Real estate business

Can you own a real estate business without operating a brokerage house?

Anna Bellomo is the founder and owner of District Homes, a successful boutique real estate business. Ranked number one in the Berkeley area, Bellomo and his team facilitated $ 82.2 million in home sales last year for 74 happy families. Below, Bellomo explains how she built her real estate business.

Bellomo moved from Spain to the United States and after buying her own home in Berkeley, she became curious about a career in real estate. “I bought my house with the help of an agent and liked what she was doing. [My agent] said, you would be a natural – you have to come and join me.

Bellomo had worked in banking before, but with little ones at home she wanted something flexible and didn’t want to commute. So when the opportunity to get into real estate presented itself, it seemed like the perfect fit and Bellomo grabbed it. Despite her early days in the midst of the 2008 housing crisis, she quickly fell in love with the industry.

“The beautiful thing about what we do is that there are so many different things that we have to know how to do. It’s fun because you never get bored. One day you do paperwork. The next day, you are at the registration appointment. The next day you negotiate a deal. Bellomo said.

While working in a small brokerage shop in Berkeley, Bellomo’s career began to blossom but quickly hit a peak. Anna realized that she didn’t have enough time and bandwidth to support all of her clients as she wanted, and that’s when Bellomo decided to put together a team.

A fork in the road

Historically, there have been two radically different paths that successful real estate agents could take at this point: (1) working for a brokerage, serving the business and the broker’s brand; or, (2) open a brokerage shop and serve your own business. The dilemma is that the first option is restrictive. Basically, you are hiring your career instead of owning a business. And the second option involves a lot of work and risk behind the scenes.

Ready to take the plunge, Bellomo was lost. She says, “People identified me with a brand that had become limiting because there was nowhere to grow up with it.” Her brokerage did not have the tools to support the growth of her business, so she began to consider opening her own.

However, while studying for her brokerage license, Bellomo began to realize that she didn’t want to spend her time managing processes, transactions, and marketing. Doing paperwork as part of a transaction is fine, but being stuck behind a screen all day just wasn’t appealing. “In the end, my time is better spent face to face with clients,” she says.

So what should an effective agent do?

The answer to a structural problem in the industry

Bellomo says: “For a very long time, I thought about going alone. I needed tools to grow my business, but I also liked the idea of ​​having a team. There was nothing there that matched the model I had in mind. When Side approached me, I took the call and Side responded to a need that no one else could meet.

After learning that Side would allow her to own her own business without having to operate a brokerage, she decided to take the plunge. Now, Bellomo has full back-end brokerage support, technology tools that make it easy, and comprehensive legal, compliance, marketing and business management resources available at all times.

Side helped Bellomo transition from his existing brokerage house to his new business. “There is so much involved. Change licenses, all your CRMs, your marketing, change online profiles and websites… And when you start a new business, you get a business license, office space, design the office and file with the state. . I wouldn’t have known where to start. Side did all of this for me which was awesome.

Bellomo says: “I had a lot of concerns when I decided to go alone, but I realized that I was not going alone. I was starting something, but I had help. A lot of the worries I would have had I didn’t because Side was there.

About the side:
Side is the only real estate brokerage firm that turns agents into businesses. The company partners exclusively with the best agents to create, develop and nurture their own businesses, without cost, time or risk. Led by seasoned industry professionals and technology innovators, the Side team is continuously developing technology that improves productivity, compliance, marketing, and customer experience – all to support their premier partner agents. Side is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit

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