Author
Joanna M.
Business
10 / 2020

How to Start a Real Estate Business in Ghana - Everything You Need to Know

Real estate in Ghana

We all have dreams of making it big; of becoming successful people in the future as our careers advance. If you’re still wondering which path is the right in this global economy, , we recommend you take a look at real estate.

The real estate business is a very lucrative one, making it an excellent career option for lots of people. It is one area that helps you make a name for yourself within a short period. Despite this inevitable success, the real estate environment comes with fierce competition, both from established players and new players. They, like you, are seeking success in the field.

To make it big in real estate in Ghana, you will need to develop tough skin and be ready to face the challenges that come with the profession. In this article, we highlight all the steps to take to become a great real estate agent, start the real estate business in the country, and make considerable revenue. So let's dive into what exactly real estate entails.

What is Real Estate?

This is a question many fail to ask before getting into the real estate business. A clear understanding of the job ensures you're more aware of its ins and outs, challenges, benefits and tricks to beating the system. Real estate is simply referred to as a property or more than one property.

Here, property refers to both land and buildings. A real estate business consists of three major processes; buying, selling, and renting. As a real estate businessperson, you’ll have to buy, market, and even rent out property, land, homes, or other buildings.

As an agent, you’re responsible for assisting businesses, homeowners, and investors to find, buy, and sell any of the four property types. There are varying aspects of the real estate business you can venture into; some of them include loan servicing, commercial and residential properties, and so on. Depending on your interests and strengths, you can pick any aspect.

Real Estate in Ghana

Looking at real estate, in general, is excellent and gives us a universal sense of what it entails. In streamlining the business back into our local scene, let's study real estate in Ghana. One of the most lucrative businesses in Ghana is real estate. It is identified nationally as one of the longest-standing industries in the country.

Over the years, the real estate industry has become quite the gold mine for the nation's economy, with several entrepreneurs having tapped into it for the sole aim of making a profit. Due to the ever-growing demographic and the boost in the economy, people always need property, be it an office building, a residential apartment, and even a commercial outlet. They might be looking to buy, sell or rent any of these properties, but have no idea how to go about it.

To help them make the best sale, gain profit, and purchase property at great prices, they need assistance from real estate agents or experts.

Steps to Start Your Own Real Estate Business

Now that we have looked at the broader picture, both in the world and Ghana, you might be wondering how to begin. Starting or owning a real estate business in Ghana is very similar to starting any regular business. It requires efficient planning and a lot of capital to ensure your success.

In the following steps, we highlight the best efforts to take to start and maintain a very successful real estate business in Ghana. The points include planning, research, brand building, and financial engagement. Following these steps to the letter increases your chances of success and ensures that you stay relevant within the real estate sphere.

Plan Everything

If you fail to plan, you will be planning to fail. This is a saying we’ve heard, and come across in diverse fields, from education to business, and it is very accurate. Planning is everything, and in real estate, it is a vital step to take if you want to be successful. The real estate environment is filled with numerous areas where you can thrive, like all other businesses.

Before you proceed, be sure to sort out your business plan. This plan should be clear in writing, stating the map of all your proceedings. A business plan allows you to have a clear direction for your business; it is also used as a document for investors and lenders’ financial assistance. One of the first things to have in your business plan is a logo designed by a professional designer or a logo creator. Once you have outlined your business intentions in your program, it gives you more confidence to move forward because you know what you’re doing.

Set realistic goals based on your business plan, especially with your budget. The budget will point out how much money is needed for an office, furniture@@, equipment if required, and any other necessities. It is good to have professional assistance when writing your business plan. You can get advice from any small business development center expert to align your goals.

Do Extensive Market Research

After penning down a great business plan, now is the time to get down to all the nitty-gritty about the business sector. To do this, you need to partake in some market research. To know how well your business idea will work once implemented market research is vital. For the most part, it'll identify the niche you will be most successful in.

Market research can be done individually or through an online letting agent. These agents undertake complete market research on your behalf and also execute the best marketing strategies. Here are some tips for when you're doing your market research;

  1. Save time and money by doing your research early.
  2. Study the market to find out if you have the right skills or require further education.
  3. Be intentional with the research, since it gives you some real-world experience.
  4. The more you become clear about your preferred niche, the easier it will be for you to find a mentor.

Work On Brand Building

Regardless of the business you're into, you need a strong brand to help get your message across and gain your target market’s interest. Brand building is essential in all businesses because it allows you to build credibility and integrity within your chosen field. It also makes your business seem more prominent, attracting your target consumers by the dozens.

During the brand-building process, your sole aim is to create a perception about your business in the minds of your target market. You need to create a trustworthy brand via press releases, ad campaigns, a great real estate logo design, and top-notch marketing strategies. Below are some branding tips to help you create an excellent business persona.'

  1. Search for potential clients and build strong relationships with them.
  2. Interact with all clients at a personal level, never forget to keep in constant touch with them
  3. Study the market and set your business apart from the status quo
  4. Offer great value for the money across the board
  5. Try to solve all the real estate issues, and establish yourself as a go-to expert.

Get Finance

You don't need a truckload of money to start your real estate business. Luckily, this business venture requires only a small amount of money to succeed. Several successful real estate brokers and agents started with as little as $1000, and sometimes even less than that. According to successful real estate companies, the trick when budgeting is to ensure you don't calculate only your start-up costs.

The best approach is to calculate the carrying cost, which keeps you aware of just how much you will need for the next few months, even before payments start coming in from clients. Your finance should be stated clearly in your business plan. When listing this, be sure to include the lenders you want to approach for loans.

There are many ways to get money for your business, including personal funds, funds from family and friends, and loans from investors and lenders. Depending on the route you opt for, state clearly in your business plan how you plan to finance your business. With the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide several companies find it hard to pull in revenue and capital regardless of their scale. As such, it is imperative that you search for investors who are willing to offer financial support for businesses suffering the effects of this pandemic.

Set Up Your Office

After working through your capital and start-up resources, it is time to consider a location for your office. Setting up a real estate office is a gradual process in most cases. You can start with a home office then graduate to an actual office space. Many real estate agents opt to work from home, as this is obviously a more economical option.

Working from home when you're starting up is ideal because it allows you to focus more on choosing a target market for your company. Once that is established, finding a location that appeals to you becomes more comfortable, and your chances of staying relevant remain high. When searching for a physical location, do not be picky or rigid, instead, be willing to adjust your plans as and when needed.

If after searching and thinking, you decide to stick to working from home, that is great too. The next step in such an instance is to work out the best way to manage your customer service. The first and most cost-efficient option is to use customer relationship management software. These technologies are high for new company owners, who haven't set up physical offices, or people who can't be bothered about a physical location.

Maintain A Good Online Presence

In this day and age, almost every business set up is found online? To keep up with the changing economy, ensure that your real estate business has a fabulous online presence. Nearly 90% of your target market go to the web as a first resource; as such, having a digital presence puts you at a higher chance of getting clients.

When creating an online presence, keep your real estate website within the top search rankings on Google. The higher your site is ranked, the easier it will be for potential customers to reach it and also contact you for your services. Higher rankings from customers means your brand is trustworthy and is tried and tested.

Having an online presence is only one side of having an online marketing strategy. Others include using different social media channels for your consumer relationships and even working offline using traditional means to appeal to those who aren't Internet savvy.

Making it as a Real Estate Agent

To thrive in the real estate business no matter the season, you need specific skills to see you through all stages of growth. Be prepared for everything; it could be a change in the market dynamic to a shift in sales. No matter what happens, you need to have certain things in place so you can sail through challenges as they occur

In the following points, we will highlight tips to become a successful real estate agent in Ghana. Having a business plan alone doesn't guarantee your success or an extended business life span. There are many other equally important things you must pay attention to.

Get attached to a large brokerage firm

The first thing to do is to attach yourself and brand to a large brokerage firm. In Ghana, firms tend to have more customers and clients than freelance agents. This is mainly because they have established their brands over the years, and built a name for themselves. Attaching yourself to a firm increases your knowledge of the profession.

When choosing your firm, look out for companies that have an excellent track record of making commission and selling houses. Build strong and good relationships with such companies to ensure you have a shot when you need them.

Acquire certification

After liaising with a reputable brokerage firm, the next thing to do is acquire your certification. There's nothing that builds more trust than having accreditation from the nation's most trusted real estate institutions. Since you plan on running your business for a long time, it is best to register it and receive a certificate as proof.

Under Ghana's government, all real estate agents who register are given licenses to operate. After registering, you can equally join some of the various associations created for real estate agents in the country. Joining these groups is beneficial because they safeguard their members and offer more legitimacy to your business.

Have A Financial Plan

This cannot be emphasized enough; you need a comprehensive financial plan. Simply be ready to invest money in your industry. It could be through personal funds or money from lenders and investors. Altogether, money goes a long way to create adverts, business cards and also to acquire certificates.

Having a financial plan also keeps your business afloat and operational while you build your customer base. The economic strategy you draw up is essential since all earnings made are based on commission from your sales.

Build Your network

Building your clientele is next in line. You need to grow your client base, especially since your company is relatively new on the market. To build and sustain your network, be willing to build your portfolio by attending events where your target market is likely to be found. Another way to bring in clients is to ask for referrals.

Friends and family can easily make referrals since it is easier for them to introduce you to people who might need your services. After the initial introduction and your services are proven to be excellent, you're assured of more referrals from those clients.

Important Facts to Note Before you Buy Land

Over the last few years, real estate has become one of the fastest growing sectors, thanks to the enormous benefits it offers. The real estate sector in Ghana doesn't only serve citizens, and it also caters to travellers and the expatriate community. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to buy land to start your real estate business, you first need to know the owner of the property. There are instances where a single piece of land has more than ten owners, often bringing serious conflict into the mix.

The best way to ensure that the land belongs to the person you’re buying from is to ensure that the land title is reviewed at the government lands office. After this is done, a land valuation will be performed, at the buyer’s expense.

Be sure to involve yourself in all the steps when buying the land, and engage an independent lawyer to help you review all documents before you make any final payments.

Requirements for Ghanaian Real Estate Development

After you've purchased land in Ghana, you need to be aware of the timeline set by the government. Landowners are given time to put up necessary infrastructure, like the foundation within the first two years of purchase. This is encouraged because setting up infrastructure helps reduce questions about who the land belongs to, thus preventing unauthorized people from setting up camp.

Land ownership

Land ownership is available in four main modes; the government land, customary land, stool or family lands and the private or vested lands. The land is sold in Ghana primarily on a lease basis. This means that individuals or companies cannot own a piece of land indefinitely. A typical lease ranges from 25 to 150 years, with the shorter terms set for foreigners. Before you make a purchase, discuss it with a land-buying agent you trust.

Procedure in Property Investment in Ghana

  • Consult the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre where you will be giving information on all procedures you need to follow.
  • Contact an agency that will help you acquire your preferred piece of land legally.
  • Pay for all transactions in Ghanaian Cedis, respecting all the necessary percentages set by the various institutions.

Investment Potential

In Ghana, a more significant percentage of all expatriates choose to live in Accra, the nation's capital. They prefer locations just outside the city centre and are ever willing to rent these structures for the duration of their stay. A typical 200-square meter house is priced at $150,000 and rented out at $50 per month.

How much money do you need to build a house in Ghana?

The cost of constructing a house in Ghana depends significantly on the design of your home. Design refers to the size and style of the intended structure since these two factors will, in turn, determine how much materials and manpower will be needed. A house with a size range of 2800 to 4000 square feet, with western amenities, can cost between $65,000 to $115,000. The cost depends on how sophisticated you want the facilities to be.

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