Helpful Tips for Starting Your Own Property Management Business
More and more, you're drawn to the idea of owning a business of your own. Based on your talents and past experiences, pursuing a career in real estate would be a good move. In fact, you like the idea of becoming the owner of a property management business.
You realize this will not be the type of career move that produces instant rewards. It will be hard work. Even so, what is real estate investment other than an investment in yourself? If you're serious about proceeding, keep the following tips in mind. They will help prepare you for what is to come.
Assess The Demand in Your Area
There's not much point in starting a real estate business in a market that's already saturated with similar ventures. More to the point, you don't want to launch this type of venture when the companies that are already around are floundering. Before you do anything, evaluate the local market carefully and get a handle on what's been happening, especially during the last few years.
Even under the best of circumstances, real estate is a tough field. That's not what you're concerned with. What does matter is whether or not there's room for one more company to enter the market and have the potential to be a success. If you see there is demand, and you think that your venture can meet it, then this is an idea worth pursuing.
Think About Purchasing a Franchise
You do have options when it comes to deciding how to establish your new venture. One approach is to check out a real estate business for sale Tennessee that's already in operation. Keep in mind this approach may mean starting out with a core group of clients, and possibly some staff. That's not bad, but it may also mean taking on some of the liabilities that the company already holds.
Another approach is to consider the idea of buying a real estate investment franchise. This comes with the benefits of having the backing of a franchisor, an established brand that might give you and edge in the local market, and no past liabilities to deal with. Don't forget that franchises tend to have better odds of surviving their first year of operations than new businesses without this type of support.
Consider What Sort of Property Management Services That You Want to Offer
There are plenty of property franchise opportunities out there, but they are not the same. You will find that quite a few different services can be offered under this broad category. It's up to you to decide which franchise has a suite of services that you think will work in your community.
Perhaps the primary focus you want to pursue is the management of residential rental properties. That would entail homes as well as apartment buildings or even apartment complexes. If that's where your heart lies, then opt for a franchise that focuses primarily on this market sector.
On the other hand, you may prefer management of commercial properties. From shopping malls and centers to office buildings, the idea of managing those properties fits in with your interests and your skill set. If so, that's the angle that you want to pursue when evaluating franchise opportunities.
Choose a Viable Name For Your Business
Even if you opt for a franchise, there's still the need to choose a name for your local business venture. Resist the temptation to get too outlandish with a name, or go with one that's somewhat long and cumbersome. The goal is to settle on a name that's easy for people to remember, and even easier for them to pass on to other people.
You also want to ensure the name is reflective of what property management services you offer. It should also blend in easily with the franchisor's name when there's the chance to introduce it. For inspiration, take a look at similar businesses in the area and see which ones tend to stand out in a good way to you.
And Make Sure You Have the Right Licensing and Other Credentials
While you compare different property investment franchise opportunities, devote part of your time to finding out what sort of licensing and credentials you will need for operating the business. What you're likely to find is that you will need a standard business license, proof of business liability coverage, and some sort of real estate license. Depending on local laws, there may be other credentials that must be in hand before you can open the doors.
Remember that you want to be in full compliance with any laws and regulations that apply in the area. Doing so helps you avoid a number of problems in the future. That includes stiff fines and penalties that would be applied for various types of breaches. It also doesn't hurt to begin the business venture by being in the good graces of the local authorities.
Establish a Reasonable Fee Structure
Along with determining what sort of property management services you will offer, there's the matter of creating a fee schedule. This is something that you want to complete before announcing the pending opening of the operation. The reason for that is simple: when people find out that you're opening a property management business, one of the first things they will want to know is how much you charge.
While you never want to be known for nothing other than being the cheapest property management firm in the area, it never hurts to offer competitive rates. Take a good look at what the competition is charging, and compare that to the overhead that your business will incur. Is there a way to offer competitive pricing along with the best service in town? Seek to find that sweet spot, and you have a good chance of attracting clients and earning a decent amount of net profit.
Build and Launch a Website
The business world changes rapidly, but there is one aspect that's been constant for decades: you need a viable website for your property management business. In many instances, that website will be the first introduction that potential clients have to your operation. Since you only have one chance to make a first impression, it needs to be a positive one.
The site should be informative, and easy to navigate. You want the pages to be attractive, but not so busy that the information is obscured. Keep in mind that today, the site pages have to load quickly, and they must look good on everything from a smartphone screen to a desktop computer.
If you go with a franchisor, there's a good chance that part of the support will include web page designs. You may find some templates that can be adapted to fit local needs. Make use of whatever resources are provided, and creating a viable website may not be as difficult as you may think.
Like the company name, keep the URL simple and easy to remember. That makes it all the easier for others to share within their networks.
And Don't Forget Social Media Accounts
In like manner, don't consider social media accounts to be an afterthought. Today, they deserve just as much attention as the company website. While you may be somewhat limited in how much you can customize an account on a social media account, it never hurts to think seriously about the elements that you can control.
This means making thoughtful choices for images, the information and descriptions that you feature on the page, and even the types of posts that you make. Remember that you can end a post with a link to a page on your website that's relevant, share a link to a recent newspaper article about your business, and a number of other helpful bits of information.
One key thing to keep in mind about social media accounts: they serve little purpose without new posts appearing on a regular basis. Set up a schedule for releasing new posts. That will keep current followers engaged, and give them something new to share with others within their networks of friends or followers.
Traditional Marketing is Still Your Friend
Online marketing is key to getting the word out about your property management business, but don't assume that traditional marketing methods are dead. They are very much alive, and it pays to make the most of what they have to offer.
Ads in trade magazines, or other locally produced magazines that rental property owners are likely to read are a must. Build a good reputation with the local newspaper, and offer to do a guest article now and then. Consider the idea of participating in local television programming that has to do with the state of the local real estate market. Even being an active participant in the local chamber of commerce aids in building your reputation and brand recognition.
Whether you purchase that local real estate business for sale Chattanooga TN or secure a franchise that's new to the area, choose your course wisely. Make sure that you have the resources on hand to weather that first year, and develop a plan designed to help grow the business over time. Doing so will increase the odds of creating a business that remains successful for a long time, and may turn out to be something you can pass on to the next generation.