These days, real estate business in South Africa is considered to be one of the most profitable and growing businesses. In the South Africa of today, you can make a lot of money by starting a real estate business, whether as a real estate agent or as an investor.
Starting your own real estate business is a good carrier option that comes with a lot of difficulties and challenges. The market is a well established one with tough competition from numerous new and established players. However, do not be intimidated by the competition rather focus on building a unique brand that stands out amongst the rest.
What is Real Estate?
Real estate is a property (consisting of land or buildings) or a huge collection of properties. On the other side, real estate business is the process of buying, selling or renting a property, building, home or land. Real estate agents assist homeowners, businesses and investors buy and sell all four types of properties.
To understand primarily what real estate business is all about, Wikipedia defined real estate as the profession of buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or housing.
The real estate business can be divided into further parts like loan servicing, residential and commercial properties etc. Examples of residential real estate include undeveloped land, houses, condominiums, and townhouses; examples of commercial real estate are office buildings, warehouses, and retail store buildings; and examples of industrial real estate include factories, mines, and farms.
Real Estate in South Africa
Real estate in South Africa is serious business. As a matter of fact, one of the longest-standing industry in South Africa is the real estate industry. The industry has become a gold mine over the years, and many smart entrepreneurs have tapped into it and are making tons of profit.
South Africans are always in need of residential apartments, office building, and commercial outlets. They look to either buy or rent buildings and structures of their choice, and they sometimes need to consult real estate agent or expert before making their choices.
How to start a Real Estate Business In South Africa?
However, In order to be successful in this industry, one should have good knowledge and information in this field. This basic guide will equip you with the knowledge and information you need to acquire to start your own very successful real estate business in South Africa.
- Carry out your Market research
As it is with other kinds of business, you would have to carry out a thorough research on how the real estate sector works in South Africa. You should know about the risks involved, the decision makers of the Industry, the laws that guide the operations of the real estate business, how much will it take to start such business, e.t.c
Carrying out a thorough research about the real estate sector will help you succeed on the long-run as you would be prepared for any hitch you might face will establishing your own business.
- Have a strategic business plan
You need to strategically plan your business to be able to conquer this market. Real estate investing is just like starting any other career in which you can’t start on a whim without having a specific business plan in mind.
A business plan is vital for any real estate investor, and one of the best advice you’ll get in the housing market is to start out small and plan, plan, plan! This step is especially important if you’re planning on becoming a real estate investor for the long term. In this case, you want to grow your real estate investment portfolio strategically.
- Rent or build an office and hire professionals
This is crucial to your business success. You cannot preach of running a real estate business in South Africa without having a befitting office facility to show for it. If you don’t have this set up, it will send the wrong message to your clients and investors.
Get a well furnished office facility, hire professionals like real estate agents, valuation surveyors, architects, engineers, scouts e.t.c who can carry out the business of a real estate agency.
- Build a unique brand
Brand credibility is important in building a successful business in South Africa especially when it has to do with the investment of millions of Naira. Branding is all about creating a perception about your business in the minds of people.
To turn your real estate business into a trustworthy brand, you need to give your customers more than enough value for their money and build a relationship by engaging with them on a personal level. Also, set your real estate business apart from the competition by investing in premium branding identities such as logo, website, adverts and more.
- Legally register Your business
If you really want to make this business to the highest level possible, then you have to legalize its existence by registering the business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). A company is a legal person which has capacity and powers to act on its own. Registering as a Business Name with CIPC is enough at this stage if you can’t afford to register it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Also, watch out for the rules and regulations guiding professional real estate bodies in South Africa to ensure that you are not operating against the law. Some of the popular real estate professional institutions to watch out for include; Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA), the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA) and the Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT).
- Raise the required capital to start
If you did your business plan research well you must have known the minimum amount of money it will require to get you started depending on the scale at which you choose to start. If your savings and financial capacity are not enough to start, you can source for alternative funding.
Real estate business is very capital intensive and requires a huge amount of investment. If you do not have enough it is important that you seek investors. You can look for equity investors that can give you enough leverage at the start and accelerate growth.
- Create a website
No matter how much local marketing you do, you need a web presence to attract and engage online traffic towards your business. It may cost a little money at the beginning , but a solid utilization of SEO on the website that lets you usher those traffic and prospective clients right to you, is a crucial foundation of every successful real estate business.
Once you have this asset in place, you can start moving toward a consistent promotion, maybe through contents development and social media strategy to generate more leads
The website should be functional and interactive, enabling prospective clients to make enquiries, see photos and videos of available options of property when you begin to have them or likely ones that would come up later.
- Create branded items
You should announce to the real estate demand market that you are in business and here to stay. Announce your arrival in the real estate market with the use of handbills, newspapers, real estate journals, radio, television and as much as your budget can permit to advertise.
- Advertise your real estate business
Advertising your business through a medium of mass communication or through the internet is a sure way to attract clients interested in your services. Advertise your business on newspapers, radio, television stations, blogs, or use google ad words e.t.c. The main thing is to get noticed and you never know when some one would come knocking your door for your service.
- Get Started & Get Working
The last step to starting a real estate holding company is execution. Execute on everything that you’ve developed in your business plan. A good number of South African businesses fail due to very poor execution. Execution comprises of your day to day activities in the business. This includes the closing of deals, marketing, networking, client orientation, human resources etc.
Starting a real estate business ain’t for the faint of heart. So, to be successful in the real estate business, you must be prepared to face the challenges. At a personal level, and as a business owner, nurture your ambitions and become a goal-oriented and organized person. Keep in mind that the real estate sector is not about achieving instant success. Instead, it is a long game, which requires a lot of patience.
Career Opportunities Available in Real Estate
Below are some opportunities afforded in the real estate sector
- Real Estate Agent
Being a real estate agent requires very little capital as your job would mainly involve linking buyers and sellers together. You earn a commission of 30% for every successful deal made. In becoming a real estate agent in South Africa, you would have to know how to convince people and have great interpersonal skill.
- Real Estate Developer
Unlike a real estate agent that does not require much capital, being a real estate developer requires enough capital. A real estate developer carries out tasks like structural development of projects like building of houses and sells to buyers who are interested.
- Real Estate Legal Consultant
If you are versatile with the laws guiding the operation of real estate business in South Africa, you can venture into this kind of business and serve as legal consultants for people.
- Blogging about Real Estate
This is another way in which you can earn as you spend your quality time designing a niche blog about real estate. Write interesting and unique articles that try to solve people’s problems in the real estate sector. With time, your blog might attract advertisers and sponsors that will pay you.