How to start a real estate business with zero investment

Real estate sector is flooded with both new and established players. To emerge as a leader in the crowded space requires strategic planning to strengthen the foundation.

9th Jan 2020
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The real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of $1 trillion by 2030 and contribute 13 percent of the country’s GDP by 2025. The higher demand for office spaces in recent times was mostly driven by IT and ITeS, retail, consulting, and ecommerce sectors.


Coworking space across the top cities has increased sharply in 2018, reaching 3.44 million sqft, compared to 1.11 million sqft for the same period in 2017. The growth of the real estate sector is highly dependent on the demand for the corporate environment, office space, and urban and semi-urban accommodations. 


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Given the statistics, starting the entrepreneurial journey in real estate seems to be a very lucrative option. But we cannot get away from the fact that the sector is flooded with both new and established players. To emerge as a leader in the crowded space requires strategic planning to strengthen the foundation. 


Achieving milestones in business is not coincidental or does not come by sheer luck. It’s the result of a pure planning, strategy and hard work. The foundation is very crucial and if you nail it here then you can overcome any harsh situation that comes your way. And this will help if you are ready to embark on a journey towards the real estate sector.

As an entrepreneur, your ambitions and goals need constant nurturing to help you become a disciplined and competitive person. Staying in the game of real estate calls for ample amount of patience and perseverance because instant success is not its nature.  


Below are some of the tips to follow on how to start a real estate business when you have meagre savings: 

Planning is key to a successful business

You start with writing a business plan before starting operations. The planning should include the design of the logo, marketing and brand building strategy, office space, number of employees, and budget breakdown. This will help you to take every step carefully, avoid being chased by the difficulties, and to set realistic goals. If you find it difficult to prepare a business plan, then reach out to an expert to get the right advice on how to structure the information and format. A well-written business plan not only helps you in operating the business but also attracts investors and lenders for financial assistance. 

Finding the niche in the real estate sector

Real estate is a huge industry with four sub-sectors: housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. In-depth research on the market is inevitable to arrive at a decision on which niche in the real estate market works for you and whether the business idea is viable. The priority should be on researching every aspect of the market to save time and money that sometimes go waste in taking the wrong path. The post-research information will help you identify the right skills and ability of yours to start the business. Most of the time we live in our own fantasy world before we do our proper research, which takes us to the real world. 

Generating ideas on brand building 

As rightly said by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.” 


Brand building is the process of generating awareness of your business among customers through various marketing campaigns. The objective is to create a perception about your brand that provides value for customers to appreciate and differentiate your brand from other real estate players. A successful real estate brand is defined by the customer’s holistic perception of your business. You cannot build a brand overnight; it’s a continuous process and an ongoing effort required to build long-term relationships with customers. 

Brand identity and logo designing

Why does your brand exist? What are the vision and mission of your brand? The future success of your real estate business is determined by how well you market your brand among your target customers. You must start creating a clear message of what your brand represents and what value it is bringing for the customers. What is your unique value proposition? In the crowded real estate marketplace, it’s very crucial to develop a very clear and consistent message, and make your presence felt among your target customers. Your organisation's message should reflect in the tagline, logo, and other marketing collaterals. 

Getting seed capital 

If you plan the budget right for your real estate startup, a meagre amount is sometimes enough to start your real estate business. The only factor is avoiding committing the mistake of calculating the entire operational cost. It’s always advisable to estimate the right amount required to survive for the next few months before you start generating revenue. 

Setting up shop

We always search for commercial locations when it comes to setting up shop to draw the attention of passers-by. Though it’s a good idea to start, it might cost you a hefty investment, which is not advisable when you are at an early stage. Online real estate business, however, does not need a physical office at a lucrative location when you are just a beginner. Today, coworking spaces across the country are providing multiple packages for entrepreneurs. They started offering something called ‘virtual office’, which allows you to use their address as your official address and also use their desk twice or thrice a month with the cost ranging from Rs 1,500-2500 for six months. Imagine the cost you can reduce by working from home while using their address. 

Making a strong online presence

It's imperative to ensure a good online presence for your real estate business. Most of the potential clients search online with keywords such as “real estate agent near me” or any other real estate services and products in their vicinity. With SEO optimisation, you should make sure that your website appears on the first page of Google or rank higher on the search results. 

Content marketing strategy 

Content marketing and social media marketing are the ideal and affordable solutions to market your real estate startup. Generating content in the form of blogs and thought leadership articles will help you amplify your presence online. You should choose the topics carefully before stumbling upon writing. What are the latest trends in the real estate market? What are the factors that are driving the growth of real estate sectors? Basically, the kind of content digital-savvy customers want to read about the real estate. Email marketing is also one of the important tools to reach out to your stakeholders such as builders or end customers. Lastly, social media presence allows you to grab the attention of real estate influencers and target consumers with zero cost.

The demand for real estate will breed more opportunities

The demand for residential and commercial realty in India is attributed to increasing incomes, urbanisation, economic growth, and the growing requirements of space from sectors such as education, healthcare, e-commerce and logistics. The government has allowed FDI of up to 100 percent for townships and settlements development projects. The Indian real estate sector has attracted institutional investments worth $30 billion between 2009 and 18. There has never been a better time to take the plunge.


(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)


(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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