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Small Business Loans for Real Estate Agents

The corporate players in the real estate industry make it almost impossible for small businesses to start and grow. Secondly, many real estate agents fail as they don’t have enough capital to start and sustain their business. On this page, our experts will present the top loans for real estate agents and our recommended lenders.

Written by Brian Huber, updated on 11/11/2021

At a glance Starting out in a competitive environment of real estate isn’t always easy. There are a few rules you will need to follow to get your piece of the $2.7 trillion pie. You need to know the ins and outs of the industry and you must be able to develop connections. You will also need the know-how to predict the development and economics of the real estate industry. There are many types of available business loans that can help you get started. 

A Quick Overview of The Best Small Business Loans for Real Estate Agents

In addition to all the usual small business funding opportunities, the real estate industry has specific loans that are tailored to the needs of agents. This section outlines the most common loan varieties and our recommended lenders.

Financing Need

Best Loan Type

Loan Features 

Recommended Lender

Working capital, expansionLong-Term loans,
Short-term working capital loans
  • Term loans from $25,000 to $250,000 for up 36 months
  • Rates as low as 8.99%
  • Funding as soon as 72 hours
  • Working capital loans from $25,000 to $2 million
Biz2Credit

Owner-occupied real estate or long-term equipment purchases

SBA CDC/504

  • Amount: Up to $5.5 million
  • Term: Seven years for working capital, 10 years for equipment, and 25 years for commercial
  • Interest: Up to 8%, including the prime rate
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 4-8 weeks

Fundbox

Working capital, equipment purchases

Short term loans, long-term loans, credit lines, SBA loans, alternative financing

  • Working capital loans up to $400,000 repayable over 6 to 18 months
  • Expansion loans up to $250,000 repayable over 18 or 24 months
  • Funding as quickly as 48 hours

Credibly

Operating expenses, equipment acquisition, bad credit loansTerm loans
  • Loans of up to $500,000 for various terms
  • Up to $150,000 for equipment financing & leasing
  • Funding in as little as 24 hours
National Funding

Before the longer-term financing comes along

Bridge loans

  • Amount: ~$50,000
  • Term: 6 months to 2 years
  • Interest: Starting from as low as 4.8% (with the recommended lender)
  • Time to get the loan: 26 hours (with the recommended lender)

BlueVine

Working capital, expansion

Line of credit

  • Loans of up to $100,000
  • Terms of 12, 18, or 24 months
  • Weekly or monthly payment frequency

Headway Capital

Best Real Estate Agent Loans - Full Overview

Real estate agent loans can come to the rescue when your business needs a kick-start in order to soar to success.  Let's dive into each of the loan types outlined above to better understand their use cases.

1. Biz2Credit - Best for Long-Term Loans

biz2credit

Biz2Credit long-term loans have repayment terms of up to 36 months. Borrowing of $25,000 to $250,000 allows for business growth and expansion over time. Requirements for term loan applicants are a credit score of 660 or higher, $250,000 or more in annual revenue, and at least 18 months in business.

Working capital financing is also available from Biz2Credit for small businesses with immediate cash needs. These loans are typically used to cover one-time expenses, pay operational costs, add to staff, or expand a workspace. Working capital loan requirements are a credit score of 575 or higher, $250,000 or more in annual revenue, and at least 6 months in business. 

A short application for pre-approval connects a small business applicant to a funding specialist for structuring an ideal financing arrangement. Loans are approved within 24 hours and funded in 72 hours.

Read the full Biz2Credit review for more details.

2. Fundbox - Best for SBA CDC/504

This loan is most useful if you need to buy real estate and long-term machines. The CDC stands for the Certified Development Company program. The CDC pays for half of the loan, letting the bank take responsibility for the other half. You will need to make a down payment of 10-20% and the loan will take a few weeks before it is approved. 

This loan is ideal for real estate companies that boast a good credit standing and substantial tax return. These funds can help you boost your business, acquire new properties, and help with expansion.

With no monthly fees, minimums, and collateral, Fundbox is a friendly option for your SBA loan needs. Fundbox offers short-term loans (12 and 24 weeks) ranging between $1,000 and $100,000. Visit the lender's website to ensure that you meet their requirements.

Read the full Fundbox review for more details.  

3. Credibly - Best for Equipment Loans

Credibly has term loans of up to $250,000 available for business expansion, including equipment purchases and adding locations. Among the borrowing possibilities are SBA guaranteed loans. 

Also available at Credibly are working capital loans of up to $400,000 that help businesses meet operational costs. These loans are generally available to experienced businesses that simply need to stabilize cash flow. In addition, Credibly provides alternative financing options such as merchant cash advance financing.

Lending decisions are made using a data scoring model with a human touch. Businesses applying for loans at Credibly provide basic information for prequalification. Credibly assesses an applicant’s credit history, business cash flow, and bank statements, among other factors addressed in a simple 10-minute online application. A team member with Credibly then helps determine the best funding option for meeting short-term needs as well as long-term goals.

Read the full Credibly review for more details.

4. National Funding - Best for Business Loans with Bad Credit

National Funding offers a variety of financing solutions for small businesses, including loans for bad credit situations and first-time borrowers. A lending specialist communicates with the applicants for tailoring financing to the specific circumstances. National Funding has provided over $3 billion to more than 50,000 businesses since 1999. 

Funds are available for paying vendors, expanding facilities, and adding staff. National Funding offers direct loans as well as alternative lending programs, such as merchant cash advance financing. Repayment terms are structured to meet the operational needs of a specific borrower.

Loans for equipment purchases are also offered to entrepreneurs in business for at least six months and credit scores of more than 575. 

Read more in the full National Funding review.

5. BlueVine - Best for Bridge Loans

Bridge loans are short-term, small loans used to cover your expenses before you receive your principal loan. These are popular with larger purchases like hotels and buildings. As easy as they're to get, they do come with relatively high interest rates.

Real estate bridge loans can be useful if you want to renovate a property and aren’t able to qualify for a mortgage. The down payment is around 10-20%, compared to the higher, 20-35%, that come with traditional commercial loans.

If you need to invest some money in the property you are working on before you sell, a bridge loan may work for you. A bridge loan is also useful if you are waiting for longer-term financing to arrive. 

BlueVine is one of our recommended options for bridge loans and short-term small business funding agreements in general. They review your application online and take you through the process as soon as you're approved. You need a credit score of 600 and a turnover of at least $10,000 a month to qualify for a loan with BlueVine.

Read the full BlueVine review for more details. 

6. Headway Capital - Best for Line of Credit

A line of credit from Headway Capital allows drawing on funds when needed. Interest is owed only on the money that’s been used. Payments are based on flexible terms of either 12, 18, or 24 months. 

As the principal is repaid, the revolving credit line is available for future use up to the loan limit. A new repayment term is selected each time funds are drawn on the line of credit.

Headway Capital evaluates more than an applicant’s credit score. Also assessed in the credit decision is the length of time in business, annual revenue, and purpose of the financing requested. Borrowers must have been in business for at least one year and have greater than $50,000 of annual revenue. Pre-approval of loans happens within one day. Three months of bank statements are provided for the final approval of borrowers.

Read the full Headway Capital review for more details. 

Recommended Reading: Best Retail Business Loans for 2021

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Real Estate Agency?

According to research, you will need to invest at least $10,000, to get started with your real estate agency. 

If you're looking out for franchising opportunities, the costs can be much higher, up to $200,000. Plus you will need to invest ongoing capital. Also, it can be hard for new businesses to meet the license renewals, listing prices, marketing expenses, and other such fees.

The first piece of advice a seasoned agent will give you is to ensure you have a safety net. You should also keep your personal assets and work assets separate. 

In addition to the finances you will have already spent on your education, exams, and licenses, here are a few other categories that you need to consider:

  • Property listing (varies): Depending on what service you're using, they either charge a percentage or a flat fee. 
  • Office budget (varies): When you start from zero, you might be working from your bedroom via online channels. However, buyers usually take you more seriously when you meet them face to face. You'll have to rent an office and set up a friendly operation at some point. Here is where you'll need to pay for office space, stationery, utilities, and insurance.
  • Staff expenses ($4,000): We assume that you've hired two brokers who also need to earn commissions.
  • Marketing ($1,500): You can only go as far as your marketing efforts take you. Sure, you can work on word-of-mouth advertising, but you need an online presence, printed branding, and tools for lead generation. All that costs money.

As you can see, you will need quite a large sum as your startup capital. You will also need cash flow to cover the thousands of dollars of monthly spendings. 

Recommended Reading: Best Hotel Financing Loans for 2021

Loans for Realtors Requirements

Although different lenders will ask you to show specific documents, we will outline a few standard requirements to guide you during preparation. You need to have a full review of your business financials, including tax returns, records, cash flow proof for the loan period, credit reports, and a business plan.

Most of the time, small real estate agency get financed by their owner or partners' funds. This means that personal credit scores and history are also a top priority for lenders. The bank or the credit organization might reject the credit if the personal credit standing isn't good enough.

Recommended Reading: Best Restaurant Business Loans for 2021

Can Real Estate Agents With Bad Credit Get a Loan?

Real estate agents need working capital financing, which is difficult to obtain from traditional lenders unless the loan has an SBA guarantee or the agent has exceptional credit. Fortunately, a variety of alternatives are available to real estate agents from non-bank lenders. 

Alternative sources generally desire lending to real estate agents that have been in business for at least a year, have $100,000 of annual revenue, and credit scores greater than 600. However, newer agents or those with bad credit may qualify for shorter term financing, which entails borrowing less at slightly higher interest. 

See Our Additional Guides on Industry-Specific Loans

Bottom Line

Real estate is a competitive niche for new businesses, especially when they have no means to invest a lump sum of starting capital. As described above, there are a variety of loan types that can help you boost your business during any stage of its development. Be smart about the amount and repayment mechanics, and you're bound to succeed.