Becoming a real estate agent is challenging, taking more time and devotion than your average career – particularly at the time you launch yourself into the profession. While your hours will be crazy, your financial investment significant, and you’ll have to wait a while for a return – the amount of money you can earn, and how quickly you can advance your career are nearly limitless compared with many traditional 9-5 career paths. As you consider the benefits and drawbacks of launching into the world of real estate, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge… Review this shortlist of essentials you need to answer, and you may find it’s the dream career for you!
Do I have the Startup Capital?
As a budding agent, you’ll need some serious money to get started in the real estate game. You’ll likely be getting hired by a real estate fire, who require monthly fees of $500 – $1,000 just to be associated with them, and receive clients from their national and/or local branding. Be prepared with at least 3 months of this money saved to burn – before expecting to see a dime come your way profit wise. In addition, most real estate agents are expected to fund their own advertising fees. So, while you are benefitting from the national branding the agency gives you, as well as the “walk in” clients that might lead to commissions – you need to advertise your own name in local papers, possibly billboards, radio – or wherever else people might begin to associate you with being the best agent in your community. This can and will cost hundreds or even thousands each month. All of this is in addition to the money that you’ll need to live off of before you start earning commissions for your real estate sales. But, if you can invest in these things, and do them smartly – you’ll begin to see excellent returns within months – and your income can be very large in a relatively short amount of time.
Can I Handle the Schedule?
Real Estate is all about serving the customer. As you work to sell people’s homes and other property – you’re working at their whimsy. This means your client can call and will call you on nights, weekends, and whenever else they feel they might want to have their home shown – or see a home to buy. If buyers for your client’s property call you in the middle of the weekend, and want to see the house, you don’t have to say yes – but it can be the difference between selling the property or not. Which, in addition to another commission you might be missing – you’re also possibly missing the referral from a customer on how quickly and effectively you sold their property, or helped them get a great new home. As you become more successful, you’re need to oblige these kinds of oddball time requests will reduce – because you’ll have more demand for your business, that you can dictate when you’re available. However, as you start out especially, if you have lots of responsibilities with family, or other obligations that will obstruct you from making these personal time sacrifices, you probably shouldn’t get into the business.
Do I LOVE Networking?
If you are a hard worker, but expect to have your business present itself to you – and you do the work from there – you are in for a big surprise with real estate. Being an agent is about marketing not only your business, but yourself. Your work promoting yourself and your abilities is never done – no matter where you go. While you don’t want to be a pushy salesperson all of the time, you should always be prepared to use a social situation as an opportunity. The fact is, you never know what will emerge based on your efforts to keep yourself top of mind as “the agent”. It’s essential to always keep marketing materials like the occasional printed brochure, or custom printed business cards on you at all times. If someone mentions they “might like to call you and ask you about that sometime”, you can’t rely on them to remember you and think about you one sunny Sunday afternoon – you have to be the reason they remember. Hand them a card, and let them leave it on their fridge. When the moment is right – they’ll turn to you for business. If all of this sounds like way too much work, or just “slimy” in your opinion, than you shouldn’t enter the world of real estate. If it sounds easy, and fun – it could be for you!