the Doors to your New Business
so many real estate people taking the opportunity to obtain
their AREINZ qualifications we expect to see a great supply
of people who are candidates to either open new businesses
or acquire existing ones as the current owners decide to
Opening a new office, whilst it has its challenges, is an
exciting prospect and this month I would like to discuss
the more human and practical issues. There is an excellent
resource of advisors on the legal and financial aspects
of opening a new real estate office and these should be
properly consulted before taking the first steps to open.
So what needs to be considered before opening your new business?
1 Why are you doing this?
No doubt you have already written out your personal goals
and already have a very clear picture of where you want
to be in a few years and what your life will be like. Having
a clear set of personal objectives will assist in two major
Providing a sense of purpose and direction to keep
you working at the pace required to be successful.
Confidence that this is the right thing to do and
so you can take your exiting skills and knowledge and apply
them to a higher purpose.
Your business Philosophy
Whether you are buying an existing business or opening a
new one you need to get really clear on your business philosophy.
Are you joining a franchise group, a marketing co-operative
or launching your own brand as an independent?
The business types currently on offer in real estate seem
to run from a warehouse or supermarket approach, to the
boutique or delicatessen model.
Are you going to offer the full suite of marketing options
or do you want to specialise in a particular marketing strategy?
Whats your marketing approach?
Company funded or vendor funded?
Are you going to be the familiar corner store operator with
huge window displays or are you going to be upmarket with
a funky image?
3 The market you want to work?
Have you researched the area you are looking in?
Does it provide ample opportunity for you to build the business?
Who are the opposition and what are their strengths and
Are you comfortable working with the people and product
this market contains?
What are the trends and are their any socio-economic and
demographic changes coming that you can take advantage of
or prepare for?
4 How do you want your business to look?
To continue from above and the question about your business
style, have you made a decision about your quality level?
Does this quality level match the type of market you want
Are you going to establish a look and feel for your business
that will attract a sales team and clients?
Whats the reputation you want your business to have?
5 How will you brand and market your Business?
Have you considered a marketing plan and does that fit in
both the market you are entering and with your business
philosophy. Consider the look and feel of all the visual
material you need and build a flavour or look for your business.
Will you go for the quality and full-service style or will
you take a more typical approach? Will this approach attract
sales people and clients in this market place?
6 What will your role be?
The management and ownership hat is very different to that
of a salesperson.
What will your key role and responsibility be in you r new
What new skills do you need?
What current activity and behaviour will need to stop?
What new activity and behaviours do you need to adopt?
Who will help you?
What are the key tasks of great managers and what are the
common mistakes most managers make?
Can you drop some of the sales persons habits and
become the inspirational, fair and decisive leader that
good real estate teams need?
7 What do you expect from your team?
Once you get clear on the issues above you can start to
build a picture of the sort of sales people and administrators
you need. All the above start to provide a clear set of
characteristics of the type of people you want and the skills
and qualities you want them to portray. If there is anywhere
where you see a break down between the ideal business picture
and the eventual reality it often happens here first. Recruitment
of good people in real estate is very competitive and in
the urgency to fill the office compromises are all too often
made and the path to the office you really want gets very
step. This is often the first place where your commitment
Consider your Human Resource Management and how you will
ensure that your team know what to do and how to do it.
How will you handle team members that cant, or wont,
perform to your minimum requirements?
8 What resources will you need?
This ideal business will require the right resources to
deliver the outcomes you are expecting.
What administration people do you really need?
Do you need a Marketing department?
Will your technology resources be adequate?
Office space, training rooms, parking, Auction rooms, photocopiers
and printers are all issues you need to ensure will allow
the business you want o develop.
They reason to ensure you have the right resources is to
remove the possibility that any team member can blame the
lack of tools or poor tolls for their poor performance.
Create an environment where success is easy and team members
accept greater responsibility for their performance as they
cant blame you.
9 Have you a timetable and checklist?
Leave nothing to chance. Work with your professional advisors
to cover all your bases. There is nothing more frustrating
than fighting a rearguard action on opening day because
something has been overlooked.
Make sure your timetable is realistic and
10 Whats the budget and available working capital?
There is nothing like the confidence of having enough working
capital to create both the right environment to establish
your new business and having the funding to operate until
the cash flow arrives.
Have you costed the exercise realistically? It always costs
more! Prepare a budget and cash flow forecast and get really
clear on the prospecting, listing and sales activity required
to exceed these expectations.
Whether buying an existing real estate business or opening
a new one, you will find it an exciting, but demanding time
. Before you go following the Opening an Office Checklist
and ticking off the tasks listed take a moment to ask your
self the questions above and make sure you are ticking off
the actions that will build the business that you want.