If you are thinking about delving into the turbulent world of real estate there are a few things to be aware of before you start. Real Estate is an exciting and sometimes devastating business. It can be feast or famine. It seems right now it’s more in the famine stages for many agents but not for all.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering becoming a Realtor.
1. It is not for the part timer or leisure worker. - If you plan on getting into real estate simply to sell your home or buy a friends home for them, know that it takes a lot of time and money just to get to the point of becoming an agent. It may not be worth your time and money if you are only going to use the license once or twice. If you plan on becoming an agent to make a living, know that it is a full time job that requires a lot of energy and marketing of yourself. You can’t just sit back and wait for real estate deals to drop into your lap. Buyer’s are not ringing phones off the hook looking to buy a house or email boxes flooded with leads. A few years ago, the market was a little better but even those agents that got into the business while it was hot still found they had to work hard just to make a sale.
2. It takes time and money. - The education alone can cost $400 or more a year to maintain. It is a business that requires ongoing education. Most are once a year or once every other year for qualifying clock hours. These classes typically cost money. Your real estate broker may put on free classes once in a while and these are the ones to jump on to collect your continuing education credit. These classes also take a lot of time to complete. Some classes are available online where you can sit in front of your computer and learn, listen and read your real estate updates and information then take online quizzes and tests. The final test to receive the license must be taken at a qualified testing location and it is usually performed on a computer with other classmates. The facilitator can tell you right away whether you passed or not and then pass your score onto your state which in turn sends you the license. The license then must be “hung” with a qualified broker. A real estate agent cannot go out on their own until they become a broker. The broker test is another test altogether; more intricate and detailed and you must be a licensed agent for a certain amount of time before you can go for your broker license.
3. It takes a lot of marketing of yourself. - Most agents or brokers that have been in the business for years have built up a good customer base and live on the referrals from others. If a real estate agent does 30 deals a year, those 30 clients may know 30 other people that they can refer their agent to, provided they did a good job. That customer base helps the agent maintain the business even in slow times. But the new agent may not have a base to start from and this is where many new agents get burned out and quit. Marketing yourself take a lot of time, energy and work. Sitting open houses, spending a lot of money on flyers, marketing the listings you do get as heavily as possible and finding a niche to work with that make buyers come to you first. This initial marketing can cost agents thousands of dollars and considering they have already spent several hundred in education and licenses they might find themselves in the hole fairly quickly.
Before launching into the world of being a real estate agent consider all the steps involved and know that this is truly the career for you. For those dedicated and persistent, it can be a huge payoff with thousands in commissions each month. Getting to this point however, may take years of practice and marketing.