How much will it cost?
Probably the most expensive part to setting up an estate agency is the office. As estate agents are happy to quote the three most important qualities of a good property are "location, location and location". If you want to be a successful estate agent then you have to get as many people as possible to notice you exist.
So most estate agents pick busy - and therefore expensive - high-street locations. Jonathan Burnand, manager Wild & Lye, Bath suggest you "Get an office that's as big as you can afford", although he cautions that things maybe changing "I can see the day when you don't need an office I can see the time when we do everything by phone and the net and that when we meet clients we meet them in the local café or hotel."
The next biggest cost is publicity. An estate agent needs to advertise their houses, auctions or lets so pages of colour or black and white ads in the local property pages is a regular weekly expense -- though many estate agents are turning away from the local papers.
Burnand says "Advertising is a few hundred a page - if you commit to 52 times a year" Burnand cautions "those that choose to do a half page one week, and two pages one week - because it eases the pain - are heading for trouble.
"Clients like to see the same size ads every week. Plus you have to advertise every week, you don't sell houses off your advertising but it is the way you get new customers."
Additional publicity costs are printing, mailings and phone costs. Mailing and printing of house details is a significant expense, although the use of digital photography and cheap fast colour printers has much reduced the costs of sending out and preparing colourful house details.
Mobile and land line phone bills will be high so shop around for a service, consider services that combine both mobile and landlines in one. You should also invest in a franking machine, a good database or contacts management package and a label printer to speed the time it takes to get your details out. In addition web sites and emails can also help reduce the cost of mailing details
Costs for a high street estate agents vary from town to town.
Cast about to determine the average rents of high street properties in the area. As well as calculating your annual rent, you will need to determine staff pay and your annual running costs. Don't forget to include local paper advertising, costs for your web site, and for your colour printer, photocopier, toner/printer cartridges, phone bills, and franking machine postal charges.