A real estate business is just like any other business; you have to spend money to make money. You also have to be very aware of your income vs. your expenses and implement budgeting strategies that help your business to grow. Whether you’re a real estate agent or a brokerage team, you should always be thinking about ways to save your business money, increase profits, and reduce expenses. Here are a few ways to reduce real estate business expenses:
Get Creative with Advertising
A lot of seasoned real estate agents get new clients thanks to good old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals. Happy clients refer their agents to friends and family, and the real estate agent earns more leads. But in the beginning, real estate agents have to get creative with how they advertise their services. A mixture of traditional marketing strategies and out-of-the-box methods can help you extend your marketing reach without breaking the bank. Consider adding some of these creative (and cost-effective) real estate marketing techniques to your traditional marketing plan:
- Provide a complimentary moving truck. Think of ways you can serve your clients before and after their move or the sale of their house. Offer to pay for a move-out clean or something else that will make you stand out from the competitors, while also giving clients a valuable service they need.
- Use your blog to show people that you’re the neighborhood expert. Provide resources, links, and videos that highlight the area. Build a reputation on knowing the smallest details of a particular area.
- Order business cards that stand out.
- Create in-depth graphs, guides, and infographics that are easy to share. Creating these resources allows you to connect with potential clients while also demonstrating your expertise in the field.
- Create a referral system. Encourage and incentivize past clients to refer you to their friends and family who are looking to buy or sell property in the area.
- Post and engage with your audience on social media. Host live webinars, share behind-the-scenes footage in your Instagram stories, and answer questions on your social media platforms.
Outsourcing some of your work can be an easy way to save your brokerage money. If you can hire a freelancer to write property descriptions, manage your website, and manage your social media, you’ll save a lot more than hiring another employee to do it full-time. You also don’t want to overwork yourself or your team, and freelancers can get the work done without costing you the same as a full-time employee. Some aspects of a real estate business that you can outsource include:
- Property management
- Sales support
- Social media
- Blogs/Web design
- Virtual assistant
Go Green Where You Can
If you’re running a real estate business out of a traditional office setting, there may be expenses that could be reduced simply by going green. Small changes like switching to energy-efficient light bulbs or using water-saving faucets and toilets in the bathrooms. You could also implement more paperless initiatives that reduce the amount of paper you’re buying for the office. Remind your team to turn off the lights when they leave a room and to make sure doors and windows are closed so you’re not overworking the HVAC system. These little changes can help reduce the money you’re spending just on maintaining the office each month.
Brush Up on Your Negotiation Skills
You’re a real estate agent, and you know how to go toe-to-toe with other agents to make sure your client gets the best deal. But don’t forget to use these same skills to negotiate for things like lower rent or cheaper prices when buying bulk office supplies. Negotiate with your vendors for better deals, and even check with your phone and internet providers to see if they’re willing to reduce your fees instead of losing a valuable customer.
Embrace Remote Work and Telecommuting
In a world where more than 4.5 million people are working remotely, more and more employees are realizing the benefits of remote work. Employees that can work from home (or on the go) report being more productive, making better use of their time, and are happier overall. Pair this with the fact that fewer employees in the office mean fewer employee expenses, and it’s a win-win strategy for everyone. Other ways telecommuting and remote work save small businesses money include:
- Real estate: fewer employees working in an office means you can work in a smaller office
- Happy employees mean lower turnover costs
- Productivity increases when employees have the freedom to work when and where they want, which in turn makes more money for the business
- Agents who work remotely save on expenses too, like gas and wear and tear on their cars.
Reduce Employee Expenses, Not Employees
It’s nice to buy lunch for your employees every day, but it can definitely become an unnecessary expense. Most employees would rather give up perks like free office lunches and gym memberships versus losing their jobs. Think about the money you’re spending on office perks and see where you can shift that money elsewhere. Little changes, like investing in a water filter for the office instead of stocking up plastic water bottles, can minimize expenses while still giving employees an enjoyable work environment.
Here are some examples of budget-friendly office perks you could implement to save money:
- Flexible schedules
- Casual dress code days
- Fun, themed days to boost company morale (Bring your dog to work day!)
- Free car washes
- Partner with a local laundromat or dry cleaning services to offer these services to your employees
- Monthly stipend designed to alleviate the costs employees pay when commuting into work
For your real estate business to save money, you have to have a clear understanding of what you’re bringing in versus what you’re spending. Sit down with a professional to look at your numbers and see the facts and figures for yourself. Once you have the data in front of you, you can make plans to increase income and reduce expenses.
Whether you’re in the business planning stages and are studying to earn your real estate license, or you’ve been in the business for a while and are looking for new and creative ways to grow your business, the secret is continued education.
When you’re constantly setting and reaching new professional goals, you’re a better real estate agent. Check out all of Mbition’s online courses and classes for new and seasoned real estate agents.