Agent

Considering a career in real estate? 5 reasons ‘to be or not to be’

Real estate might look easy, but experienced agents can tell you: It's anything but
  • Flexibility does not mean fewer hours; it means more discipline and hard work.
  • Salaries provide certainty, but commissions provide opportunity.
  • You are in charge of your success and career growth.

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Thinking about a career in real estate? You’re either crazy or a genius.

To determine whether you should take the plunge, let’s look at the five reasons to be (and not to be) a real estate agent.

1. Flexibility

To be:

Hate working the 9-to-5 because you spend more time putting in face time than you do being productive?

Welcome to real estate. You’re not going to work any fewer hours, but you get to organize your own schedule to make it work for you and your clients.

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Not to be:

Managing your own schedule might sound like fun at first, but it’s not all that simple.

It’s much easier to hit the snooze button than it is to wake up and make phone calls, create marketing and conduct pricing analyses. If you don’t take charge of the calendar, you will be left behind.

2. Money

To be:

Working as a real estate agent means that you get out what you put in.

This creates an income cap that is virtually limitless. A salary may provide some certainty, but commissions based on your own effort provide opportunity.

Not to be:

Commissions are not always steady. If you’re just starting out, it could be a while until you see a paycheck.

Not only that — as an independent contractor you will have to track your expenses, filing taxes becomes more complicated, and you most likely will not receive any health care benefits from your broker.

3. It’s emotional

To be:

Seems like everyone — from clients to agents to attorneys — gets emotional in this business.

That’s good for you if you can keep a level head. By staying focused on your clients, helping them achieve their goals without letting your emotions get in the way, you will rise above the majority in this industry and stick out as a true expert.

Not to be:

You deal with a lot of different personalities in real estate. This isn’t just the clients you come across, but also other agents; they can be ruthless. Some people just don’t know how to separate emotions from business.

If you don’t like confrontation and can’t keep a level head, you may want to choose a different career path.

4. Career mobility

To be:

Climbing the corporate ladder is not that much fun; be your own boss!

That’s certainly easier said than done, but you would be amazed at what growing a business as a real estate agent and building your own brand can do for you.

Your success as an agent can unlock many opportunities within and outside this industry.

Not to be:

If you are your own boss, where do you go from there? You’re already at the top!

If you are not content with being a real estate agent as your long-term career and you don’t have the vision to see where this career could take you, you may have hit your limit. The only career advancement opportunities are the ones you make.

5. It’s hard work

To be:

Yup, doing this the right way will be hard work, and that’s good news!

Not just anyone can perform well. Most new agents will wash out because they thought being a real estate agent would be easy money.

Take advantage of this; put in the hustle, and you will be on your way to great success.

Not to be:

Easy money? No way.

It may look easy on TV, but it turns out people don’t come running and beg to work with you when you tell them you have a real estate license.

Managing listings, clients, transactions and your own marketing is tough! It takes a lot of discipline and effort to get it right.

So — to be or not to be? What’s your choice?

Matt Bonelli is a manager and broker associate at Turpin Real Estate, Inc. in Chatham, New Jersey. Check out his blog or follow him on Facebook.

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