How to open a real estate agency in Australia
Are you thinking about opening your own real estate agency?
With record low interest rates and a booming real estate industry across Australia, there’s no time better than now.Are you feeling excited but anxious? Can’t wait to get started, but are nervous about taking the first step. We know how it goes.
Speak to any successful businessperson and they’ll tell you they’ve felt all of these things and more, when starting out. The difference between dreaming about running your own business and actually doing it is longer than a morning run. Dreaming about it is so much easier, but a lot less satisfying.
It’s true that once you take the big step and open your own business, life becomes more focused, more exciting and you find yourself on the steepest learning curve of your life.
However, there’s a triad of wisdom that makes the challenging parts less stressful, and the inevitable mistakes less painful. It’s called research, learn and prepare.
How do I research opening a real estate agency?
Dig deep into your list of contacts and speak to the right people. Your personal experience is gold, but you need a wider perspective when you’re the one in charge. You may be very good at selling real estate, but will you be good at running a business?
You’re looking for transferable knowledge because good leaders weren’t born with all their skills and expertise. Much of the knowledge you’ll need as a business owner is learnt from others.
When seeking advice, remember that real estate is highly competitive and appearances can be deceptive. So make sure you’re judging success in a meaningful way. In the real estate industry, success is defined by happy vendors, happy purchasers and high profits. In effect, you’re making your profit from matching sellers with buyers and to do that successfully, the outcome for both must be the provision of exemplary service.
Get your legal responsibilities sorted
There are a lot of decisions to make and some of them require legal assistance. What type of corporate structure will you use – a partnership, trust, joint venture or company? Will you start as a sole trader and then bring in one or more partners?
These are decisions to consider carefully. Don’t cut corners and ensure you engage a good lawyer and a good accountant. If you operate your business in a transparent and compliant manner, satisfying legal and tax requirements will be straightforward.
Marketing your brand
Coming up with a name for your agency is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Whatever business name you settle on is likely to be with you for the life of the business. When you choose a name, register it and trademark it too. Only after you successfully register the name of your agency, should you spend money establishing your brand.
It’s very difficult to promote your own business if you don’t have a basic understanding of marketing principles. Marketing a real estate agency is a different proposition to marketing an individual house, and current marketing conventions have evolved since traditional marketing was the go-to.
If you can’t afford the time to research current marketing strategies, consider employing a marketing consultant. Done well, marketing will bring in the clients you need to grow your new real estate agency.
Learn the ropes before you launch your business
Once you know what skills and knowledge you need to build on, work out which you can outsource to an employee and those you’ll need to do yourself.
For example, if you have IT skills, you can assist in building the website for your agency, or at least create some of the content. You can get your social media accounts organised, set up Zoom meeting standards, establish an online presence and develop digital marketing protocols for advertising properties.
Prepare the foundations – develop a business plan
The best thing you can do for your future real estate agency is to develop a business plan.
Download an Australian Government business plan template and start working on it, even if you’re still undecided about some aspects of your new agency. We suggest you do this because many of the sections to be completed in the business plan may be important topics and tasks you might not have thought about yet.
Starting your business plan now will mean you think more deeply about what you want to achieve and how you intend to get there.
If you need help, 10 entrepreneurs share their top business plan writing tips in Forbes here.
The government business plan template includes stating your vision and mission, information management, assets, stock and inventory, key people, sources of advice and support, and skill and staff retention strategies. It also examines your target market and your competition and how you’ll advertise and promote your agency. Risk management is included, along with insurance and laws you need to comply with.
Getting educated – real estate courses
To run your own real estate agency, you need to complete a real estate agent course. The courses can differ depending on the state or territory in which you reside; however, all courses must be undertaken with a registered training organisation (RTO).
In Victoria (VIC), you need to complete the Diploma of Property (Agent Management) CPP51119 to obtain your full real estate licence and be qualified to run your own agency. There are 12 units in the Diploma of Property – Agency Management.
The prerequisite to this online real estate course is the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice (CPP41419), which has 18 units.
Once you’ve successfully completed both qualifications, you can apply to the Business Licensing Authority for your Real Estate Licence.
In New South Wales (NSW), the Diploma of Property (Agent Management) CPP51119 qualifies you to be granted a Licence Class one, which will put you behind the wheel of owning and running your own real estate agency.
There are two pathways to the Diploma of Property (Agent Management) Licence Class one. They both require you to have completed 12 months of industry experience as an assistant agent, and 24 months experience as a Class 2 Licence holder.
After completing the real estate course you can apply to Fair Trading NSW for registration.
In Western Australia (WA), to obtain a full Real Estate Licence you need to complete 12 units from the Diploma of Property (Agent Management) CPP51119.
The prerequisite to this course is the Certificate IV in Real Estate Practice, which requires the completion of 19 units.
You must also have at least two years experience working in the industry.
After you successfully complete the online real estate course, you can apply to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) for your registration in WA.
In South Australia (SA) to qualify for your Land Agent Registration you need to complete a land agent course.
While the full land agent course is composed of 36 units of competency, there are several pathways to the qualification – depending on your experience and/or academic credentials.
Registered sales representatives or property managers, for example, can complete one of the alternative pathways towards Land Agent Registration.
Real estate sales representatives often complete the land agent course, even though they don’t anticipate opening their own agency. They do the course to increase their knowledge and skills.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) you need to complete the Real Estate Licensing course (CPP40307). This is a full real estate licence course and will qualify you to work independently across the ACT and operate your own agency.
There are 18 units of study and once you’ve completed the real estate course, you can apply to Access Canberra for your full real estate licence.
In Queensland (QLD) you need to complete the Real Estate Agent Licence course. After completing this full licensing course, you’ll be qualified to work as a real estate agent in Queensland and open your own agency.
There are 19 units of competency and they must be completed within a 12-month period.
Once you’ve completed the Real Estate Agent Licence course, you can apply to the Office of Fair Trading Queensland for your full licence.
Note that this course doesn’t qualify you to work as an auctioneer in Queensland. The Real Estate Auctioneer Licence course is a separate 10-unit course.
There’s never been a better time to open a real estate agency. The industry across Australia is booming and it’s never looked so good. Add record low interest rates and you don’t need rose-coloured glasses to see the opportunities.
Entry Education is a registered training organisation that runs top-quality real estate courses. We’re renowned for our no-fluff courses and dedicated student support. We put our students at the centre of everything we do.
If you’re considering opening your own agency and want to complete a real estate course to get you there, we’re the right people to talk to.
We love helping real estate people climb the ladder to success. Don’t wait any longer, contact us today.