Are you thinking about a career as a real estate agent? It can be a rewarding career, but like all professions, it has its pros and cons.
Here’s everything you need to know.
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What A Real Estate Agent Does
Real estate agents help buy, sell, and rent homes. Some specialize in certain areas, such as luxury homes or investment homes. As a real estate agent, you not only sell homes, but you sell yourself – your expertise, knowledge, customer service, and marketing skills. You sell homebuyers and home sellers on your ability to help them achieve their goals, whether buying or selling a home.
The Pros Of Being A Real Estate Agent
All jobs have pros and cons, but being a real estate agent provides plenty of benefits if you have an interest in working in real estate.
Many jobs have income limits. Once you hit that ceiling, you can’t make any more money unless you change companies and/or positions which usually involves going back to school. As a real estate agent, you’re in charge of your income.
Even if you work with a base salary (some companies offer this), you have unlimited potential with commissions. You get out of the job what you put into it. Work hard and the sky is the limit with earning potential whether you specialize in a specific area, become the community ‘go-to’, or provide such exceptional service that everyone refers you.
Real estate agents don’t work 9 to 5. They work the hours they want to work. Again, you get out of it what you put into it. If you work a lot of hours, you may make more, but even if you work fewer hours, but they are quality hours, meaning you work hard and provide exceptional service, you may make even more money working fewer hours.
Few jobs provide emotional fulfillment. You often feel like you’re working for the greater good of your boss or the company owner, but that doesn’t provide much emotional fulfillment.
When you’re a real estate agent, you work to help people achieve their dreams of homeownership or even selling their home and achieving financial peace. There are many angles you can take as a real estate agent that will help you feel like you’re fulfilling your purpose here. Whether you help a family find the perfect home or you help a seller get top dollar for his home, it’s a great feeling to help others.
You Are A Business Owner
Even if you work for a brokerage or company, you essentially work for yourself. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck or deadlines you must meet. You may have quotas to stay with the brokerage, but overall, you are on your own.
This has its downsides, which we’ll discuss below, but overall owning your own business provides the freedom most people want. You aren’t tied down to a desk or have to perform certain tasks – every day is different.
The Cons Of Being A Real Estate Agent
Every decision in life has its good and bad sides. Understanding both sides of the equation can help you determine if real estate is right for you.
It Can Take A While To Get Going
You won’t sell homes right away. It may take months, or longer. You may take years to get established in your community or you may realize a lot of ups and downs. It can feel a lot like feast or famine as a real estate agent. Some months you may feel like the income is limitless and other months it may feel like ramen and water are all you can afford.
There Can Be A Lot Of Rejection
You won’t be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ and that’s okay. But you have to be able to take rejection. You will do a lot of cold calling and trying to win people over, but you won’t win them all. You’ll have buyers and sellers turn you down. It’s hard not to take it personally, but you can’t if you want to succeed.
Paydays Can Seem Few And Far Between
Even if you’re a successful real estate agent, paydays take a long time. You can’t control how long a sale takes. Some close quickly, within a week or two and others take months. It depends on the borrowers, lenders, and sellers. There are a lot of ‘hands in the pot’ and one small issue could delay everything.
You’ll Work With Difficult People
All jobs have difficult people, but when you’re a real estate agent, you will deal with people from all walks of life. Some will be great and others will test your patience more than your children do. You have to withstand many personalities and needs to succeed.
What To Consider Before Becoming A Real Estate Agent
Choosing your career is a big decision. Before you become a real estate agent, consider:
- Are you a self-starter? No one will push you to get the sales, but if you don’t get them you won’t make money.
- Do you have a nest egg saved? It takes a while to get going, you need at least 6 months of expenses set aside just in case.
- Are you willing to work nights and weekends? You have to work when your clients are available, which may include a lot of nights and weekends.
- Do you have a specialty or passion in real estate? You’ll need to set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.
Real estate can be a rewarding and demanding career. If you’re focused and dedicated, it can be a great way to make a living. It’s also a great part-time gig for those who don’t want to give up the stability of their full-time job but have a passion to help others with their real estate transactions.