Working as a real estate agent can be a lucrative and rewarding career to pursue, especially if you like working with people. Whether you want to switch careers entirely or simply work as an agent part-time, there are plenty of reasons to enter the industry in the coming year.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of the job and offer some helpful tips for entering the industry.
What to Know Before Starting a Career in Real Estate
Starting a career in real estate can be both exciting and challenging. However, before diving into the industry, there are some factors you should consider to be well-prepared.
One of these factors is costs. There are upfront costs involved, such as licensing courses, state licensing exams, background checks, and joining real estate associations. Plus, once you're an agent, you'll have ongoing expenses like MLS (Multiple Listing Service) access, marketing, and possibly desk fees at a brokerage. Being financially prepared for your new career journey should be top of mind.
Speaking of financial preparation, keep in mind that income in real estate is often commission-based. This means it can be inconsistent, especially when starting. It might be some time before you close your first deal, so having your finances arranged in advance is beneficial.
While commission-based also means there's generally no cap on how much you can earn in real estate, remember that your income often correlates with the amount of work and dedication you put in. Therefore, consistency in your work is key.
Additionally, while scheduling is flexible, real estate often requires working evenings, weekends, or holidays to accommodate clients' availability. It's not always a 9-to-5 job.
However, even when spending loads of time to meet clients’ needs, you should still be prepared for rejection. Therefore, being resilient is of utmost importance in the real estate field. Know that not every lead will turn into a sale, and not every client will choose to work with you. Rejection is a part of the industry, and resilience is crucial.
Remember, building a successful real estate career takes time. The first year can be particularly challenging, but with perseverance, the rewards—both personal and financial—can be significant.
Why Real Estate Is a Good Career
Now, let’s dig into the benefits of working in the real estate industry.
1.No College Education Required
College is not for everyone. According to research.com, around 40 percent of undergraduate students leave college every year. There are many reasons why some might not find college to be the right fit, including:
- Financial pressure
- Poor social fit
- Lack of family support
- Length of time to get a degree
While college is expensive, time-consuming, and socially unappealing to some, real estate education is cost-effective, brief, and can be completed on your schedule from the comfort of your home, office, or nearby coffee shop!
As an industry professional, you get to work when you want, and however long you want. All of your success is entirely up to you, and you dictate what you want to do with your time.
Maybe you want to go on a week-long vacation or take a day or two off, or maybe you want to work 10 hours each day to get ahead and expand in your market. It's entirely up to you!
3.Unlimited Income Potential
In real estate, you directly control your annual income. Unlike a salaried position, you are entirely in control of how much money you make. You truly can make as little or as much as you want, depending on how much work you put in and how dedicated you are to becoming successful. This makes real estate one of the best career paths for entrepreneurs and individuals with drive, focus, and a strong work ethic.
While a real estate career can be unpredictable at times, one thing is always the same: people need houses. The ongoing demand for housing is directly related to the need for real estate professionals for several reasons. As people continue to buy and sell their homes, there’s a constant need for agents to help facilitate these transactions. This is true in any market. If there is high demand and low supply, the market is more competitive, leading to a need for experienced agents with strong negotiation skills to help secure a sale. If there is a high number of homes available and not much demand, a buyer will still need an agent to help market their home in a unique way to help it stand out from the crowd.
5.Opportunities for Growth
Working as a real estate agent doesn’t mean doing the same thing for the rest of your life. There are numerous opportunities for growth and advancement in a real estate career. Agents can specialize in a certain niche, like residential, commercial, or even luxury properties. Specialization can lead to higher earnings and increased expertise. Experienced agents can also work their way up the ladder to creating their own brokerage, giving them the chance to build their own real estate business.
When it comes down to it, being an agent is all about making people’s dreams come true. Real estate agents have the privilege of assisting clients in finding their forever home or making a lucrative property investment to gain financial stability. The satisfaction of helping people achieve their real estate goals can be incredibly rewarding.
7.Meet New People
Real estate is a relationship-driven industry. Not only will you be meeting new people every day, but you’ll also learn how to cultivate a strong network among peers, potential clients, and other professionals in related fields (like mortgage brokers, inspectors, and contractors).
One way many realtors build their network is by joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or other local real estate associations. Besides networking opportunities, these organizations offer additional training and other resources.
Keep in mind that membership often requires adherence to specific ethical guidelines. Agents are expected to adhere to a real estate code of ethics. Maintaining honesty, integrity, and putting clients' interests first is essential to long-term success and reputation. There may also be annual fees involved for membership.
Last (but certainly not least), real estate is a constantly evolving industry, and staying updated within the industry is a must. To stay updated, complete continuing education as required by your state for license renewal. This includes understanding market trends, changes in real estate laws, and new marketing and sales techniques.
How to Start Real Estate Career
Now that we’ve introduced all the pros of your new career, let’s go over how to get you there.
Each state in the U.S. has its educational prerequisites for obtaining a real estate license. The first step to becoming a real estate agent is to look at the requirements in your area, then enroll in a state-approved real estate pre-licensing course.
Take the Licensing Exam
After completing the required education, you'll need to pass a state licensing exam. This will require you to study extensively using course materials, practice tests, and possibly exam prep courses. You can schedule the exam through the designated testing agency for your state.
Choose a Brokerage
Before you can practice as a real estate agent, you'll typically need to work under a sponsoring broker, especially when you're just starting. To get started, research brokerages in your area. Consider factors like the brokerage's reputation, commission structure, training opportunities, and support for new agents.
Obtain Your License
Once you've passed the exam and chosen a brokerage, you can apply for your real estate license through your state's real estate commission. You may also need to submit a background check and pay a licensing fee, depending on your state.
Invest in Marketing and Personal Branding
Develop a professional image with business cards and a website and build an online presence with social media marketing. You can use Facebook Ads to become visible to the right audience and get qualified leads.
Ready to start your new career as a real estate agent? Head to our website to enroll in our convenient online pre-licensing courses today!
Written and Published by: VanEd