Becoming your own boss is the dream for a lot of people. You’ll be in charge of business decisions, workload, and all the profits go straight into your pocket.

That said, there are a few key things to consider before setting off on your own. To help you make the best choice, this guide will cover the benefits and challenges of being a self-employed real estate agent. 

Specifically, we’ll be covering these topics:

  • Things to consider before becoming a self-employed estate agent
  • The benefits of being a self-employed estate agent
  • How to become a self-employed estate agent

For more general information about self-employment, you might want to check out some of our other articles, “How to start a small business” or “The ultimate guide on how to start a business from home“.

Things to consider before a self-employed estate agent

Starting your own business is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should take time to think about the potential advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed, and whether it’s the right choice for you at the current moment. 

To help you make the right call, here are some important factors to consider before you start your own business:

  • Do you have enough money for startup costs, like insurance and legal fees?
  • How long can you survive financially with very little income?
  • Are you prepared to make an overall loss in your first year?
  • Do you have a good idea of where to find clients?
  • Are you able to do your own bookkeeping effectively?
  • Do you know what’s expected of you from HMRC when it comes to registering your business, preparing financial records, and paying taxes?
  • Are you prepared to lose all of your current benefits as an employee?

On top of these practical things, there are also personal factors to consider. For example, being self-employed can be quite a lonely experience, and you might miss working with colleagues. 

The lack of stability can also be quite stressful, so make sure you talk it over with your friends, family, and partner to ensure you’ve got the support you need. Generally speaking, a lot of business owners struggle to find a work-life balance, especially in the early stages, so both you and your support network should be prepared for that. 

Finally, your unstable income could make it difficult to get approved for certain financial agreements like property leases, mortgages, and bank loans, because they usually require evidence that you’re able to make payments.

The benefits of being a self-employed estate agent

There are, of course, a lot of benefits to becoming self-employed, that’s why so many people do it. 

These are some of the major benefits you’ll notice if you start your own estate agency:

  • You’re in control of your hours and workload, so it can be easier to prioritise your other commitments, like childcare.
  • As the business owner, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of different jobs. If you like variety, then you’ll definitely enjoy all the various hats you’ll be wearing. 
  • You’ll have more opportunities to be creative, trying out new ideas as you please. Again, you’re in control, so you have the power to explore possibilities that you might not have been able to as an employee. 
  • You can work from pretty much anywhere you like. 
  • There are a lot of business expenses you can claim to reduce your tax bill. If you work from home, you can even claim some of the running costs. 
  • You’ll have complete financial control over the business, which will hopefully lead to a higher income. But you also get to decide exactly how the money is used, allowing you to shape the future of your business. 

How to become a self-employed estate agent

Once you’ve properly considered all of the advantages and disadvantages of starting your own real estate agency, you can start taking action and get things moving. There are several crucial aspects to starting your business that you should prepare for if you want to do it right. 

Write a business plan

Every new business should start with a business plan. It’s used as a road map to success. 

Your business plan should be made up of these parts:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Competitor and market analysis
  • Details of organisation and management
  • Breakdown of products and services
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding requests and financial projections

For a more detailed breakdown of each part, try out our article on what to include in your business plan.

Register your business

Most businesses set up as a sole trader or a limited company. There are specific advantages and disadvantages to both structures, so it really comes down to your specific needs. 

Sole traderships are a simpler business structure. You pay income tax on your earnings by completing a self-assessment tax return. 

Limited companies need to register with companies house and HMRC to pay corporation tax. On top of this, they need to prepare detailed records of all business operations, which will then be available to the public. 

Market your estate agency

As an estate agency, your relationship with the local community will have a huge impact on your client base. You should try to build a brand image that’s reliable and trustworthy. Once you have everything in place and have read the money laundering regulations for estate agents. Then, do everything you can to get the word out about your business. 

Some effective marketing strategies include:

  • Advertising in newspapers. 
  • Partnering with local businesses. 
  • Registering with online property sites like Zoopla and RightMove.
  • Door to door leafleting. 
  • Building a business website.
  • Starting social media accounts for your business. 
  • Email marketing. 

A combination of these marketing techniques is your best bet. You’ll have to choose the right ones based on your budget and business needs. 

Make your bookkeeping simpler with accounting software

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming admin further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools. 

Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and confidently manage your new business finances.
Find out more here.