There are well over 106,000 real estate brokerage firms in the US, and the National Association of Realtors has over 1.5 million members now. Back in 2012, there were just 1 million agents. This growth is continuing and there are more people employed in real estate than ever before.
This is due to demand, and throughout the peak of the pandemic, house prices and sales both surged. One real estate broker in particular, has over 1,000 offices in the states. With the sheer volume of licensed realtors working today, and huge chain operations, is there any room for an independent to move in?
SEO plays an important part in the real estate sector. Perhaps this is how an aspiring solopreneur can take a slice of the action, or is there simply no more room for independent operators today?
As with any business start-up, experience and a solid plan are going to be needed to become a real estate solopreneur. Real estate brokerages aside, around 73% of all businesses in the states are run by a sole proprietor.
Getting into the real estate market this way will take qualifications and licensing. A real estate agent requires a professional license so that they are able to sell and buy property. If you wish to become a broker then you will need to carry out additional training. This will end in a different license enabling you to operate.
You will also need experience, and in the real estate world, nothing is better than knowing your local area.
In 2017, only about 10% of people searched online to find an agent. This changed dramatically with the advent of Covid. In 2020, nearly 97% of buyers found their new home on the internet. Most of these searches would have been for relatively nearby areas.
It is critical for anyone operating in the real estate sector to have a website. But, more importantly, have one that ranks on the first page of any Google search results. There are some statistics available that should worry any business that isn’t appearing close to the top of page one of Google search results.
According to many studies, no more than 25% of users will ever go to page two of search results. Further, 67% of all users will only click on the top five results on the first page. Real estate SEO firm, Oyoy Inc. reports that as little as 6% of potential customers will ever move over to page two of SERPs.
A successful estate agent needs to understand the local market. For a successful real estate website, it needs to be tuned for local SEO. When someone searches to sell a home in their area, you want your website to appear at the top of the search results, otherwise, you will never be able to compete with the big chains.
There are still ways that someone could enter this very busy market as a sole trader. One of the more feasible methods for getting into real estate is to start flipping houses.
This means buying a property that is perhaps distressed and then renovating it to sell quickly for a profit. This means finding and identifying suitable houses to buy. One of the best marketing trends to try is lead generation. Real estate SEO companies can help your website to generate more motivated seller leads.
Flipping houses can be done as a sideline, but they are often done by businesses. These are typically known as ‘we buy houses for cash’ or’ cash for homes’ type firms. They are a legitimate way for an aspiring solopreneur to get into the real estate market.
If you choose to enter the real estate market this way as a property investor then you will need to identify houses to buy.
In the past, it was common for these types of property investors to advertise that they were keen to buy up homes in a certain area for cash. Often this was done by dropping flyers through letterboxes or advertising in local newspapers. Now though, everything is typically done through the net.
Instead of chasing homeowners who may have no desire to sell, you should be making it easy for motivated sellers to find you. You can grow your business online by improving SEO and receiving leads from those who want to sell their homes quickly.
Someone who wants to sell quickly will search for a company like yours. If your SEO is fine-tuned you will have a better chance of the seller visiting your site. In turn, you will generate motivated seller leads, and not have to chase them.
By entering the ‘we buy homes for cash’ market, you are effectively side-stepping your potential real estate rivals.
The biggest real estate firm in the world is from the US. Keller Williams Realty has revenues of over $530 billion a year. There is little chance of a sole proprietor going up against this behemoth. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for competition.
A small independent real estate brokerage has its benefits. Many buyers and sellers would prefer to deal with a broker who has the time to make them feel more important than some chain realtors may.
However, buying homes for cash is a different area. Sellers will invariably come to you directly, and they want a sale quickly. This means the property may often be in distress and need hefty renovations, but the seller will be willing to take a lower offer to close the deal quickly.
Getting into this sector will take some local knowledge of what will make a good ROI, and what will sell quickly. You will also need access to liquid cash to be able to make swift purchases.
As you have already read, SEO should be performed to optimize your ranking on search results. This is simply critical. But SEO can help you generate leads in other ways.
SEO can speed up your website’s loading time, and generally improve the user experience. A slow, clunky website could drive away potential sellers. A house sale is a big transaction. The seller wants to know that your business is professional, so your website should reflect this.
Local SEO will also help by making sure all your information and contact details are correct. That you are registered with Google My Business, appear on Google Maps where necessary, and have backlinks to various local authorities.
In short, SEO will streamline your website, make it easier to find, improve your ranking position, and help to generate leads.
While the real estate market looks saturated as far as the number of brokers and agents go, there is still room to enter this sector perhaps through another door. Property investment is a valid way to break into the market, and through SEO, you could be a competitive player.
Tuning up your website through SEO can help to draw in more motivated seller leads. It will save you time and stress from chasing potential sellers and give you more space to select which property purchases are best for your business.short url: