Establishing Yourself as a BA

by Ben Handler

May 8, 2024

Michael Simms’ first client was so happy at securing a home with his help that she burst into tears with joy.

That was the moment when he realised he had found his calling.

However, he also knew that if was going to successfully establish his own buyer’s agency and transition out of his full-time career he had a lot of work ahead of him.

Michael was able to get his business off the ground by building a large referral network outside of work hours.

“I was reaching out to every mortgage broker, financial planner and accountant I could throughout Geelong, just trying to tee up meetings,” Michael says.

“I remember the first Saturday I went to 12 home opens, just to say hello to the sales agents.”

Michael says he was working long hours trying to build up that network.

He says he also had to make sure his partner was on board with the workload he was about to take on.

“I had to explain to her that this thing is going to take some time and effort,” he says.

“So if we’re in this, we’re in this and we’re going to have to take some sacrificial hits to our time together for a while.

“I needed her to buy in as well.”

Michael was fortunate to secure a client early, but that didn’t slow down his networking and he continued to build more relationships.

“I said to myself that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, I just had to keep pushing,” he explains.

His next two clients came through a mortgage broker and that made him realise he was on the right path, but he was working big hours.

“I don’t think I slept more than four hours a night in the early days,” he says.

“You’re having those late afternoon catch-ups or early morning catch-ups, then you’re doing your background work, building your CRM, making sure that everything in the back end is set up and being a solopreneur, you’ve got to do the whole thing.”

“But now when the clients do come on board, it’s a seamless client journey for them.

“That’s what I was trying to achieve.”

Michael had a plan to go full time but he was realistic that he needed the time to build up his income and also have a buffer there for the inevitable slow times that all buyers agents face early on.

He has a 12-month timeline to build up his business to the point that it could stand on its own financially. While he was still earning a full-time income from his previous career, he was regularly working 70 hours a week to try and build up his buyer’s agency.

“If you’re not willing to put the time and the effort in, then you’re probably wasting your time and your money,” he says.

He says that the hardest part is often that you sign up clients in spurts and the slow periods can weigh on you mentally.

Now that Michael has been able to replace his income, he’s moved on to different marketing strategies as well.

“Now I’m doing lots of networking events, I’ve been on a couple of podcasts and just getting exposure to different people and different markets,” he says.

He’s also looking to bring on some team members to help him continue to scale up.

But for now, he is going to keep on doing what he’s been doing and will grow the business over time.

Michael had a three-year timeline to go full-time and have enough savings behind him to make the transition from a full-time career to business owner and he is well on track.

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