I didn’t intend to get into real estate full time.
I was a curious high school kid, prepped to go to college without a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I liked interacting with people. I liked being out and about every day (not stuck in a stuffy office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and I loved Million Dollar Listing and shows on HGTV.
Now, I also knew that I shouldn’t believe everything that I saw on TV. So, as every normal 17-year-old student does, I got an internship at a local real estate brokerage.
What happened? I loved it.
I loved the fast-paced nature of a deal. I loved solving the puzzles that are sure to come up in every transaction. I loved the hunt for the right house that someone can turn into a home.
But that’s not all that hooked me into this wild ride and jumpstarted a career before I was even legally allowed to drink.
Looking back at it now, more than four years later, there are a ton of other things that drew me to real estate — reasons that make real estate a great career for the millennial generation.
5 reasons I fell for real estate
There are endless outlets for creative folks in the real estate industry.
As Gary Vaynerchuk talked about in his keynote speech at ICSF in August, you’re a media company first and foremost.
Being a media company means putting out great content, whether it’s writing, photography, videography, graphics, a website, etc. This leaves a ton of space for a creative outlet while still running your own business.
I personally love photography, and I shoot all of the photos and video for our company’s listings. That’s my creative outlet, but there are tons of options.
And if creativity isn’t your thing, you can always find someone else to do the heavy lifting.
2. Your own business
Millennials love to feel free. Free from the confines of a desk, from the pressure of a horrible manager and free to pursue opportunities of interest.
What better way to be free than to run your own business? Now, this doesn’t come without its own challenges, but it does afford you the chance to do things your way.
3. A collaborative environment
Running a business certainly isn’t easy. It takes hard work, hustle, energy, motivation and so much more to be successful.
Thankfully, there is an incredible network of professionals across the country who are willing to share their ideas and best practices and who are willing to provide constructive criticism to your new ideas.
I was incredibly lucky to find a team with a collaborative atmosphere, and I would encourage any new real estate agent, especially a millennial agent, to find a brokerage built on teamwork and collaboration.
4. Endless potential
You get out as much as you put in. If you’re willing to put in long hours, start from the bottom, work your way up and not give up until you succeed — your success and earning potential are endless.
5. Geographic flexibility
One of the great things about real estate is that no matter where you go, there are going to be homes and people who buy and sell them.
For the millennial who wants to choose where he or she lives, real estate allows tons of freedom to do just that.
Want to live near where you grew up? What better way to show off some of the best parts of your hometown. Want to move to a huge city? Pick up, and go!
What millennials need to know to get started
Now, what are the basics that you need to know to get started? Be aware that things don’t happen as quickly as you might think.
It takes at least three to six months to start having closings.
When I got started, it took me nearly seven months to get my first listing, and almost 11 months before I had my first closing. Keep in mind that it’s difficult for clients to trust the 18-year-old who they’ve never met with one of their biggest financial investments.
How do you stay afloat?
So, how do you make enough money during the beginning? You either need to have a solid savings account or find additional income streams.
I spent those first seven to nine months working as an assistant for another agent in my office, which provided a small income stream while getting started.
Seek out a team who might be looking for a new listing or transaction coordinator. Often, these positions will pay enough to get you by, while providing you experience and allowing you to prospect for new clients.
Real estate is a great career with a ton of perks. You’re afforded flexibility, freedom and endless potential.
Again, it doesn’t come without it’s challenges, and new agents need to be prepared to fight those challenges if they plan to succeed.
Build a solid network of agents around you who want to help foster your growth and see you prosper. With the right mindset, real estate can prove to be the perfect career.
Jay Luebke is a residential sales specialist and the visual coordinator with The ART of Real Estate in Columbia, S.C. You can follow The ART of Real Estate onTwitter @TheARTeam.