It can be a scary prospect; going out on your own as a buyer’s agent. However, I’m living proof that it can be done without going broke in the process.
How to prepare to become a buyer’s agent
The opportunities are huge, especially right now, but unless you prepare yourself and your finances, you’re likely to fail. I admit, I was apprehensive when I started my business and probably made loads of mistakes. However, it’s important to prepare yourself to start a business before quitting your current position. Because I had my pillars in place, I had the confidence to prospect for clients without compromising my services ‒ or my fees.
What helped me to get through the first year?
The first year in business is the hardest. I set my expectations for my business revenue for that first year, and worked out I needed to work hard ‒ really hard ‒ to make sure I had an income that would cover my expenses, plus have money left over.
I spent so much time networking, I was exhausted, but there were three main pillars that held me up during what was a fairly stressful time.
1. Real estate sales experience
If you’ve dipped into some of my other blogs, you’ll see that I recommend two to five years of real estate experience before you make the switch. When I took the leap and chose to become a buyer’s agent, I relied on my real estate sales experience and my earned credibility. With those credentials, plus 15 months prior buying experience, I felt I had a solid base to stand on.
2. Personal brand and business brand
One of the first things I did was to start building my personal brand. By the time I started as a buyer’s agent, I’d established not only my personal brand, but also, my business brand, Property Mavens. And although my website has undergone many iterations since I began this journey, even the first (and probably crude compared to today’s websites) website gave me an independent online presence.
3. Cash reserves
This is a tough one, as it will depend on your circumstances. When I started, I had six months of cash reserves. This gave me breathing room, I could pay myself a reasonable income if I didn’t get clients immediately, and I could take a few risks. In this business, you need confidence. You shouldn’t underestimate the security of knowing that you don’t need to cut corners with clients or drop your rates just so you can pay the bills. My six months of reserves might seem overly cautious but I’d recommend that anyone starting out as a buyer’s agent has at least three months’ worth of reserves. Bear in mind that even if you get a client on Day One, it might be a couple of months before you get paid in full.
Can you start as a part-timer?
My main reason for having cash reserves is that I realised from the get-go that this is a full-time job. To satisfy my clients and protect their money and their interests, I needed to work at this full time. Back then, I knew that this is not a job you can slot in alongside your day job. Today, I have the same belief.
Yes, I know that you’ll see online that being a buyer’s agent is a role you can grow into; well, I’ve been around for longer than I care to state and I call BS on this idea. If you try to enter this field as a part-time buyer’s agent, you will fail, you will deliver poor service to clients, and it will take you ten years to build a business and a career in this area.
Let Property Mavens help you through your first year and beyond as a buyer’s agent
At Property Mavens, I made the mistakes so you don’t have to. With our group, you’ll get ongoing training and mentoring, and timely advice about how to succeed as a buyer’s agent. But don’t leave it too long; we’re limiting our elite group of Mavens to the best of the best, those of you who are motivated to succeed with the guidance of an expert who is active on the ground in the buyers’ agents and vendor advocacy market.