Setting Up an Estate Agency: A Guide for Start-Ups

21.09.21 02:09 PM Comment(s)
There's no denying that the sales and letting agency market is a competitive one, but if you have a burning desire to start your own estate agency business, you're in the right place! 

Here, we provide a free e-book on setting up an estate agents and give you all the information you need to get started. At Dezrez, we provide CRM software specifically for estate agents, letting agents and property professionals - which is a must-have if you're looking to start your own agency. 

Check out our guide to becoming an estate agent if you're simply interested in beginning a career in the property industry, rather than setting up your own real estate business.
Setting Up an Estate Agency in the UK

How to set up an estate agency

Start-up property agencies have become increasingly popular during recent years, as more and more people used Covid-19 as an opportunity to follow their dreams of having their own agency. Setting up an estate agency can be made far easier with the right property software, which we can offer you here at Dezrez through Rezi. But there are a few things to go through first in a business sense (as we cover below). 

The following simple steps on how to start an estate agency will help you begin your journey...

Step 1: Business planning for your start-up estate agency

Writing a thorough business plan will allow you to clearly define your goals and purpose as a business. Without a clear plan, even the best of businesses can become lost. It's important to create a structure, milestones and plans for growth. Consider your niche, the property market and your potential online and offline (local agents) competitors.

You must also consider the legal requirements to open an estate agency in the UK, which the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark) may be able to help you with. The NAEA is the UK's renowned professional body for agents. There are some insurance policies that you might also want to look into, to help protect yourself, your business and your clients. If you begin with Rezi Pro Lite - our software for start-ups - our property experts will also be able to help you with the legal side of things and point you in the right direction.

Step 2. Determine whether you are an online agency or if you need an office

Online agents are becoming highly popular in the UK and across Europe, particularly since the Coronavirus led to the industry being forced to become more digitally-focused

If you want to become a hybrid or online agent, you may not need to look into office space as much. However, if you want to compete with local estate agents on your high street, office space will be needed. This brings with it costs and expenses, which you will need to cover. 

Step 3: Find a CRM software provider

Over 20,000 agents use Dezrez CRM software, so why not join them? 

CRM software is a Customer Relationship Management system that aids in organising and automating daily workflows, marketing, customer transactions and campaigns. A great CRM software ensures that remote working for the management team means maintaining productivity, an open line of communication that’s transparent and can it be viewed via analytics. For the team an efficient CRM should automate workflows and offer live property website feeds. Setting up an estate agency is made far easier when you have a sufficient CRM software in place, so be sure not to overlook this element of becoming a start-up real estate agent.  

“With Dezrez everything is backed-up in the cloud and is accessible from any device at any time. Their products don’t just save time, they allow our team to focus on their primary role; selling our customers’ properties.” - James Platt, Cornerstone Leeds. 

"Our staff love the system. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Rezi and the Dezrez team. All you need to do when you want any help is to pick up the phone or email them and they're straight back to you. Very very helpful indeed. I'm happy to give a five-star review to Rezi and the Dezrez team." Max Jones, Robin Jones Estate Agents.

Many CRM’s like Rezi are built to be fully mobile as they are cloud-based. By this we mean that an agent is able to access portals and data anytime, anywhere and from any device. Migrating to the cloud may seem techy, but our onboarding team make the transition seamless and pain-free. Being part of the cloud also means that you can save money by avoiding costly hardware upgrades and a need for a developer to expand your CRM options.

Rather than taking our word for it, book a free, no-obligation demo today to see for yourself just how powerful Rezi can be and how it can benefit your start-up estate agency. And if you're looking for some more in-depth information, why not download our e-book for free today? We cover everything you need to know about setting up an estate agency, including the estate agency software that you need. 

We also offer various products to help boost your agency, such as: 
  • Marketing and advertising packages (brochures and websites to market property)
  • Rezi Screenz (a TV system similar to window cards)
  • Rezi Anytime (a client login for your customers to access data 24/7)
  • Integrations and partnerships (EPC generator, what3words, View My Chain, GOTO, Sprift, RentProfile, Kamma and many more!)
  • Property management software for letting agents who manage properties on behalf of landlords (ReziPM)

Explore our Rezi estate agency software packages for more information on the types of products and services that we offer. 

Step 4: Build your brand

Branding and marketing is an essential part of any company and property agency businesses are no different, regardless of whether you're based online or on the high-street. 

You will of course have to think about how you do your own marketing and what audience you want to help sell or buy properties. This includes online marketing (SEO, paid ads, social media, etc.) as well as physical ads (brochures). 

Planning your branding is a crucial step when setting up an estate agency, so be sure to get professional help if needs be. 

Can anyone start an estate agency?

Do you need a licence to be an estate agent in the UK? 

Under UK law, estate agents are not required to be licenced. However, many sales and letting agents are professionally qualified and belong to a professional body (NAEA, RICS, etc.). 

Propertymark states that agents are regulated by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The situation varies depending on whether you want to start a residential sales or letting agency, so be sure to check your local laws and seek professional advice. 

Read more about becoming an agent in our full guide: How to Become an Estate Agent.

How to set up an online estate agency

Online estate agents are essentially agencies that are based online using a digital-only service. Starting an online estate agency requires similar steps as a physical agency, but you may not need to cover some of the elements - such as business premises and all that comes with obtaining an office space. 

If anything, the software that you use becomes even more important, as you rely solely on your online presence to help clients sell and buy properties. 

If you're interested in becoming an online or hybrid estate agent, download our free e-book today to get started: 

How can I offer a 24/7 service as a small real estate business?

This is a question we get asked a lot here at Dezrez, which is exactly why we've built a software system to allow you to do exactly that, with very little effort on your part!

There’s no denying that large, well established estate agencies have the ability to hire a huge team of employees, so that they are able to offer a 24 hour contact centre. However, with advancements in PropTech today, choosing the right provider for your audience coupled with software that allows you to become a ‘Hybrid’ agent, literally means that with automated workflows and live update notifications, even new start up businesses can compete with online buyer demand. To date, we at Dezrez have invested over £3 million, so that our software stands out in the property world as being dynamic, innovative and full of market-leading features. Our live diary and email synchronisation means notifications prompt agents as soon as documents are added to the portal by the client, ensuring two way real time communication. 

Our 'Rezi Anytime' software allows you to provide your clients with their very own login area or portal. This allows your customers to log in at any time, on any device, to view updates on their property purchase or sale. Not only is this great for your customers, it also saves you a significant number of phone calls and emails to provide this information to your clients. Instead, they can simply login to Rezi Anytime (which can be branded to match your company) to view the real-time details for themselves. Offering a 24/7 client portal will also give you the edge over your competitors, meaning that you'll win more instructions and stand out ahead of other estate agencies in your area.  

For more information and to book a demo, head over to our Rezi Anytime page

How much does it cost to start an estate agency? 

News outlet, The Negotiator, recently reported that the cost to acquire office space and equipment (including IT hardware and systems) costs around £30,000. 

They also reported that it costs £18,000 per month to cover overheads, including four salespeople's salaries, vehicles and other general costs. 

For more information, visit The Negotiator

Of course, the true cost of creating an agency depends on your individual circumstances and differs case-by-case.

Becoming an estate agent

PropTech - Powering new start-up estate agencies

New start-up estate agencies are capitalizing on the mini property boom experienced post-Coronavirus. With an increase in buyer demand and a stark change with the way in which we operate, larger companies have struggled to find the balance of a busy workforce whilst implementing new Covid-19 safe guidelines.

Gobal rise in PropTech since Covid-19

Unsurprisingly, most estate agencies were unprepared for the unprecedented changes required during the country’s lockdown. 2020 and 2021 saw companies forced to work remotely with teams collaborating with each other and their clients via new software and PropTech integrations. 

Within the property world many agents were forced to complete tasks that used to rely on the office being open now via their digital CRM. Many agents soon realised that gaps were appearing with their estate agent software provider, with basic workflows unable to perform many daily tasks.

Estate agency start up package: Rezi software

At Dezrez, we cater to estate agencies of all sizes. For this reason, we have a dedicated estate agency start up package called Rezi Pro Lite.

This estate agency software package is perfect for start-up agents, as it provides a low-cost, reliable and straightforward CRM solution for smaller businesses. Setup and onboarding is made easy, so you can get started with the day-to-day running of your new estate agency straight away.

Rezi Pro Lite offers features such as email and calendar sync, automatic SMS, Signable and three portal feeds, as well as use of an Open API, third-party integrations, marketing tools and a cloud-based platform.

Estate agency CRM software

Many estate agency software systems offer upgrades and packages to cope with expanding agencies. You’ll soon notice that many of the leading estate agent software companies follow industry trends when increasing their overall software performance. Although we agree that trend following is essential to keeping our customers happy, and in turn theirs, the core value of Rezi is that it is ‘built to be different’. 

We want to stand out from our competitors and constantly look at how we are able to be ‘the estate agent of the future’ with the platforms we choose develop in house and integrate with externally.
Rezi Estate Agent Software

Rezi's apps offerings expanded again this year with the addition of our Zapier integration. Our Premium Package now includes the option to upgrade to Zapier - a key automation tool for bust agents. This platform hosts 1000’s of marketplace applications that are all able to integrate via webhooks. In simpler terms, this means that you can set up apps to talk to each other without the need to action them or physically complete the call to action each time. This is done via a trigger or a ‘Zap’.

Rezi's apps offerings expanded again this year with the addition of our Zapier integration. Our Premium Package now includes the option to upgrade to Zapier - a key automation tool for bust agents. This platform hosts 1000’s of marketplace applications that are all able to integrate via webhooks. In simpler terms, this means that you can set up apps to talk to each other without the need to action them or physically complete the call to action each time. This is done via a trigger or a ‘Zap’.

How does Zapier work for estate agents using Rezi?

Once Zapier is set up in Rezi, you’ll be able to customize webhooks/ apps that you want to utilize. For example, when listing a property using Rezi you can set up a trigger that will upload the relevant information automatically to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc without the need to action it through another platform. With Zapier you can also automate updates to properties, this is completed through updates in the CRM which trigger these actions automatically with updates on the webhooks added, notifying that the property is under offer or that it has been sold.
Webhook Connections

We believe that the less time spent on admin and mundane tasks the more time can be spent with the client. There’s no need to rush back to the office either to update the system as it can be done remotely via the cloud.

Is PropTech only for tech-savvy people?

No it's most definitely not. After reading about our open API, cloud-based software and automated Zapier workflows, it may all sound a bit too techy for most. However, with Rezi’s sleek and lean interface it’s easy to customise - no developer needed! Once you are onboarding with us, your Rezi expert will set you up with all that you would like to get your agency going. We also offer step by step guides that can be accessed anytime via our portal and run webinars where we offer a Q&A session with one of our friendly trainers.

“All sections of the training were clear and defined. I now feel incredibly confident in using all of the features that Dezrez provide. Having used several rival agency software platforms in the past I am delighted we have chosen Dezrez as our agency software provider.“ - Ed Pitcher, United Real Estate.

Startup estate agent software

As we have gathered, choosing the right CRM software for your business is crucial. Here are some quick tips for getting the best software: 
  • Choose a great CRM
  • Utilize the automation offerings available
  • Automate those extra tasks with an open API or Zapier
  • Ensure fast Live property feeds
  • Set up customer portals for live updates to be viewed
  • Customise dashboards for better workflows and data view
  • Keep up to date with advancements in your CRM software – ensure you’re always meeting buyer demand

For more information, download our e-book, book a demo or browse our website...