Building a business from scratch in an area you’re not familiar with can seem like a daunting task. When we first arrived in Los Angeles from the U.K., we had no contacts or real estate listings to go off of. What we did have is each other.
We would go door-knocking down prominent streets in Bel Air and Beverly Hills, ringing doorbells at the front gates of luxury estates in order to gain a footing and establish a name for ourselves.
We invested in growing our business, got creative and hit the ground running until we ultimately found our home at The Agency, which has afforded us incredible resources and tools to continue to propel our business to success.
This kind of entrepreneurial spirit is what will carry you through any and all obstacles you may encounter when building a luxury real estate business in a new setting. Here are some lessons we’ve learned, along with some helpful tips to guide you in starting and growing a successful real estate business — wherever that may be.
1. Understand the area
Studying the desired area for your business is a crucial first step. Analyzing the market and learning about the area’s active listings and recently sold properties will help you gain a better understanding of the location and the types of buyers residing in the area.
In order to master Bel Air, Beverly Hills and the surrounding area, we combed through the MLS, read articles, spoke to fellow colleagues familiar with these neighborhoods, and knocked on doors. No matter what neighborhood or ZIP code you choose to focus on, it’s important to know the available inventory and become a go-to specialist.
2. Partner wisely
We have been incredibly fortunate to partner with leading brokers in the industry. The ability to bring one or more top-producing agents on to your team or to add a top agent to a listing you can’t yet secure yourself will not only bring you success, but also credibility.
We are fortunate to be a part of one of the top brokerages in the country, which gives us the opportunity to meet and build relationships with many of the industry’s top-producing agents. Learning from exceptional talent will help you grow your business and sharpen your skills as an agent.
3. Immerse yourself in the culture
If joining a new brokerage is your pathway to success, make it a point to completely immerse yourself in the company’s culture. Attend any and all meetings you’re presented with. Go to events, and get to know your fellow colleagues and agents. This will help build your support system within the brokerage as well as strengthen your network.
4. Spread the news
When establishing yourself or your business in a new area, it’s important to make yourself known amongst your colleagues and the industry at large. So, make it a point to spread the news.
Sending out mailers and e-blast, placing ads in your local newspapers and posting on social media with an announcement of your new brokerage affiliation or neighborhood specialization will allow for a broad reach and ultimately, boost your network of potential clients.
5. Utilize free resources
Harnessing free resources, such as social media, has been very helpful for us in establishing our name and brand. We enjoy connecting with our clients and community, especially on Instagram. We post our active listings and sales daily, and utilize the Story feature on the platform to share home tours, press coverage and updates.
Social media is a great way for the audience to get to know you personally, as well as get a glimpse into your business and elevate your clout within the industry. This really helps when you’re when establishing yourself in a new area or at a new brokerage. We recently posted a few fun videos on how to get started in the industry on Instagram, including the one below. (Want more tips? Find them here and here.)
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All in all, building a real estate business from the ground up can be exciting, but it’s also quite the undertaking. Knowing the proper steps to take to position yourself for success is of the utmost importance. Our hope is that the tips we’ve shared will help guide you as you blaze new trails and take your career to the next level.
David Parnes is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram. James Harris is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.