I thought I’d start with the Pearl Lemon Properties story as an insight into how I’m intending to launch a property business.
So I first had the idea of creating a property website around a year ago –
You’ll see here from the domain registration date:
I first registered the website back on the 29th of June 2020.
This was after having spent a lot of time working with property sourcers, my mortgage broker, solicitor, and the like to try and nail down the properties I’m still trying to purchase (Covid has slowed everything down!).
As I learned more about the space I decided I’d take what I knew and start my own property business.
My journey begins with playing towards my strong suit – which is the Google ranking side of it.
This is the journey we’ve been undergoing with the site for the last year in terms of having blogs posted and running SEO.
This has all happened in the background and now – I’m preparing to ‘property launch’ this business.
I want to talk you through my step-by-step plan to build this property business out:
Defining the business model
So this is the first place that I began with even back a year ago – and the model is pretty simple – and this is something that I recommend anyone entering the property business should consider.
How exactly are you going to make money and provide an amazing service?
In our instance, the approach we’re taking is by focussing (initially) on one specific niche – which is the ‘below-market value’ space
This market focuses upon the time-poor cash-rich investors who are on the hunt for good investment opportunities.
They (like me) are willing to pay someone to source those properties and are happy to pay a premium for it if the deals are good.
Then you’re passed onto the estate agent/relevant parties involved…
It’s pretty straightforward from a sourcing agent’s perspective.
Identifying the right team
So there are some core areas to this business that I wouldn’t be best placed to operate myself:
Sourcing properties – this would involve building relationships with estate agents and the like to build up our own stock off ‘off-market properties’ by seeing what they hold
Sales – this would be someone getting on the phone and building up relationships with potential buyers as well as anyone within the industry who could potentially be of service to us
Operations – this area would involve vetting the deals, organising all of the compliance documentation and preparing contracts and the like
Client Relationship Management – this would be the actual management of the clients alongside their requirements themselves
I myself would work on building this team, putting together the website assets, and generating consistent leads for the sales team to work with
Get To Know Your Market As Much As You Can
I’ve been involved on the buying side of properties for the last few years – from buying an off-plan student accommodation to buying several BMV’s through sourcers to buying a flat local to my family home.
I’ve also read multiple books on property buying and management and everything you need to know to become a successful property investor.
Outside of this, buying 5 properties has meant that I’ve got to know my mortgage broker and solicitor and sourcers pretty well.
With all of this combined, it seemed to be a good platform to begin the journey of building a property business – and so 6 months ago I decided to start with the website and then go from there.
This is a difficult question to answer I think.
You can definitely do multiple things pretty cheaply e.g:
- Building a website
- Writing the web content
- Starting the networking process
These things are a factor of time though – and how much time you have to actually get things done is something you need to figure out.
But certainly – you can come at this business from multiple angles.
Assuming you have time – the great news is, is that there are zero fixed costs. If you’re a sourcing agent then you don’t have any capital outlay.
It’s literally a matter of connecting investors to investment properties.
Regulation To Start A Property Business
You’ll need to get registered it seems like (I’ve just googled this myself) – with The Property Ombudsman (TPO), with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a professional body such as the National Landlords Association (NLA) or Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and have professional indemnity in place.
I’m going to start looking into all of this myself. Ironically I found this on a blog that some of my team have written on our property site haha!
What kind of property business are you starting?
This is something that you, of course, need to consider.
In my instance, we will be starting with a property sourcing business, which is a simple model that many individuals build themselves as a freelancer.
However, you can start a property flipping business, build real estate investment trusts, look at property rental businesses and a lot more.
The plan with Pearl Lemon Properties is spending the first 1-2 years looking at the residential property space – although our head of sales may well expand that quite quickly.
Our Next Steps
- We’re continuing to blog to the tune of 3-4 blogs per week
- We’re getting registered on Glassdoor, Trustpilot, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like
- I’m going to register a company phone number and virtual office address
- We’re running outreach to 50 people per day on LinkedIn
- We’ll start the process of registrations with all of the relevant organizational bodies
- We’ll be running outreach to 100 people per day via cold email
- We’re contacting 20-50 estate agents up and down the country to discuss what stock they have available
Deciding to build a property business for me is pretty exciting.
It’s an area that carries huge personal interest because it’s something I can pour my energy into and it can become a family business.
I’ve already involved my sister and brother-in-law in these preliminary stages, and we’ll see how the next 6-12 months go together.
If it all goes well then this can turn into something they can pursue full-time potentially all things being well.
Having family involved gives me massive motivation to see this business succeed – as then my brother and auntie and multiple members within the family can become part of it.
The beauty of having a digital marketing agency also is that I already have a stable income that means I don’t need to rely upon any income from this business for my own pocket.
The value for me will be over the next several years – and in the shorter term, I’m excited about the idea of this business building an income for the people I love.