Elite AgentOPINION

Start your own business – and still take a holiday

Many people believe starting their own business means saying goodbye to holidays and time off, and hello to 24/7 work weeks.

But according to Explore Property Group’s Andrew Acton, it doesn’t have to be this way. He says, it all comes down to whether you decide to start a practice or a genuine business.

When it comes time for a real estate agent to go it alone, there are two approaches that people take.

These two most popular options are to launch their own practice and start their own business.

While both might sound similar, there are some pretty critical differences between the two.

A practice is similar to what a surgeon or a barrister might establish. Essentially, they’ve gone out on their own, to offer their professional services via a private practice.

While you’re actively working in your own practice, you can make good money, but you’re the be all and end all of the business. You might hire some administrative help, but the primary income is provided by you.

The downside? If you go away or take a break, the income stops. Unfortunately, the expenses don’t.  Also your operation, or practice, has no sale value to others. You have nothing to sell.

A business, on the other hand, has more depth and has value to others.

A business is something that you can build from the ground up, to provide you with a solid income that, in the long run, doesn’t depend entirely on you. 

When you build a business, you’re building something that is worth money – to you and to others, and if you do a good job, you can step away from it for a month, and continue earning an income.

There’s been a lot of (loud) talk about the stand-alone agent option in recent times, and the marketing for this model tends to, either inadvertently or deliberately, cause fear around the idea of starting a traditional business and joining a franchise group.

You can’t underestimate support

But while starting a practice might seem like the easier option, there is a lot more to running your own race than many people realise.  

Often, it’s when you step out of an agency as an employee, that you actually discover just how much goes into it.

When you start a practice, you’re literally going out on your own. In contrast, when you join a group as a franchisee, you’ll receive genuine support from head office, in terms of marketing, administration, advice and technology.  

But starting your own true business is not as scary as some might think.

One of the things about real estate is that while it isn’t easy, if you know what you’re doing, and do it well, there’s no reason to be afraid of starting a business and being part of a supportive franchise group.

There was a time when anyone who had an aspiration to create something more for themselves went and opened a business. They might have a couple of agents, or they might have a lot.

But these were people who believed in themselves and by having that bigger picture mindset, what they achieved was something that really changed their lives, and set them up for the future.

That’s why groups have such an important place in the world, they provide unique support and backing to new business owners.

Of course there is a membership cost in being part of a group, but it costs money to be independent too, no matter how you look at it, and this is something many people forget.  That’s why the franchisee group option is a very sound business model for running an agency.

If it’s not broken don’t fix it

Some people say, ‘don’t go and open an old-fashioned business operation like a franchise’, but that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Opening a business is the worthiest thing a real estate agent can do for themselves. 

There’s a lot to be said too – which a practice doesn’t give you – for creating something that is bigger than you, and that is about more than you.

You’re creating something you can leave behind, a legacy if you will. 

You can also have a holiday. 

If you build a business, employ a couple of agents, and run a rent roll, you can have a well-earned break – and still earn yourself a good income.

You do have to make that initial investment though, and back yourself.

But it’s well worth it to be surrounded by a team of like-minded people who support each other, and will support you.

At Explore Property, we see ourselves as an alternative to the big crowded franchise and the isolated independent.

We work with people in select markets where they can use our brand to capture market share, without having to compete with other franchisees in their space.

We also have a brand that connects with the market, allowing agents to establish a really powerful business.

Explore Property is a new direction in real estate group operations and offers its business owners and all members  a story to tell. It’s modern, fresh, and interesting, yet still offers a solid base – it’s a unique combination, and the cleverness of the brand has great market connection. 

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Andrew Acton

Andrew Acton is the founder and leader of the Explore Property group. He is a second generation real estate agent and has extensive experience operating successful real estate businesses

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