If you’ve decided on a career in real estate, congratulations! It’s a rewarding industry that has made some of the most successful business people in the world. Vast sums of wealth can be tied back to real estate properties, and who doesn’t want a slice of the pie?
However, real estate is not an easy industry to break into. It’s highly competitive, with a lot of careful maneuvers to make, as well as laws and regulations to follow. In this helpful article, we’re going to lay out 3 basic, but highly useful tips for getting started as an estate agent in the UK.
What is the professional qualification and license required to become an estate agent?
Estate agents are not required by UK law to be licensed, although individual agents may belong to a professional body such as the National Association of Estate Agents, which provides some qualification to its members.
However, estate agents must belong to an approved redress scheme. This is for consumer complaints that go unresolved, so the redress scheme will have the authority to resolve the complaints. You can read more about estate agent regulation here.
Get a proper transaction management system
A powerful tool for estate agents is a proper transaction management system, which will eliminate a lot of the paperwork and transaction processing times. This not only helps speed up the transaction process for all parties involved, but also allows you to manage all of your documents from a cloud storage solution.
With a good transaction management system for real estate agents, you won’t find yourself scrambling at the last minute to make sure all documents are in proper order, and increased efficiency will allow you to take more clients simultaneously.
Establish a strong local presence
Real estate is a highly competitive market for both buyers and sellers, so give consideration to your branding and image as a business. Everybody knows marketing is important, but few know the proper platforms and techniques to use. Here are a few tips:
- Start out on social media platforms like Facebook, using geo-targeted ad campaigns to build brand awareness and followers. After a while, you can try switching gears to a PPC marketing campaign on Google Ads, but this requires a lot of research into keyword marketing.
- Don’t dismiss non-digital channels of advertising. Many people still pay attention to classified ads in newspapers and leaflets.
- Hire a professional photographer for your listing photos. There are angles and lighting techniques they’re well-versed in that will make your listings much more attractive, compared to just snapping a few shots with your cell phone.
There are a lot of other ways to increase your marketing efforts, so have a look at this handy list of effective real estate marketing ideas.
Get your insurance in proper order
While estate agents in the UK don’t have to be licensed, there are several types of insurance you absolutely need as a business. These are:
- Public liability insurance – Protects you against compensation claims from members of the public.
- Professional indemnity insurance – Covers you against a client’s financial losses owing to your business or faulty advice you gave.
- Employers’ liability insurance – Covers you when employees become injured or ill as a result of working for your business.
Pros of becoming an estate agent
- You can deal with a wide range of properties, making income from estate sales, rental properties, brokering deals, and other ways to grow your business beyond flipping houses.
- You’ll establish a network of professional contacts such as other estate agents, construction workers, electricians, etc. These contacts will not only help your business, but you’ll also know exactly who to call on for your own dream home renovations.
- You’ll have a lot of variety in your work day. Meeting clients, checking out properties, there’s certainly ways to stay busy if you’re the type who hates being stuck behind a desk all day.
Challenges of becoming an estate agent
- You’ll need to be able to remain calm under pressure and have healthy ways to deal with stress. Real estate transactions involve large sums of money, and tempers can flare when things go sour.
- You need to be driven and motivated, especially if you’re working on commission and have sales targets to meet.