I’m not an agent, but I have worked in a real estate office for more than 5 years, and for a real estate lawyer a couple years before that. I can tell you I know more about real estate than many of the agents in my office do, which is pretty sad.
If you want the truth as I see it, making money in real estate IS possible, but it’s very difficult. It takes a certain kind of personality and you will need a lot of perseverence to make it work. To start, you take classes in Phases, after which there is a test. The test (at least here, I’m not sure where you’re from) is no longer open book, just fyi.
A lot of people think real estate is this “easy” cashload, you just get a listing and make a billion dollars when the sale closes. Not so! Most of our new agents get their first listing through a family member. After that, it depends on you and how you get your name out there so you can get more listings. The only pay you get is commission, and your license is expensive to maintain: rent for your office, license fees, Board dues, advertising your listings AND yourself, etc. Plus you have your own regular at-home expenses that will also come out of whatever commission you make. The thing about real estate is that you should only do it if you really WANT to be in real estate, and if you understand that it will take a lot of hard work (and maybe even a long time) to get into a secure career. Even then, the market is up and down and you have to be prepared for years when you will make more or less based on that fluctuation.
We have agents who make a half million a year doing this, and others who haven’t done a deal in years and are living off whatever personal wealth or extra family income they have. The truth about the market (again, in my area) is that there are about 30,000+ agents, and the top 10% of them make 90% of the money. Sad but true. That 10% worked their asses off because this is really what they want to be doing, and they’re raking in serious $$$ as their reward, (which is only fair, when you think about it). Others are doing well enough to be comfortable, and others only last a few months because it isn’t what they thought it would be, so it really depends on what your expectations are.
I would recommend thinking about how much income you are expecting or think you would need in order to be satisfied, consider how much work, time and energy will go into acheiving that goal, and then if you still think it’s a good fit for you, go researching the office you’d want to work for and find out what your overhead costs would be. Their managers will be happy to answer your questions.
After that, if you stick to it, work your ass off, and if you know your stuff, you’ll be fine. 🙂 Good luck!