Fad.n. A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze. trend n. The general direction in which something tends to move; 2. A general tendency or inclination; 3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.
Hollywood – the entertainment capital of the world. Lights, camera, action. The place where dreams come true and hearts are broken every day of the week. People of all ages arrive here each day to try to stake their claim and take a piece of the action. Lots of actor and actress wannabes from every corner of America.
So given that reputation, it came as a real surprise to me that three of my friends have announced in the past few weeks that they are becoming real estate agents. Two friends are becoming agents to buy, sell and renovate properties for their own portfolios and one wants to represent buyers and sellers. That’s three in less than a month.
“Real estate agents?” I asked in a perplexed voice to my husband when he announced this to me for the third time in as many weeks. “These are people who work in the entertainment industry – the industry that is Hollywood. That’s the reason people come here. What’s up with that?”
“They think they can make a lot of money, take great vacations, have complete control over their schedule, wear nice clothes and drive expensive cars,” he said.
“Can they be serious?” I asked. “After all, isn’t it a known fact that less than 10 percent of all real estate agents sell 100 percent of the properties? What about the “bust,” rising interest rates, rising inventory and people leaving the state of California with all of their equity?”
My husband says maybe he should start selling Mercedes or Prada to help them with their transition.
What has provoked this change? All are smart, handsome (none are women), and considered to be highly successful by their peers. All have good taste and own beautiful homes that they have either renovated or refurbished to look like something out of Metropolitan Home. All have made money – either on paper or in the bank – from buying and selling their own properties over the past few years.
But just because I’m a great cook doesn’t mean I’m opening a restaurant. Chez Julie?
“It’s a low cost of entry for something with a potentially huge return,” one friend said when I called to congratulate him on his new career. “I needed a change and this is something I know that I’m good at,” said another. “Besides, you can make a lot of money.”
Wow, has becoming a real estate agent become one of those really sexy professions?
The bottom line is that the phenomenal record sales of the past few years have made being a real estate professional extremely appealing to thousands of people who have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and an interest in using their personal talents and energy to develop their own business. The outsourcing, layoffs and other stresses of the business world (dead-end jobs, ageism) compare pretty evenly with the unpredictability and sometimes disappointing days as a real estate agent when a deal blows up or a buyer changes his/her mind. And obviously people who have bought and sold for their own portfolio have won in the past few years.
So come, come all. Join the masses taking their real estate tests and buying luxury sedans as their new offices. The water’s just fine.
Julie Brosterman is a consultant to the real estate technology, mortgage and servicing industries. She lives in Los Angeles and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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