How to set up your online real estate agency

real estate

Real estate is the land of opportunity for many. With 6.9 million home sales in the U.S. in 2021 alone, there’s tons of money to be made in the real estate market. If you want to get into the exciting world of helping people buy and sell homes, here’s how to set up your own online real estate agency.

Get licensed

The first step on the path to creating an online real estate agency is to get a license. You can’t work as a real estate agent without a real estate license!

Each state has different real estate laws. That’s why it’s so important to take all the classes you can, do the research, and get licensed in your state before building your real estate agency.

Luckily, there are plenty of real estate licensing schools available, many of which are online. Do a quick Google search to find one in your area and start studying! Once you get your license, you’ll be ready to start selling homes.

Write a business plan

Armed with your newfound knowledge of the real estate market, it’s time to start thinking about setting up your online real estate agency by writing a business plan and creating a brand identity.

A business plan is a quick outline of your operational and financial goals. What do you want your online real estate agency to do? Although having a business plan isn’t necessarily mandatory, it’s a good way to keep yourself on track as you build out the rest of your company.

Build a website

If you want to start an online real estate agency, you need somewhere online to do business. That means a killer website!

Traditional real estate agencies need an office. Well, think of your website as your digital office. It’s where all your clients and potential clients go to look at houses, learn about your business, and contact you when they’re ready to make a move. In other words, it’s very important!

Not only does your website provide information to potential clients, but it can also help you generate new clients. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can show up at the top of search results.

According to industry statistics, 90% of homebuyers searched online for properties. If your website can pop up first every time someone types “houses for sale in [your city],” just imagine how many new clients you’ll get!

Set up a CRM

A successful real estate business isn’t built around what you know; it’s about who you know. Having an efficient way to manage leads and contacts is essential to keep your online real estate agency moving. That’s why it’s important to have a CRM to keep contact information organized.

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It helps you organize your hundreds of contacts, and gives you actionable insights for each contact like stages of the buyer’s journey, interests, price ranges, etc. Many CRM systems provide automation tools too, making keeping up with leads a breeze.

Because real estate agencies deal with so many different clients, all at different stages of the home buying or selling process, a CRM is an incredibly helpful tool and an essential part of setting up an online real estate agency. So put that old rolodex away and get a CRM that works for your business needs.

Start your marketing efforts

Now that you have the basics of establishing an online real estate agency down, it’s time to promote your new business!

The key to successful marketing efforts is to create a brand voice and identity. Basically, how do you want your online real estate agency to be perceived by the public? It’s a good idea to think of what makes you different from the competition when coming up with your brand identity and voice.

Once you figure out a brand identity and voice, it’s time to design some marketing materials. Every time you create a new piece of marketing, keep your brand identity and voice in mind to ensure everything remains consistent across all your channels.

These are some of the most popular marketing channels for online real estate agencies:

  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor, etc.)
  • On-site SEO materials (blogs, whitepapers, etc.)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Real estate websites like Zillow or Trulia

Since your target audience is likely in specific areas, it also never hurts to go old-school with some marketing efforts and print up some real estate flyers to hand out around town or at open houses.

Assemble your perfect team

Assembling the perfect team is essential for sustainable growth. You might be a borderline superhero, but you won’t be able to do everything yourself for long (at least, you hope). Even Superman needs the Justice League! As your agency grows, you’re going to need some help. You’ll need to hire.

When you’re ready to start building your team, post the job description on your website and social media platforms to spread the word. It’s also a good idea to give it an eye-catching design to really attract potential applicants.

If you’re not a designer, that’s okay. There are plenty of free job posting templates online you can use. Just pick the template that best fits your brand identity, fill in the information, and start posting. You’ll find your Justice League in no time!

Always be prospecting

The act of setting up an online real estate agency is never truly finished. Even with the perfect website, plenty of leads, and a killer team, there’s always more to do! Whether your agency is ten days old or ten years old, always be on the lookout for new prospects.

No matter where you go, carry a pocket full of business cards and hand them out at any chance you get. You never know when someone will want to buy or sell a house! And when someone does get in touch with you, be sure to add them to your CRM right away.

Build your online real estate agency

Owning an online real estate agency can be quite lucrative, but it takes plenty of effort and a little know-how to get started on the right foot.

When you’re ready to open the digital doors to your brand-new online real estate agency, make sure you have the proper licenses, build a killer website, promote your business on every channel you can, and have the right team behind you. With a consistent brand voice and a keen eye for potential clients, there’ll be nothing standing in the way of your real estate dreams.

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