Where do I start? Hah! Contrary to popular belief, all real estate agents are not millionaires and yes, we do actually do work. Let’s just kick this blog off by saying that the real estate brokerage business in Barbados is not for the faint of heart! I would definitely suggest that if you have a genuine passion for the business, helping people find their new home or real estate marketing, then this industry could be for you. However, if it’s just the money you’re interested in, it never works out! Here are some tips on how to be a successful real estate agent in Barbados!
STEP 1 - EDUCATION
The real estate brokerage industry has many different areas that you could specialize in. Have you decided if you want to sell property? Perhaps you would like to specialize in short and/or long-term property rentals? Or, maybe you could develop land and/or houses to sell or rent? There is a Real Estate Sales course at the Barbados Community College and also another at The University of the West Indies in Property Management. Be sure to check both of their websites for further details.
STEP 2 - BARBADOS REAL ESTATE LICENSE
In order to sell real estate as a professional real estate agent, one must get a license from the Barbados Supreme Court in Whitepark Road, Bridgetown. This license only grants you approval to sell property as a real estate agent in Barbados. At the date of this post, the cost of the license is BDS$375. This is due every year in January and if it is not paid by the end of January, the cost then doubles to BDS$750. For renewal in the second year and thereafter, the license can be paid online via the government portal, https://ezpay.gov.bb/login.php.
STEP 3 - GET HIRED BY A REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE OR BE INDEPENDENT
Be sure to research and find a company that goes well with your values. Most companies tend to have a niche market that they deal with and this is another point you should keep in mind when deciding on which companies to apply to. Keep in mind that if you don’t have any experience in property, to get your foot in the door, you can try applying for entry positions such as entry-level administration jobs. An administration job could be anything from updating the company’s website to being an assistant to a real estate agent.
If you decide to be an independent real estate agent, you have to register your business name at The Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) located on the Ground Floor, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael. Remember to purchase your company’s domain name even though you might not develop your website right away. I would recommend that you consult with a Barbados attorney to get guidance on the different type of company structures available. Do you want to register your business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or as a limited liability company?.
We, at Global Estate Agency Inc, specialize in mid-to-high-end real estate, both property sales and long-term rentals. Our sister company, BarbadosExpatHomes.com, covers high-end long-term rentals for expats.
STEP 4 - NETWORK WITH OTHER REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS IN THE BUSINESS
This step so important! Join The Barbados Estate Agents and Valuers Association where you could network with over 120 members including real estate agents, property managers, and valuers. Being a member of the association gives you the opportunity to have access to the other members’ property listings. When it comes down to closing any real estate deals with other members, the commission is split 50/50 while non-members would get a referral fee. There are different seminars about marketing, real estate development, mortgages, and the legal process when purchasing a property plus more. You can also stay updated with industry news and enjoy the social activities.
STEP 5 - PERSONAL BRANDING
Do your friends and family know that you are in the real estate business? I’m not saying that you need to spam their social media feeds with your property listings. Find ways to share knowledge about the business, helpful tips about the buying or renting process. In addition to showcasing yourself professionally on social media, don’t miss out on networking events, property-related speaking panels, and property shows to name a few.
STEP 6 - COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Whether it’s a past client or new client, never take any shortcuts with your service by leaving your clients in the dark. Always keep your clients updated. Yes, the real estate business is a very busy industry but even if you can’t make a phone call, at least send your client an email. After you close the deal, still continue to check in and do some follow-ups. Aftercare service is just as important as the work you do landing your client!