Have you ever thought about starting an online business as a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator?Being able to work from home and make a decent income is a dream for many people. I get it. I have been able to work from home as a real estate agent for many years. It has allowed me to be there for my kids. I've been able to pick them up from school, take them to soccer practice, and attend all their games. Being able to be a mom and also make a great income working from home has always been important to me. If you haven’t met me (Hey!!) my name is Joni and I am the founder of The Transaction Coordinator Bootcamp and a Real Estate Broker since 1987…yes 1987! I help entrepreneurs like you ditch the 9-5 grind, launch, and start your own Virtual Independent Real Estate Transaction Coordinator business working from home. Learning how to start an online business is easier than you think. There are a few key items you need to think about first to be successful. Below is a starting guide to an online business as a Transaction Coordinator. Being a TC in the real estate industry is a great niche because it's in demand and there are a lot of real estate agents out there that need a Transaction Coordinator.
1. Choose your Transaction Coordinator business nameWhen you start any business there are basic things that have to be done before you can start. An online business such as a virtual real estate transaction coordinator biz it is no different. First off you will need to choose your business name. Make sure this name is available as a domain name. You can check out GODADDY to see if the name you want is available You want your business name to be simple and professional. Something people can remember. It could be a simple as Sallys TC service. This will be important because you will be using this across all your social media channels as well. Staying consistent with a website name and social media name will help keep your brand cohesive.
2. Choose your business structureYou will not only decide on a business name, and get a business license through your state licensing department, you will also need to decide on a business structure. Will you be an LLC or a Sole proprietor? Check out the Small Business Association to see what business structure to choose. They have a ton of information about this and a lot of other things to help when starting your business. Once you decide on your business structure you will need to apply for your EIN number with the IRS. This is simple to do and this number will be needed when you do your taxes at the end of the year too so don't put this part off.
3. Research your state-specific regulations about any real estate licensing requirementsA question that I often get is “Do I need a real estate license?” I can tell you that every state has its own set of licensing rules. My home state of Washington does not require a license. However, there are rules about what a real estate TC and real estate assistant can and cannot do. While a majority of the states do not require a license to work as a Transaction Coordinator, there is a handful that does. This doesn’t mean you cannot work as a TC, it just means that you will need to look for a state that does not require a license. If you decide down the line you want to get your real estate license to work in your home state if, in fact, it is a requirement then you could at that point.
4. Set your income goals and decide what to chargeI always recommend working backward for your income goals. What’s the end goal you have in mind or you want/need to make a month? I have found that the typical transaction coordinator fee per transaction is usually anywhere between $300-$500. I suggest doing a bit of research in your area to see what other TC’s are charging then go from there. But, let just say that it is $400 per transaction and you want to make $5000 per month. You would need to have 12.5 or let’s round it out to 13-transactions close a month. 13 transactions do not necessarily mean you have to find 13 different agents to work with. You could easily work with 3-4 agents to accomplish this. Each agent may send you 3-4 transaction files each month. Working with agents that are busy and closing a lot of sales each month are the agents you want to target to work with.
5. Learn the lingoThere is a learning curve in real estate like any other industry that has its own set of lingo and acronyms to describe things. For instance, what PSA (Purchase and Sale Agreement) is or what EM deposit (Earnest money deposit)means. Being able to understand what the agent is talking about is very important to have their trust that you know what you're doing.
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6. Marketing for new clientsThere are a lot of ways to find potential real estate clients that do not cost anything. Here are just a few, to begin with.
- Go to a Real estate office weekly meeting and give a presentation on your services
- Go to open houses and talk to the agent doing the open house, and share your services
- Network at the local Chamber of Commerce
- Find Facebook realtor groups. There are a TON of FB groups dedicated just to real estate agents. There are many vendors such as websites, lead generation software, marketing, etc that have FB groups you could try to join.
- Go where the agents advertise. Places like Zillow, Trulia, are good places to find agents that are putting themselves out there for you to connect with.
- Call a few local agents that you already know. Ask if they need help in their business and if not whom they could recommend you to.
- Linkedin is an awesome place to connect for free with Real Estate agents in your area.
7. Put together a pitch template/emailConstruct a great email to agents in your community asking if they need any help in their business. Make it personal and genuine. Do not mass message them or they won't receive your email well. That would be considered spam. Save your self-time by only contacting agents that are the top producers. Your ideal client is not the agent that sells 6 homes per year. Fun fact: 20% of the agents out there make 80% of the money.
8. Client OnboardingDevelop a seamless process to bring on new real estate clients in your business. Have a welcome packet or onboarding packet that includes information about your services, a contract, expectations of when and how you will be paid, prices, your business hours, the best way to contact you, etc. Always have your clients sign a contract with you. Laying out the terms of the agreement, expectations, and services you will provide are a must and will prevent any issues down the line. That should be a must in your onboarding packet. You can check out our TC Shop for our TC legal templates here.
9. Decide on the systems you will use to start your online businessBeing organized will make you look more professional, make your life way easier, and will make your business easier to scale down the line so you can earn more money. Will you work from a simple checklist or will you use software that is specifically used for transaction coordinators? Starting out can be as simple as a checklist however as you get busier you will want to invest in some type of online system.
10. FinancesDecide on what type of bookkeeping system you will use to track your income and expenses. Freshbooks or Honeybooks are good choices. However, If you are good with excel that is always a good free way to track things.
11. Get testimonialsMake sure your website and FB page have testimonials from the agents you work with once you get a few clients. This will give you the credibility you need to add new clients to your business. Word of mouth from agents you work with will also be a great free way to gain clients and if you are amazing at the service you provide then agents will always be good at referring business your way.
12. Choose what social media channels you will use to connect with your ideal clientI can tell you from experience that many agents are on Facebook. Many agents have a business page and do a lot of advertising on Facebook so that is a great way to connect with them. I would suggest having a business FB page as a place for agents to see your business. You can link your website to your business FB page where they can go to learn more about your services. Having a business page is different from a personal page. You want to keep it professional and a business page is a way to do it.
Are you ready to learn how to start your online business as a Virtual Transaction Coordinator biz yet??If you found these tips helpful in starting your own Transaction Coordinator business working from home please don't be shy and let me know! I would love it if you left a comment below letting me know your thoughts or you can always contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every email that comes through I will read and reply to! Let me know if you have thought about making money from home and what is holding you back from getting started. Check out these other posts: The Transaction Coordinator Bootcamp What is a Virtual Transaction Coordinator? How Much Does a Virtual Transaction Coordinator Make?