Are You A Business or Just Another Real Estate Agent

Are You A Business or Just Another Real Estate Agent

Many real estate agents fail to act on one essential truth - they are a business.

When I consult with real estate agents, it often amazes me how many do not consider themselves business owners. Whether it's buying into the idea that you are an "independent contractor" of your brokerage, or part of someone else's team, it's time to understand what you really are.

You - no matter who you work with or for - are a business. Real estate is a business, and it should be treated with the serious respect it deserves. This includes all the key elements of a business.

There is no difference between you and Coca-Cola (except the size of the operation). Or you and McDonald's. Or you and Starbucks.

What if Coca-Cola didn't market their products every day? What would happen? They'd go broke and disappear. Most people think Coke would just keep selling on its own, but the numbers would fall drastically until it could no longer survive. Just because it's an American icon doesn't mean that it can stop pushing its products in front of people every single day.

Can you imagine Starbucks without an attorney? How about General Motors without an accountant?

I know these may seem like laughable scenarios, but stop for a minute and think about your real estate business. Fundamentally, what's the difference?


Multi-million dollar conglomerates and your real estate business both exist for one reason: to provide products and services that people want.

Therefore, you must treat your business as a business - not a hobby, not a job, not someone else's responsibility. It's a business, plain and simple.

You wouldn't believe how many real estate agents don't have a bookkeeper or accountant to help with their finances. Many still file their own tax returns. Is this you? If so, then it's time to change your mindset about what you do.

Here are some key elements of a business to start thinking about if you haven't already:

  1. Legal Entity

    If you're operating as a real estate agent and haven't legalized yourself as a business, it's time to get advice. Find an attorney and delve into the best way to protect yourself as a legal entity. Maybe you should be an LLC. Maybe you should incorporate. Maybe you should be a sole proprietor. It all depends on your unique situation.

    Whatever you do, don't make this decision yourself. Consult a professional. Talk to other successful agents about their legal entities. Find out what works.

  2. Accounting

    If you're a real estate agent and you don't have an accountant, you are throwing money away. You may as well fill a garbage can right now with dollar bills and set it on fire. Same thing.

    That's not the way to run a business. To run a business, you must allow a money professional to take care of the money. Get an accountant - not a plain old tax preparer. An accountant has an opinion on what you should be doing. An accountant can guide you through ways to save money that would take you years to uncover on your own.

    You don't have time to do everything yourself. And the money you spend on an accountant comes back to you tenfold. Not only do you streamline your finances, but you have a professional in your corner who you can call whenever a money problem arises.

  3. Insurance

    Are you insured for business liability? Are you insured for negligence? Do you even know what insurance you need? Have you asked a professional?

    These are tough scenarios to face, but there may come a time in your real estate career when something goes horribly wrong. You may find yourself in a position where you can't afford the fees to defend yourself against litigation.

    This is exactly what business insurance is for. As a business, you can't ignore it. Pretending that nothing will ever go wrong has been the downfall of many a business owner. Don't let it happen to you.

    Again, talk to other agents. Find out the appropriate amount of business insurance you need, as well as the different types available. And do you even know if you need more than just errors and omissions insurance?

  4. Marketing

    Marketing is the cornerstone of all successful businesses. Period. No business - big or small - can survive without it.

    Do you have a marketing professional? Someone who looks at the items you send out and critiques them? Someone who truly knows what works for real estate marketing? Someone who's actually done what you're trying to do?

    Branding. Identity. Image. These are more than just modern marketing buzzwords. They are essential for any modern business. They are essential for YOU.

If you don't start seeing yourself as a business owner, it's time to upgrade your mindset. When you fully adopt this stronger image of yourself, you're in a much better position to contribute more to your clients and make more money.

Remember, you're not just a real estate agent who wanders from deal to deal. You are a business person who plans ahead and protects ahead. Make sure you get the right pros sitting in your court.

And, don't forget - when it comes to marketing, The Lones Group is your one-stop source for everything you need to market yourself. From critiquing your materials to providing you with a marketing plan to figuring out where you've gone wrong, we know how to solve your problems.

We can diagnose what's wrong and fix it for you. It's what we do and we're the best at it. Give us a call today at (360) 527-8904 or send us an e-mail at We're here to help you.