Re: ‘Rookie Realtor spouse speaks out‘ (May 10)

Dear Rookie:

The real estate industry would like you to believe that if you step in some cow plop that you are really walking in tall clover. There is little reality left in realty. In short, it is mostly hype and little or no beef. There is no incentive for the national associations, state associations and licensing authorities, local associations, real estate training companies or brokers to limit the size of the agent population. The National Association of Realtors touts having reached 1 million agent members. What they do not tout is that the average licensee in my location and most probably in other locations makes only about $12K per year. Brokers will not share with you that most if not all of that money is spent on agent expenses. That is why the great majority of agents who enter this business remain in the business for only a short period of time.

My advice to you is this…you only live once so live for the things that are important to you, especially your family. You will never get a second chance to go to your son’s big game, or your daughter’s recital. In my opinion, real estate is a very overcrowded and very expensive business to be in. I believe that the kind of investment needed on an annual basis to remain viable in this business is no longer worth the risk. After 34 years in this business, I have for the first time decided to treat it as a part-time business with a part-time income. Life is too important to waste it on an industry that is anything but truthful and way out of control in its number of active agents. Ignore the hype, find a more family-friendly way to earn a living, and respect the words of your spouse and children. If you truly want to “live” life, real estate is no longer an industry that provides the kind of spare time and money that allows you to do so. It has been ruined by greed at every level.

Sam Valenti
St. Charles, Mo.

Dear Rookie:

Have to absolutely agree with the spouse. The real estate business is not this man’s cup of tea. I’ve been in this business over 40 years and it is a great business, but has tremendous ups and downs. A person and their family has to have significant financial resources to back them up when they are starting from scratch. At the very least, a very strong network of friends and family for referrals.

Not a sale in a year! There is a strong message there to this man.

Phil Yasskin
Newport Beach, Calif.

Dear Rookie:

I very much enjoyed your spouse’s article. I, too, did exactly what you did: got my license and then worked for free for months and months, ’til I finally gave up! It wasn’t for me. I made more money selling Mary Kay Cosmetics and got awesome tax benefits from it!

But alas, now I have a “real job” with benefits and a salary and commission. I always felt like real estate was good for those ladies that didn’t have to really work, they just wanted to.

It’s too hard to make a living when you depend on two paychecks. I, too, spend my weekends with my kids and soccer games, etc., and just never found a way to make it work for me either.

I know you’ll get lots of hang in there e-mails, but I just wanted to say you’re not a failure if you throw in the towel! I have had many successes since those days and don’t regret the decision I made.

Good luck to you whatever you do! I admire your courage!

Carol Andrews
Regional Sales Director

Dear Rookie:

Listen, everyone is tired of reading about the ongoing saga with the Rookie. I myself am a rookie, having only had my license (California) for less than a month and I have two deals in escrow. I am already in the million-dollar club. This isn’t saying much because both the homes I sold were over $500,000. Another guy in our office has had his license for three weeks and already has a condo in escrow.

I moved here to take this job from Denver. I sold everything in Denver to come here and pursue real estate. I want to semi-retire in 10 years or less. We get almost 90,000 hits on our Web sites per week. Yes, per week. This is where our leads come from. No cold calling, door knocking or farming. None!

If you really want to continue with real estate you have two options: Move here to Thousand Oaks and my broker/boss will hire you, or find a company using a “Best Image Website” where you are and they will probably hire you because they will have more leads than they can handle.

If you don’t take either of these ideas, then get out of the business and go sell cappuccino at the local farmers market in your area!

Eric Israel
Realty World Equity Center
Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Dear Rookie:

I understand the problem! Last year was my first year in real estate and I sold just one home. Actually it cost me $4,000 to be in business, and my husband asked me if I was ever going to earn any money at all. But I was motivated and worked hard. Now in my second year, I’m in the top 20 of my office (100 agents). If you love what you’re doing and have a family that supports you, you’ll get there!

Gary Greene

Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to

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