How to Start Your Own Real Estate Agency in NSW (2019 Update)
Ready to start your own Real Estate Agency in NSW? Find out how to obtain your licence and get your agency up and running.
Whether you want to help people purchase their dream homes, or you want to join a growing industry, starting your own agency isn’t easy. If you want to start your own real estate agency in NSW, then you’ll have to meet certain requirements. In this article, we’ll outline what those are, and how to start your new business the right way.
1. Make sure you’re eligible
Similar to university degrees, you need to study before you can qualify as a Real Estate Agent. To start, you need to complete the ‘Real Estate Agent Licence Course – CPP40307 Certificate in Property Services (Real Estate)’ is your starting point. You must complete 24 units, and it can take anywhere between 6 – 10 weeks to complete.
Another requirement is that you need to gain experience working as an agent’s representative and under the supervision of a licensed estate agent. This experience can be accredited, via the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ (RPL)* process, to substitute certain units of your study if you can prove your knowledge and skill in this particular area.
Even if you haven’t completed recognised training, this process takes into consideration any other informal training you may have had. For example, attendance at conferences or seminars.
Licence and registration
If you want to work as a real estate agent, then you’ll have to acquire a licence. To get your licence, you need to complete 4 courses which deal with the industry, ethical obligations and also communication.
According to NSW Fair Trading, all applicants for a personal real estate license must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A fit and proper person (as defined in the Fit and Proper Person Requirements 2011 (Cth))
After this, you must also pay the following fees:
- $537 for a grant of licence
- $140 for your certificate of registration.
2. Starting your own agency
Once you’re accredited, you can get started on establishing your own real estate agency in NSW. Even though by this time you’ve got the accreditation part out of the way, you need to start your business as you would any other.
Starting your business
One of the first things you have to do is decide what business structure your agency will take. The three structures you can choose from are:
- Sole trader
Each structure has its own benefits. For example, starting a company means you won’t be financially liable for the business’s finances. However, you’ll have to always ensure you’re meeting ASIC reporting requirements. By contrast, being a sole trade means your income will be taxed individually and you and you business won’t be legally separate.
Now you’ve gotten your business going, you need to think about how you’re going to get clients. It can seem difficult to build a client base if you don’t work for a larger agency, but there’s also benefits for clients who use an independent agent. Think about what you’ll offer clients, whether it be a premiere service or low fees. Once you get your first client, it will be easier to get more business. Make sure your client is completely satisfied with the job you’ve done and ask them to recommend you to anyone who may be looking to sell or buy a property.
Another great way to market your business is to have an effective social media strategy. You can do this by writing content relevant to the real estate industry and running ads on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
3. Protecting your business
There are many ways you can protect your business and make sure you’re building up a secure brand. If you have a unique business name, logo or slogan, it’s wise to register a trademark. Registering a trademark will stop competitors and others from using your intellectual property.
There are also a number of documents you can use to keep everything in check:
Services Agreements are important as they provide an opportunity for you to clearly set out the services you will be providing. Your client will understand what they will be getting, but you will also be able to outline the job you’re doing.
Services agreements normally include:
- A description of the services you’ll be providing
- The cost for your services
- How payment is to be made
- Reasons for terminating the agreement and how to terminate it
- Terms for amending an existing agreement – transaction brokerage.
It is important to note that according to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW), agents are required to be aware of the fiduciary duty that exists between agent and client. Beyond this, your business will be in possession of sensitive information about not only your business, but also about your clients. One way you can protect both types of information is to use a Non-Disclosure Agreement in your business dealings.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement is used to safe-guard a business’s confidential information. As a real estate agent, a Non-Disclosure Agreement can also be useful when it comes to hiring employees. This will give you legal recourse if your trade secrets or other sensitive information ever becomes compromised.
People will always want to buy and sell property. Despite fluctuations in the market, property will always be a lucrative commodity. When it comes to starting your own real estate agency in NSW, you should first make sure you’re qualified and then take steps to build a business.
Sharlene is a paralegal at Lawpath that works on our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. In accordance to her belief that the law should be accessible by all, her writing focuses on trending topics in both the legal and technological spheres.