Real Estate Business’ first masterclass of 2021 saw an esteemed line-up of panellists reflect on how agents and would-be business owners can hit the ground running.
The masterclass, held on 18 March, was moderated by REB news editor Grace Ormsby, with panellists Phil Tarrant, Momentum Media’s executive editor of real estate and consumer wealth, Tom Panos, leading real estate trainer and coach, and Thom Richards, the co-founder of Managed App.
In an environment that is “the best real estate market place I’ve seen in 35 years”, according to Mr Panos, it makes sense that many would be considering taking destiny into their own hands and venturing out on their own.
But, as Mr Richards did remind the thousands of viewers watching remotely, “we’re in an industry where the majority of the business – like 80 per cent – is controlled by the top 20 per cent of agents.”
The co-founder of Managed App said those people who do wish to compete with the big players are “fighting for it with 80 per cent of people out there”.
It’s why he emphasised the importance of working out whether you’ve got something unique to offer – and honing in on that.
“That’s probably the biggest thing that I did when I launched my first agency, is [I] just tried to develop some point of difference to differentiate myself, realise what that was in myself and honed [in] on that, marketed around that – and did something a little bit different than what everyone else was doing,” he shared.
Mr Tarrant was also of the view that agents who do kick-off a business in today’s market “need to do it differently than how it’s been done before”.
He argued that “the old way of doing stuff is very different to the new way things are going to be done”, citing technological advancements as essential in today’s market.
“If you’re not a technologically enabled property professional today, you’re not going to be able to compete in this market,” Mr Tarrant considered.
“It’s absolutely fundamental!”
It’s a sentiment with which Mr Panos agreed.
“The game’s changed,” he began on the subject, before conceding that it’s not the first time real estate agents had faced big changes to established ways of working.
“Originally it was franchising (1980s) that was the big change – all of a sudden you had all these networks,” he stated.
The second change he flagged was the cropping up of online property platforms – such as Domain and REA Group, before the current wave of technological solutions came through.
But while innovative digital solutions may be changing traditional ways of working, Mr Panos did flag that “technology is not substituting the real estate agent”.
“It’s complementing the real estate agent – and I fundamentally believe that that’s the model that’s going to work long-term,” Mr Panos said.
Touching on the efficiencies that new agencies can make possible through technology, Mr Tarrant acknowledged that there are a number of advantages of starting in the current market – but there’s a caveat.
“Are there potential pitfalls? There’s many of them,” he continued.
From his perspective, you have to be “the right operator”.
Whether an agent or property professional has been in real estate for some time, has worked under a very good franchise network, is wanting to go out alone, or wants to create a new franchise office, Mr Tarrant shared that “there’s a whole bunch of ways” to start a new agency.
But it all comes back to ensuring that “you’re not thinking about how it has always been done in the past”.
‘How to Launch a Growth Agency’ was the first masterclass in a three-part series being hosted by REB, in partnership with Managed App, which aims to give agents and budding business owners the knowledge and information they need to run a successful real estate business.
To watch the Masterclass, click here.
You can also register for part three in the series here.