Saving money is critical to your ability to expand your business and achieve your life’s goals, especially in real estate.

Saving money is critical to your ability to expand your business and achieve your life’s goals, especially in real estate.

Whether it’s taking on more clients, starting a team or expanding the one you already have, cutting costs will help you grow your real estate business.

However, you have to take the initiative, make the time and find ways to do it. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Cut down on travel

This old saying is still true today: “time is money.” With this in mind, one of the biggest ways you can save your business money is by cutting down on the amount of travel that you and your employees do. At the same time, this will also make your team more productive.

It’s understandable that there are times when you still want to have face-to-face meetings with your clients and elsewhere. You simply need to be more selective about when these times occur. Consider whether you have another way of achieving your goal.

For example, when you’re taking clients to see a list of houses, maximize your travel route by plotting it out ahead of time and car pooling when you can.

And when you travel for real estate conferences, see what others in your office are doing, and share travel expenses like cab fares or airport parking if possible.

By thinking about all of your alternatives before traveling, you’ll save money. Don’t forget to walk around the office, and get a status report from each person involved.

Also, try sending out a group email that has the information your team needs. This allows productivity to stay high without spending too much money.

Sometimes meetings are simply unavoidable though. For those unavoidable meetings, you should try video conferencing. By using video software, you’re not losing nearly as much time or money, and you can still accomplish the same outcome. It’s a win-win situation.

Lower overhead expenses

Besides travel, your cost of doing business includes many other overhead expenses as well. However, there are plenty of great ways in which you can save money on these costs. Some ideas for doing so include:

  • Determine what services you can outsource to save money: When you (and your employees) can spend more time focused on core tasks, you’re more productive. Some of the best services to outsource include notary and signing services, license renewal, and cleaning and maintaining the office kitchen with supplies like coffee. By outsourcing, you’ll save money because you can negotiate lower rates for freelance employees, and you’ll be more focused.
  • Put cloud computing to work for your business: Instead of paying a lot of money for software and equipment, as well as licenses and updates, you can save a lot of money with cloud computing. Applications for every business function, as well as data storage, are now available in the cloud. These are available for access from many devices and locations, which saves you even more money because this flexibility makes employees happy and thus they’re more productive.
  • Cut traditional marketing costs: You can still reach customers while cutting out traditional marketing costs. Instead of relying on marketing efforts that you can’t prove beneficial, try tapping into your employees’ and coworkers’ expertise. Having them featured in the media brings great attention to your business. Cut down on the money you spend on internet advertising, and focus on outbound marketing techniques such as creating YouTube videos instead. Stop paying for print ads, and ask your current clients to make referrals to your business. Harness the power of social media with its broad reach for an inexpensive price. Taking steps like these will help you gain and maintain great business clients instead of wasting money on trying to get new clients. Although marketing is still necessary, it doesn’t have to be so costly if you properly leverage the power that’s within your real estate business. With steps like these, you can improve your marketing and save money too.

Think outside the box

The above ideas will offer you a lot of savings, but if you can find unique ways to be thrifty, you can save your business even more money. Here are a few places to start:

  • Buy used: Instead of buying all new office furniture, check out some used furniture stores for great deals — the bill will be at least half of what you pay for new. This is usually furniture that comes from larger companies who have perfectly usable furniture but simply want a different color scheme. Most used furniture dealers who pick up this furniture refurbish each piece (paint, replace fabric, correct minor imperfections) so visitors won’t even know your furniture isn’t brand new, but your bank account will notice a major difference here.
  • Go green: By changing some of your business practices to ones that are more environmentally friendly, you’ll save money on things like electricity. Using LED light bulbs, programmable thermostats, power strips, digital document management services and electronic messaging will save you time, money and space. Other ways of going green for money’s sake include using a water dispenser instead of water bottles and keeping towels around instead of using paper towels. Take a few minutes to analyze your monthly usage of the different things in your office to see where you can save the most money.

These are only a few of the many ways you can tighten your belt. The money you’ll save here will truly add up in an unimaginable way, which is why it’s important for you to start taking steps today.

Madelyn Wilson is a senior content writer with Spokes Digital in San Francisco, California. Follow her on Twitter.

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