Thinking of taking the Real Estate Salesperson exam..

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 4
Member
3598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@BellaDee:  I looked into it when I was unemployed and decided to just keep looking for a regular job.  Real estate agents who are starting out don’t make much money at all.  The average in Florida for one starting out is 16k per year.  And there’s no guarantee of even making that.

Post # 5
Member
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m not a real estate agent, but am involved in real estate.  My BIL’s now ex took the MD exam and was licensed as a real estate agent.  She ended up doing absolutely nothing with it, because she just expected work to fall into her lap, and that is not the way it works.    It can be a good career path, but you have to constantly market yourself, make contacts, get out there and push push push.  Also, keep in mind that agents are constantly taking/driving their clients to homes ALL OVER THE PLACE.  The real estate agents I know are extremely driven people, they have a lot of energy and are very enthusiastic about selling and marketing homes.  They are constantly making contacts to further their business, get their name out, get listings, and get homes sold to buyers.  My FIL, a real estate agent and ex-broker (he just sold his business), says that real estate agents are also more than just selling a home, that they need to be in tune with the local area – schools, employment, access to amenities, local community, etc –, because you are also selling a potential buyer on the area. So you need to have your finger on the pulse of your local area and market.  Its so much more than just selling homes, but can be very rewarding if you work very hard.  

 

I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t take the classes or the exam, but if you are looking for an easy part-time job…this isn’t it.    I also can’t imagine starting up a new career while also taking care of a new baby!!!

 

Post # 6
Member
6048 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I know two people that have taken it.  One does nothing with it at all.  The other had to go back to his full time gig and do his real estate nights and weekends.  He knows EVERYONE and had a lot of clients (including me) but the arket tanked and he said it’s not really picking up much for the sellers. 

Post # 7
Member
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@BellaDee:  I too am out of work and was considering doing this myself.  I talked to a friend of mine’s mom, who has been a real estate agent for more than 20 years and she gave me a lot more insight.

She wasn’t trying to talk me out of it, but she did give me some food for thought.  For her, it took YEARS before she was able to make any good money.  For the amount of hours she put into it, she was literally bringing home $10K/year for a very long time.

During the busy season – spring especially – it takes up your entire weekend.  Want to go to your kid’s baseball game?  Not if you have a client and that’s the only time available!  She missed so many of her kids’ games because most are on the weekends, and that’s when most showings are.

She said now that people have the ability to look on the internet for houses, people are MUCH much more demanding, and in more times than not, have absolutely unrealistic expectations.  She has to spent half her time bringing her clients down to earth.

She does residental homes in my area, which is completely saturated with agents, so the competition is really high.  She said the real money is being a broker and not just a sales agent.

I don’t think I’m going to pursue it because my FI already works weekends; we need one of us to have more normal hours with a job.  Real estate does sounds interesting but I don’t think it’s for me.

Post # 8
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I am self employed based out of my home, no education or examination required (I believe you need to test yearly) , and I probably made a higher income in my first year as a business owner than I’d guess 95% of realtors will get to. This is coming from someone who lives in a city with a crazy booming housing market. 

A girlfriend of mine and my cousin both tried to get into real estate in our city, and it was nothing like they expected. Family & friends as clients ran out quickly and the competition is incredibly fierce. New realtors undercut each other to the point that they lose money on a client just to get their names out, and the expenses are quite high with the aggressive advertising and the payment on a nice car to drive clients around in. Sometimes a client will have you cart them around looking at a bunch of homes then ditch you for the realtor with a lower commission once they found the house they wanted. 

Obviously some people thrive in the industry, and it seems that when you’re successful then you’re really successful but I think the failure rate is much higher than it’s made out to be. It takes a long time to build a good customer base and to become a familiar face. 

As for a successful realtor I’ve met, he also worked nights managing crews to work on freight docks haha but that was less about a need for money and more about being a crazy workaholic. He says he made a lot of money at it but his expenses quickly ate away at his profits, so he really did work very, very, hard to have a comfortable enough lifestyle. The only issue being he has to work a lot of evenings and weekends which his wife hates. It didn’t seem to matter to him much because if you spent just a minute or two with him you would see he was born to sell…if you’re born to sell (you’re selling yourself more than anything, nevermind selling houses) then GO FOR IT! Worst case scenario you have your licence and can sell some friends/families homes as side income depending on the regulations in your area. 

I would sooner look into being a broker or even do commercial real estate as the clients tend towards more 9-5 hours and it’s a little less picky than residential. 

Post # 9
Member
3372 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@BellaDee:  I worked in a real estate office decades ago, but what I learned there continues to be true in observations I’ve made since.

If you choose real estate as a career, you need to treat it as a 8 – 10 hours per day job. Go into the office daily. Work 8+ hours a day to promote yourself, your company, your listings.

It’s a field rife with part-timers and amateurs. By the time you get a listing from your friends and family and perhaps a buyer reference or two, that’s it and you are done with the “gimmee” business. The rest you have to go out and get. The business really does nto “fall into your lap” as PP said.

Unless you treat it as a full time job, you won’t learn much, your clients will be ill served, and you’ll be adding to the glut of no-business real estate agents.

 

Post # 11
Member
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@BellaDee:  Sorry if I came across harsh!    I have nothing but respect for those who are in the industry, but I saw my BIL’s (now) ex drop like $5k on the classes, exam, and other expenses and it was just money completely wasted.  I wouldn’t want anyone else to walk into those classes, spend all the start up money, and think that it would be easy peasy to make money right off the bat.  

 

If you have real estate connections, I would hit them up and see if they would walk you through everything you would have to do prior and after getting your exam. See how a normal “week” is for them, and then go from there.  

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