The internet has revolutionized how people do business, interact, and stay informed. At least, it has for those who can access it. While the vast majority of individuals have benefited from the digital age, those who cannot or will not adapt stagnated and even suffered as a result.
Even in the real estate industry which is usually considered to be the preserve of the digitally native, the effect of the internet has been felt. With the growth of online transaction platforms such as virtual walkthroughs and appraisal portals, traditionally local businesses have been able to flourish despite being completely remote from the traditional in-person interactions which characterized the real estate industry for so long.
More recently, however, the traditional real estate brokers and agents have begun to embrace the internet, creating online portals and establishing social media accounts to connect with prospective clients. While the internet has undoubtedly improved the way business is carried out in the real estate industry, it has not fundamentally changed the essence of what a real estate broker or agent does. For instance, the majority of legal work associated with real estate transactions still occurs in-person in physical offices, with the correspondence and documentation which characterize e-transactions generally taking up less time and being less complex than their paper-based counterparts.
What Is a Real Estate Broker Or Agent?
Simply put, a real estate broker or agent is someone who holds themselves out to the public as being expert in the field of real estate and offers their services to prospective purchasers, lenders, and tenants looking for advice or a go-between for commercial property transactions.
While anyone can technically carry out real estate transactions without being a real estate agent or broker, neither of these titles can be used as a form of identification in commerce or in any other jurisdiction. This is because in the majority of countries, the law requires that professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and certified public accountants carry out certain transactions. Therefore, it is often legally required that someone who is not legally classified as a real estate agent or broker perform certain functions of a real estate transaction. These include assisting with negotiations and providing information to the parties involved in the transaction. In some cases, the non-professional may even have to sign legal documents on behalf of the parties involved.
Can I Use My Real Estate License To Make Money Online?
With the exception of certain states in the U.S, most jurisdictions require that those interested in carrying out real estate transactions obtain a license from their local government. In most cases, this is not simply a matter of obtaining a signed piece of paper which can be used to prove that you are, in fact, a real estate agent or broker. In most places, it is also necessary to take and pass a specific exam which tests your knowledge of the subject matter of real estate law. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may also need to register with the Real Estate Commission or Board, obtain liability insurance, and maintain minimum licence fees which are determined by your level of expertise. For instance, in Ontario, you will need to pay an annual licensing fee of $70.
As you might imagine, earning potential in the real estate industry is largely predetermined by the licensing requirements in a given location. Specifically, the more licenses you have, the more lucrative your job will be. For instance, in Alberta, Canada, you can expect to earn between $60,000 and $90,000 per year. For comparison, U.S. salaries in this field vary from $24,000 to $49,000 per year. Thus, those who do not yet hold a real estate license may find themselves in the unenviable position of having to seek employment in an area where wages are higher and more lucrative or in a location where licensure is not yet required.
Should I Use My Blog To Generate Business?
One of the biggest challenges for those who decide to go into the real estate industry is getting started. Without the benefit of a strong brand and extensive social media presences, it can be relatively difficult for a new agent or broker to build up a client base. For this reason, many find that their best chance of succeeding in a saturated market is by using their blog to create and distribute content which is both useful and relevant to their target audience. In most cases, this content will be associated with some sort of marketing activity, be this generating leads for them to follow up on or gaining media coverage and ideally landing them some juicy, paid-for mentions.
Despite the obvious advantages of having a blog as a business tool, it is not without its downsides. One of the biggest issues with having a blog is that it is, by its very nature, transient content. While anyone can start a blog and update it with a few interesting articles every month, the fact that they are transient means that they will, eventually, become out of date. Thus, while they can be somewhat useful as a source of information, they, generally, cannot be relied upon for giving an in-depth, authoritative view of a particular subject.
How Can I Best Utilize My Real Estate License?
If you decide to go down the path of entrepreneurship and get an online real estate company established, your first port of call should be the internet. With the exception of certain states in the U.S, virtually all real estate transactions now take place online, with the in-person portion being limited, at best, to negotiations and signing on the dotted line. For this reason, virtually all of the learning which you will need to do to be successful will be acquired online via self-learning or studying at the public library. Thus, if you can get a decent WiFi signal, you can learn all that you need without even having to leave your home.
As for the actual business of being an agent or broker, if you decide to go down this path, the first thing you should do is create a professional-looking website. Ideally, you want to look for a free web host with a custom domain name and install a blogging platform on it. From there, you can take it easy for a while and simply write and schedule blog posts on a regular basis.
If you later decide to establish yourself as an agent or broker with a physical office, having a blog will certainly be useful as a content archive. For those who choose to work remotely, however, the content which you create will be your source of insight and marketing material, with you only ever really needing to update your website with fresh content once every few months.
What Is The Most Suitable Location For My Real Estate Company?
As noted above, most real estate transactions occur online now and many online platforms such as Zoom and Skype provide for video conferencing during those transacted. Therefore, you are free to work from anywhere which has a decent internet connection. If you are looking for a place where you can truly establish yourself as a real estate player, consider looking at rural areas or exteriors of suburban towns where prices are low and property standards are more relaxed. For those who choose to work remotely, the city center is also a popular location as it is generally easier to meet with clients there. When choosing a place to establish a real estate company, bear in mind that you will need to register with the local government to use the name Robert Smith or Jane Doe (trademarks are a useful tool in this regard).
What Are The Most Suitable Industries For My Real Estate Company?
The most suitable industries for your real estate company depend, primarily, on where you choose to establish it. If you decide to go down the path of entrepreneurship and establish yourself as a sole trader, you will, generally, want to avoid industries which are highly regulated or require lengthy, onerous bureaucratic procedures to get started in. Instead, consider looking at industries where you can rapidly grow your business, providing you with both the required capital and the necessary client base to support your chosen lifestyle. Although real estate is often seen as being a secure, fixed income investment, the fact that it is one of the most popular industries for those choosing to get into business for themselves highlights the flexibility which is available.