Starting Over in a New City: 8 insights for a relocating Real Estate Agent
We’ve all had dreams of moving to a warmer climate, a better city, closer to (or away from) family, but few think it’s possible. Especially in Real Estate when your business is you. In 2016 I walked away from my Real Estate business grossing over $1M in Michigan, started over in Florida, and did it without going broke. Whether you’re looking to start over in a new city, or just looking to start over, this is for you.
My wife and I decided to book a last minute trip to Marco Island, Florida. For us, Marco has always been a place to rest, relax and plan for the future. If you have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it!
Sitting there looking out at the ocean, we talked about how one day we’d move to Florida. That one day we’d escape the blistering cold of Michigan, and enjoy all that Florida had to offer. But not now. In our minds it would be 15-20 years into the future when our kids were off to college. It was the sort of conversation that people have when they talk about hitting the lottery. It’s exciting to talk about, you plan a little, you dream, but ultimately you come back to reality.
Then a funny thing happened.
What if we could figure out a way to move sooner? What if we could parlay the success we had in Michigan into starting over Florida? So we did something that surprised even us. We took immediate action. A few short months later we laid the groundwork and made the jump. After living here in Orlando full time for over a year, here are some insights from the trenches:
INSIGHT #1 – CHOOSING YOUR LOCATION
Before you jump to a new location ask yourself why you’re moving there. Is it a lifestyle change? Is it to raise your average sales price? Getting clear on why you’re moving will help you narrow down the field. To understand my thought process, here’s why we chose Orlando:
- Higher average price than Detroit
- Lots of job growth
- No state income tax
- Higher housing turnover
- The average agent sells less than my current competition. I saw that as an opportunity to take advantage of.
- Orlando is only 45-90 minutes from the beach, the weather didn’t hurt my face, and we love Disney.
Meshing business realities and personal goals make the destination more obvious.
INSIGHT #2 – GET LICENSED AND CHOOSE A BROKER BEFORE YOU MOVE
Seems obvious, but take a trip and visit a few brokerages and get licensed before you move. I’ve had friends who moved to California, only to fail the exam, and then move back home because they were discouraged and/or they ran out of money. Many states allow you to get licensed without physically being in the state. There may also be some reciprocity with your current state and where you’re headed. Just remember, time isn’t on your side. If you can cut off one to two months of downtime, you’ll be that much farther ahead.