Written by I.K Adusei
Real estate agents or realtors are an inevitable group of people in the real estate value chain. With Ghana’s housing deficit on a continuous ascendancy, the demand for homes and other property use have surged with it.
As the demand for houses and rental units increase, while supply only increase incrementally, the work of real estate agents has become more lucrative than ever.
This notwithstanding, the Pareto Principle does not leave out the real estate brokerage industry. It is evident that 20% of real estate agents in Ghana like anywhere else in the world control 80% of the sales in the market.
For realtors to dominate and take control of Ghana’s real estate market there are 5 important keys to note to help them secure a place at the top of the sales pyramid.
1. Knowledge is the new currency. Being current is the real currency of today. Ghana’s real estate sector has been growing sturdily in the last few decades, this notwithstanding the property market globally operate with almost the same standards.
To gain a competitive edge over the numerous real estate agents in Ghana, realtors are to operate within the confines of the global standards of professionalism and equip themselves with information on international best practices in service delivery and the general conduct of their businesses.
Realtors are also advised to follow real estate news to acquaint themselves with the policy direction of government and use such information as guiding post to improve their strategy, presentation skills and information outflow to their clients.
2. Dominate a community and build your reputation. Ghana has 260 district and municipal assemblies in its 16 regions.
Each district or municipal assembly is made up of neighborhoods, suburbs, towns or villages which have their unique demographics.
To be on top of the realtors’ game, you need to locate a neighborhood where you can start and build your career from.
In any game that involves people, reputation and integrity weigh more than certificates and degrees. You need to operate with the highest sense of professionalism and gain priceless reputation from clients and homeowners in your neighborhood.
Coupled with proper strategy and teamwork, sound reputation can move you from one neighborhood to the other with less pressure and more success.
3. Attach yourself with the top players in the industry. While it is prudent to start your small real estate brokerage firm or real estate agent business in a small neighborhood of your choice, realtors are advised to first attach themselves to large property brokerage firms to develop the requisite skills, build rapport and strategic network for the long haul.
You can do an attachment for a year or two with a top-notch brokerage firm to have a fair idea of the industry before you take a bite of the cherry.
The rational is to work to learn, not to work for money. The knowledge, skills and network you will acquire over the period will rake in more future dividends than you can ever anticipate.
4. Build a financial nest. The main revenue streams of realtors are commissions and registration fees. A real estate agent can therefore operate in a full month without making any significant money if he fails to close a major deal within the month.
Building a financial nest or an ample financial plan therefore cannot be overemphasized.
In the real estate industry and business in general, attention is not necessarily success. Having more customers does not mean success. Revenue does not mean success. The only true measure of success in business is profit.
Realtors are therefore advised to invest in proper accounting mechanisms to identify their profits or losses in order to keep them profitable over time.
5. Teamwork makes the dream work. When you start small as a real estate agent, you are more likely to wear many hats at the same time. You should be there to meet landlords and property owners for a contract to sell or rent their properties. You are more likely to act as a lawyer or an attorney to draft your own contract documents. You may have to wear the hat of an accountant to balance your sales books yourself, and so on.
These tasks are necessary and inevitable for every realtor starting small.
This notwithstanding, the top real estate brokerage firms do not concern themselves with supplementary tasks. They free themselves of all the small tasks and focus on the core duties, which are opening and closing property brokerage deals.
They invest in processes to sort out all their legal and accounting duties. They hire potent sales personnel to handle their sales job.
The key is to have the wheels of the company running whether the owner or owners are playing golf or relaxing at the beach.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Realtors are therefore advised to invest their revenues into their operations to build a company with a formidable team which will save them time and money at the long run.
I.K Adusei is the author of the book, How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success