio or by distributing flyers and other marketing will be most effective.
- Direct Mail — although it doesn’t have a great response rate, direct mail marketing can be effective when it’s done correctly. This is a common marketing method for realtors.
- Signage at Your Place of Business — if you get an eye-catching sign for your place of work, that can bring in local customers. Likewise, having property details in your shop front can be very helpful.
- Partnership with Other Businesses — another great way to get customers is to go into partnership with other businesses. Find an organization that complements your real estate business and you can refer customers to each other. For example, there might be property development or rental specialists or attorneys you could work with.
- Word of Mouth and Recommendations — the best way to advertise is through word of mouth. Deliver awesome services, look after your customers and they will reward you by being your advocates.
Online Advertising and Promotion
- Pay Per Click Ads — you can try targeted search ads (Pay per Click) using Google AdWords or Bing Ads. You can also try display advertising, again that’s mainly through Google AdWords. Local search advertising could be very effective, depending on the competition.
- Social Media Marketing — you could pay to have ads shown in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or other social networks, depending on the type of audience you’re trying to attract. Segmenting by location will be very important.
- Search Engine Optimization — generating great content for your website, getting back links and more can really help your placement in search results. As a local business, getting good reviews will really boost your rankings.
Find a Mentor or Partner
It’s possible you don’t have all the right skills, expertise, experience and connections to run your real estate business solo. In those cases it’s worth looking for a skilled partner or mentor who can complement your approach, provide different capabilities and offer advice. Going into partnership with other realtors, taking advantage of a real estate franchise or working with a larger real estate group like Beverly Hanks or Keller Williams could also be an excellent opportunity.
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