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Noel A. Edwards
Start your own brokerage

Think you’ve got what it takes to run your own company? Here are some tips from Noel A. Edwards who successfully founded Sabrina Realty in Ft. Lauderdale, a multimillion-dollar producing boutique firm.

1. Put Start-up Funds Aside.
Have at least six months’ worth of income in reserve before you open your business. [Then] try to save part of what you earn—those funds will carry you through the tough times.
2. Apply for Licensing. Get the real estate brokerage license or become incorporated before you get office space.
3. Enlist the Help of a CPA. Hire a CPA to help file articles of incorporation. Before you file, you’ll need to come up with several names for your company because your first choice might be someone else’s.
4. Buy Enough Insurance. You don’t want to be under- or overinsured.
5. Cut Costs. You don’t need expensive office furniture; scratch and dent will do. Don’t scrimp on technology, though, because you’ll replace used equipment sooner than you think. My sign was my biggest expense: I spent about $4,000 for my[neon] sign.
6. Open a Post Office Box, Multiple Bank Accounts. Have all your important correspondence from the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), the insurance company, and so forth, sent to a post office box. You’ll also need at least two bank accounts. I have an operating account, a general escrow account and a rental management escrow account.
7. Find the Right People. The associates in my office are my business family. I don’t hold anybody’s hand, but I will step up to the plate when they need me.

Noel A. Edwards is the founder of Sabrina Realty in Fort Lauderdale, where he specializes in preconstruction. He is the 2006 chairperson of the Florida Association of Realtors ® (FAR) Professional Development Committee, serves on his local Board of Directors and previously served for three years on the Economic Development Board for Lauderdale Lakes.