In this exclusive Urban Times series, Business Lessons from an Entrepreneur, serial business owner and Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Library, Stephen Fear, examines a different theme each week of 2013 to give the reader useful and usable lessons for enhancing and growing their own business.
…a finder’s fee is the compensation given to an intermediary in a business transaction. – Wikipedia
Many people dream of becoming a millionaire and living a life without the financial worry or restrictions but, for most, earning a living in an enjoyable way is more important and realistic.
Whether you are currently employed, self-employed or, especially, unemployed a few more dollars or pounds will inevitably be much appreciated. Opportunities exist everywhere and if you apply some of the following techniques you may well end up finding more than you can cope with by working at it just part time.
The great thing about the Finder’s Fee business is that you do not have to give up your day job or find capital to start with. In fact, my continued suggestion is to keep your day job, or any other source of regular income, going for as long as possible and certainly until you are absolutely sure that your new business produces more than you need to earn to pay your existing bills such as rent, mortgage, electricity and, of course, food.
Before I go onto actual suggestions regarding items to find, I would like to mention a word of warning! It is essential that you keep all information regarding your ‘find’ to yourself until you have something in writing from at least one of the two parties involved, be they seller or buyer. I cannot emphasize this enough. Look on the internet for agency agreements and make sure one of your principals sign up before you give information away.
So what products or services should you look for? Well there are many, and over the coming weeks I will expand on them, but this week’s focus is on real estate. Even in today’s economic climate, real estate offers a serious opportunity to work from home finding land, investment properties and houses for both companies and individuals. Nearly all the major house builders are currently looking for land and will be only too happy to deal with you if you go about it the right way.
We are building far too few homes in the UK to keep up with demand. Population growth is expected to continue, especially with immigration from the EEC continuing to accelerate. Many predict that the UK population of just over 63 million will one day be larger than Germany, which is currently just over 81 million.
According to The Independent on Sunday, the UK needs another 300,000 EXTRA homes to be built every year going forward to avert a housing crisis. All this housing growth requires land, so by becoming involved in finding it you are not just securing your own financial future but helping produce homes for thousands of people that need them; people just like you. Some will be hoping to buy houses but increasingly others wish to rent. Buying or renting, land is required to build them on and you can help.
Typical fees paid by property developers/investors and house builders range from 1% to 3% but usually level out at 1.5% so it is easy to see that if you find a plot of land that a builder might want to buy at say £500,000 you could earn £7500 commission for what might only be a few day’s work.
So where do you look? I suggest that you start by focusing in your local area. Land previously built on is always an attractive proposition because there will be a presumption within the planning authority that it can be used again for building. This is often referred to as brown land and is very beneficial as it reduces the need for building in the countryside.
Drive, cycle or walk around your local area and you will be amazed at what you see. Derelict buildings and vacant plots can be followed up by asking people who live or work nearby for ownership details.
Follow up all leads and ask the owners if they want to sell and, if so, how much are they asking; you will be surprised how many are helpful and appreciate your call.
I suggest the companies following companies as a starting point, but make sure you get your agency agreement signed before giving full details. A good place to start is with The Fear Group where there is a complete list of all current requirements in detail which are not restricted to residential. You can also try Redrow Plc, Bloor Homes and any others from NAHB.
Good luck and keep reading this column for more about opportunities in making money from finder’s fees over the next few weeks. These will include specialist cars, businesses, surplus and close-out merchandise and finance.