Thinking About A Real Estate Career? What's It Really Like?

three real estate agents viewing tablet and smilingReal estate sales can be a rewarding, but challenging, profession. When you invest the time, energy and passion in the real estate business, the professional satisfaction and financial rewards can be very good, in slow or good economic times. If you are considering becoming a Realtor®, here are some things you should consider:

There is a lot to know to be even moderately proficient at real estate sales, so a good training program offered by the brokerage is paramount to your success. It is surprising to many new agents how much there is to know. Every sale has its own set of circumstances, and people being people add many twists and turns to a real estate transaction. In my experience, the best agents are those who are good listeners, don't jump to conclusions, always get the facts before moving forward or giving advice, and genuinely care about each and every client.

You will be an independent contractor and not an employee, which means you will receive a 1099 at the end of the year, and not a W-2. You will be responsible for making your own tax payments, quarterly or at the end of the year. As an independent contractor, you will be paid a percentage of the commissions you earn. If you don't sell anything, you will receive no compensation. It's a good idea to have a few months of living expenses set aside to give yourself time to get through the training, and the extra time it takes to close a transaction once a sale is made.

One of the most challenging aspects of a real estate career is managing the relationships of buyers and sellers through what can be a very stressful time for them. Often people are not at their best and need constant reassurance from a professional. That's where you come in. You must develop the ability to keep your clients calm through negotiations and diversity. It is rare that an agent just breezes through a transaction. Good agents, however, will handle the majority of the potential issues before they become stressors for their clients.

Yes, you can set your own schedule . . . sort of. Your schedule is often set by the needs of your clients. So, you must be very flexible and available to handle listing appointments, showings, and clients' concerns when they occur. You can, and should, set boundaries with your clients by letting them know when you will be available to them (for instance between 9am and 9pm), and that you will respond to them within a certain period of time. 

If you are sincerely interested in becoming a Realtor®, you should meet with the manager of a brokerage you feel may be a good fit for you. Take a list of all the questions you have, so you can get the answers you need to help you make the right decision. Find out about their training program and their market share and reputation in the local real estate market. If you know any of the agents that work there, talk to them. If the company has happy and successful agents, that's a very good sign that you too will enjoy your new career choice and find the success you are looking for.

Real estate has been a rewarding profession for me. I have enjoyed every day, whether challenging or relaxed. No day is the same as any other day. I love this profession, and perhaps you would too . . . but you will only get out of it what you put into it.

If you would like to learn more about 'a day in the life' of a real estate professional, as well as the process of getting educated and licensed, please contact me. I am happy to speak with you on the phone or meet with you personally at your convenience.  You can also visit our careers page for additional information.