If you’re an agent, you’re one of the more than 500,000 brave, excited, queasy stomached people who started their own business during the last year!  And to you, we say, Congratulations!  Are you hitting your marks and enjoying every moment regardless of all the “moments” your business requires?  If not, perhaps you will when it doesn’t feel like a you were dropped onto an island alone anymore!  Or, maybe you’re still weighing all the pros of cons of becoming a true entrepreneur in real estate industry?  Just to assure you that you’re not alone, here are the most common risks and rewards of putting out your own shingle on an office downtown or turning that den into a home office.

Risks

1.  The hours can be long and erratic.  Since the buck stops with you, you as the owner have to make sure that every single thing gets done when it needs to be done and that it’s done in the very best way possible.  Even with an assistant on hand, owning your own business requires more than “regular” 9-5 hours most, if not every, day of the week.

2.  Likely, at first you’ll be so busy and the working schedule will be so frantic that you won’t have as much time with friends and family.  And, because your business will take precedence, it’s likely your family and friends will get your shortest sticks.  They’ll likely “understand” but make sure you build meaningful breaks in your schedule throughout the week in order to make them feel they are center stage when you are together.

3.  There are always unforeseen changes in the marketplace, both globally and locally. No one can foresee everything so make sure you perform your due diligence as thoroughly as possible and build into your business a plan so that you can change right along with the market, without skipping a beat! Not sure how?  Get a Coach!

4.  If you haven’t already had a good dose of management experience, you’ll want to read up and study other successful managers before building your own staff or team.  If you hire a buyers agent, assistant or sales manager (if you have a larger team) how would you know that person is actually doing a good job?  How would you know that person isn’t making mistakes?  Better to be safe than sorry!  Educate yourself and always keep a close watch on your people.  After all, they are working under your name, which IS your business!

5.  The biggest risk, of course, is the risk of financial loss.  When starting your real estate business, consider the costs; everything from yard signs to lockboxes, MLS dues and continuing education fees.  Talk with a seasoned agent or broker to understand what your office expenses will be and make sure to open a separate business checking account and tax account for your quarterly payments.  If possible, give yourself a cushion of financial backing by setting aside 6-12 months of personal expenses and savings.

Rewards

  1.  Owning your business is an opportunity to learn new things, grow in ways you never thought possible and to break out of the monotony of “same old.”  There is no “same old” when you own your business…everyday you’ll meet new people, solve new real estate problems for someone, and you’ll get the reward of others thanks and gratitude.
  2. Having your own business means you get to choose and surround yourself with “your” own people.  From assistants to buyers agents, and even to the clients themselves!  You get to choose the energy you want around you!
  3. Because you are an entrepreneur, you get take charge and determine the course of your real estate business. The vision is all yours!
  4.  You’ll be able to determine your own schedule — kinda.  You’ll have the flexibility to schedule your own vacation time, family/friend time, volunteer time, re-training time…if, and this is a big IF, you can systematize your business and your money-making activities at a high level.  The good news here is that you don’t have to ask anyone else if you can take that time.
  5. Perhaps the biggest reward of owning your own business is the potential for financial freedom and living the life of your dreams!