Almost 10% of Americans move to a new home each year. While many individuals relocate within the same city or state, others move to neighboring states or across the country. When people move long distances, they face unique challenges, such as storing and transporting their belongings and locating a suitable home to move to.

Real estate agents who know how to help their clients navigate a long-distance purchase and move out of state can attract clientele in need of these services.

Take these strategic steps to expand your real estate practice

Partner with other realtors.

Create a network with other reputable real estate agents. Identify areas where you’d like to sell properties. You may also be interested in selling specific properties, such as vacation homes, waterfront properties, or mountain homes. Google relevant search terms, such as “mountain homes for sale” to locate realtors who specialize in those types of properties in other states. Agents who represent buyers and agents who represent sellers usually split the commission from the property’s sale. Review websites and listings to learn more about realtors you’re considering a partnership with. You can contact realtors to formalize an agreement, and when you have appropriate clientele, you can refer your clients to the real estate agency you’re partnering with. In this scenario, you could negotiate a referral fee but would not be the agent of record handling the sale.

Obtain licenses in other states.

You can expand your business by obtaining your realtor’s license in other states. Real estate agents must be licensed to sell property, and they may only operate in the state that issued their license. Some states do have reciprocity agreements. If you’re licensed in a state with these agreements, your license will qualify you to work in states with these agreements in place.

You may also qualify for a license in another state by taking the agent’s exam but not be required to complete the coursework. Some neighboring states allow realtors to qualify without redoing their training.

Other states do not have reciprocal agreements in place. To obtain a license in those states, you will be required to complete the training requirements again. Identify which states it makes sense for you to be licensed in. Once you obtain additional licenses, you will be qualified to sell property in those states.

Use secure document sharing tools.

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Use secure document sharing to obtain and transfer documents for your clients. Secure document sharing systems enable you to protect client and business data and sensitive documents safely, while ensuring all relevant parties have the information they need. If you need a client to sign paperwork when they’re out of state, you can use secure document sharing to transfer the files, or even entire folders, and have them sign the documents and return them through the same document sharing tool. You can also use secure document sharing cloud services to access necessary paperwork from any location, which means that you will still be able to access all of your files, even if you need to travel out of state for your work

Set up virtual tours online.

Online virtual tours can be an effective way of featuring homes to clients who cannot visit them in person. The home is staged and filmed. Some virtual tours allow viewers to choose rooms they want to see and pan across the room in question. These virtual tours are several room tours presented in one location. Other virtual tours flow from room to room in a video format and allow viewers to get a sense of the property. This way you can show off the additional bedroom, patio, backyard, bathrooms and other amenities of a property like a mountain cabin without having to actually take a mountain retreat with your clients.

Network with relevant professionals.

People who are buying a home need the services of multiple professionals. As you expand your business, form partnerships with relevant local professionals. You can refer your clients to home inspectors when they’re ready to have a home inspected. They may also benefit from referrals to tradespeople if they need to estimate repair costs for the property.

Buyers also need movers to help them transport and unload possessions. You can appeal to a broad client base by keeping a list of relevant industry professionals who serve the region they’re moving to because you will save your clients time and simplify the moving process for them.

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