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As a real estate professional, I understand as well as anyone that this business has great potential for financial return and personal fulfillment. But it also presents unique challenges that can surprise us along the way. Maybe you are getting into it for the first time. Or just improving yourself as a savvy entrepreneur.
Here are six simple but powerful tips I can offer from my own experience to help you make your real estate startup as successful as possible.
1. Make a detailed plan
First and foremost, the amount of programming you do. Planning will greatly affect both your expectations and your ability to handle unexpected twists and turns along the way. Find resources that can help you make a detailed business plan. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into. Ask yourself the tough questions that will help you form the big-picture vision, medium-term strategy, and short-term goals you need to be successful.
On that note, I’ve found that even with a great vision for the future, it’s possible to end up feeling stuck and bogged down. Focus on bringing that vision to the everyday, mundane to-do list items that need to be accomplished. In other words, setting (and achieving) measurable goals is how you get from point A to point B.
2. Assess and plan your finances
Modern brokerage websites and apps have provided a user-friendly experience for investing in apartments, condos and other real estate around the world. It is not difficult for people to put some money into real estate and make big returns over time.
However, starting a real estate business is a whole different ball game. It often requires a strong understanding of how to leverage debt and a strong tolerance for market fluctuations. So to avoid going overboard, make sure your finances are in line to handle the transition to business ownership. Be organized and specific about your budgets. Plan to do almost nothing at first. This way you’ll have the most room possible to build your business without worrying about putting food on the table for you and your family.
Related: 5 Reasons Why Real Estate Is A Great Investment
3. Form an LLC
When you are ready to really start your business, forming an LLC is very important. Real estate as an investment can be profitable over time, and starting a real estate business of any kind has great potential. But as with any business, it’s important to protect yourself financially from any problems. This is one of the main reasons to form an LLC. Unlike forming a sole proprietorship or DBA, forming an LLC will protect your personal finances and property from any liability should legal issues arise against your business down the road.
Related: This is why you should be investing in real estate right now
4. Define your target audience
I’ve found that it’s incredibly important to define for yourself (in the clearest possible terms) who your target audience is. With the technological boom of the past few decades, it’s easier than ever for us to target our advertising campaigns to specific demographics. If we use this resource intelligently, it makes a big difference.
Defining your target audience means knowing what you are selling and who is most likely to buy it. It also carries with it a built-in reminder that, as real estate professionals, we are as much in the people business as we are in the real estate business. This means that the person behind the transaction is where our focus should ultimately be.
5. Create a website and social media presence
The ever-evolving world of online communication is a major reason why creating a website and social media presence will continue to be an integral part of your business’s success. A standalone website allows you to show who you are with complete freedom and creativity. It also gives you a sort of foundation for your online presence, your bio, your content, and any marketplaces or communication hubs you may have active.
Equally important, however, is understanding how social media can be used to reach your target audience. Social media has exploded into an ever-growing list of platforms that people around the world use to network and find what they need. Don’t underestimate the power of building and maintaining a presence on the sites that matter most to your target audience. And if website design and social media management isn’t your cup of tea (and you have the resources to do it), bring in someone and pay them to do it right. I promise you it will be money well spent.
Related: The real estate game is changing fast. Are you ready to win?
Needless to say, profiting and being successful in real estate these days takes work. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Networking can be one of the best ways to arm yourself with the practical knowledge and moral support you need to be successful.
Seeking advice and wisdom from trusted people who have also walked the entrepreneurial path is so important to your career development. I try to make sure I can work with other professionals on a regular enough basis that I’m always learning from other perspectives. And keep in mind that by consistently proving that you’re a reliable and knowledgeable real estate professional, you’ll build a reputation that can better attract referrals and return clients later on.
In the end, what matters most will be your follow-up. These six tips are a great starting point for anyone. But without the pessimism required to make a dent in your to-do list, your dreams of impacting the real estate industry (and reaping the financial rewards of that impact) may not come true. Be determined, roll up your sleeves and hit the ground running. Keep the big picture in mind even as you take each next step forward, no matter how small it may seem. If you stick to it, your business will grow and before you know it you’ll be looking back in wonder at how far you’ve come.
Related: 5 Amazing Tips To Turn Real Estate Into Real Estate