(Closed) How many of you are real estate agents? Is this a good job to get into?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 4
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m not in that job market but I know someone who was.  The money you will make is almost completely commission so it’s difficult to tell you what that would be.  It would depend so much on where you are located and good you are at the job.  I would say it’s a tough thing to get into.  My friend recently let his license lapse because it was very expensive to maintain and he wasn’t making enough money to make it worth it to him.

Post # 5
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My friend just became an agent and she loves it. She took classes and had to pass a test but she said it was all relatively simple. She just sold her first house so she hasn’t been doing it for very long. Also, her husband makes quite a bit of money so I think this is more of a job-hobby than a career she needs.

Post # 6
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m also not in the industry, but I do know that you have to take classes and a test in order to get your real estate license in PA. My brother is a PT Real Estate agent, his BFF is, and my BIL tried to get into it. It’s definitely very difficult. You spend a lot of hours working, and sometimes don’t get much payoff. My brother showed us over 100 houses and got the comission at the end of 9 months of us looking…so definitely a lot of work for not a lot of pay in the beginning.

There’s also a lot to learn in the closing paperwork realm of things. You have to have inspection criteria in by a certain deadline. Deals can fall through for a number of reasons, and not submitting proper paperwork can be part of that. So it’s definitely not an easy thing to get into. I think you have to be serious about committing yourself to it. My BIL didn’t do that, and he’s changing jobs again after only a year.

Post # 7
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

My mom is a real estate agent, and she loves her job. You usually have to take classes and a test. The money, however, it not dependable, especially at the beginning of your career, because it will be harder to get clients and because the economy is so bad. Without jobs, people do not buy houses unless they absolutely have to. Banks are also much more stringent with their home loans these days. Will your fiance/husband be able to support you on his income alone if need be?

As for what it is like, at the beginning there is a lot of grunt work where you are trying to build up a client base. After a few years, if you do a good job, you will be able to work mostly through referral and word of mouth. I have seen a lot of turnover with early career agents, because they don’t realize how much work it will be at first. But if you are committed and work hard, if you are smart and honest and people-friendly, then you will probably succeed in the long run. And there are definite benefits to the job—you can set your own hours, take vacations whenever you want, not be chained to a desk (though you might feel chained to your car…). If you do decide to go for it, you might try teaming up with another agent, so that you will have someone to fill in for you if you want to leave town for a few days or if you get sick. Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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!

Post # 9
Member
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

does your dh make enough to support both of you for a couple of years? it’s not the best career at the moment, and there’s no telling how soon it will rebound.

Post # 10
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I’ve fantasized about getting into this field before, but couldn’t get my head past the hours I’d have to work. People want to look at properties on nights and weekends, so it would be probably retail hours or even worse. For example, Darling Husband and I go to open houses sometimes since we keep thinking about buying a place (yeah, right!) and they are always after 5pm during the week or on Sundays. I’m sure there’s some kind of agent totem pole of power and the ones on the lowest rung have to sit in the open house all day and eventually you’re by appointment only, but still..

Post # 11
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@moderndaisy: I’m sure there’s some kind of agent totem pole of power and the ones on the lowest rung have to sit in the open house all day and eventually you’re by appointment only, but still.

Not really.  Each agent works for themselves.  The money-makers do sometimes get themselves licensed assisstants who can do the open house thing for them, but depending on how many assisstants they have as compared to how many listings they have at one time (which is usually an uneven ratio), they still have to sit on open houses themselves because there are more houses than people.  Sometimes they also ask other agents to man the open house for them in exchange for a piece of the commission or even just entitlement to the people who walk in (who are often in the market but don’t have an agent yet).  But no matter how they handle their business, our high-rollers are still on their phones and in and out of the office every day of the week.

I went to the office Christmas party a couple of years ago and only figured out which ballroom was ours by following the guy who was talking on his bluetooth.  No joke.

Post # 13
Member
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

i currently work for state farm i’m moving to farmers next month because 1) it offers real estate and insurance so you get the best of both worlds and both are pretty much the same 2) boss is my friend 3) good pay and 4) i need to move before our wedding being i live in houston right now and am moving to austin with Fiance wooo! haha

you dont have to go to school but you do take classes every once in a while and you take a test if you have ever been in the insurance corrporate world its pretty much the same

you have to be a talker, a seller, always available, so forth

Post # 14
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@MacFaniam24: I guess I am just thinking about other job opportunities and my husband said I’d be good at real estate, so I told him I’d look into it. Even if Darling Husband does make enough money to be well off, I feel bad not bringing in any income.

You know, you can do it “part-time” (by which I mean you work full-time when you have a listing but only do a couple of listings a year) while you do something else, like substitute teach or whatever.  If you think that’s a good idea though, you’ll have to keep in mind that your license fees and board dues are annual and will have to be paid whether you’re using them or not, and you’ll still have to keep up with the continuing education/renewal classes.  Also, you will have to find an office that allows part-time agents (ours doesn’t, but they don’t kick out anyone who does it either, our manager is too lazy or oblivious or something lol). The point is, if you like doing it and you think about the income as a bonus or something, the extra commission can be nice to have and you won’t burn yourself out turning it into a career.  🙂

Post # 15
Bee
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

I actually worked as a real estate agent last summer.  Whlle the hours were relatively flexible – I could work from home, and as much or as little as I wanted (plus), and I made a decent amount of money for the time I put in (plus), my paycheck was never guaranteed and was based on so many factors so it could never be dependable (negative negative), like @moderndaisy said, in order to make money I had to put in long hours, particularly in the evenings and weekends (negative), the whole culture was a little dishonest for me, eventhough I tried not to be personally (negative), and people who are looking for homes are often stressed and as a result can be terribly rude (note: I am going into social work, I can deal with people’s problems – but this was targeted at me – I became the bad guy – negative).  However, at the end of the day, I was glad to have the experience.  Additionally, some people really love it!  Also, I don’t know where you live, but NYC is a particularly tenuous market, so my experience was probably different than it would be in most other places.  And I only worked on rentals.  Please feel free to PM if you want to know more about my experience or are looking for ways to get into the field.

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