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Why do you do what you do? For many, that can be a tough question to answer. Inman asked its community on Facebook and Instagram exactly that to find out what makes real estate professionals want to go into real estate. The results were plentiful and as varied as those who work in real estate. 

From the ability to control your own income and flexibility of work hours, to making a positive impact in the lives of others, there are many reasons real estate professionals do what they do. Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.

The question: How did you know you wanted to go into real estate?

Answer No. 1: Flexibility

One of the top reasons agents shared for going into real estate was flexibility. Either for the work hours themselves or for the flexibility of income. Many parents wanted a career with the freedom to work around their family. Many others wanted a profession that allowed them to have more control over their income and give them the possibility to make as much money as they wanted. 

Working my way thru college, I worked in a plating plant. It was a union shop, and everyone got the same pay for whatever job they were doing. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I and a few others worked a heck of a lot harder than virtually everyone else. That’s when it hit me, I wanted to pursue work that paid me based on my willingness to work.

In real estate, nobody tells you when you start, or when you stop, nobody says you can only make a specific labor rate. In real estate you quite literally write your own ticket. There is no limit, except the limit you put on yourself. Free enterprise rocks! 

Jeff Blahnik, Jeff Blahnik Group

After working corporate America for 16 years and working on commission making peanuts, I decided to go where the sky was the limit and work for my own goals instead of corporates. It’s been 17 amazing years!

Pam Price, Pam Price and Associates Remax Advantage Realty: Coast and Country Division

Answer No. 2: Clients

Others fell in love with helping clients find a home. Many referenced making a positive impact in the lives of everyday people and being able to help others find a home to elevate their life as why they wanted to work in the industry. 

A lot of people do not understand how much you can save when you love where you live. I am quite skilled in finding [the right] fit for my buyers, also, it is a pleasure to educate others on one of the biggest moves of their lives.

Valérie Dulude, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

I slept in a tent for many years when I was a teenager. I wouldn’t like for another child to go through that. Helping families achieve homeownership feels amazing!

Miguel Ochoa, Realtor

Answer No. 3: Entrepreneurship

Many commenters wanted to work in a career that allowed them to be in charge of their own destiny and found the entrepreneurial aspect of real estate appealing. 

When I realized how I was working 12 to 14 hour days for someone else. That’s when I decided if that’s how hard I’m gonna work, I’d rather do that for myself. 

Daniel Donate, Cal Bay Realty Inc.

When I got sick of corporate America outside sales and my boss and upper management beating me over the head every day for another deal even though I just closed a huge deal that day. I wanted the freedom to make my own wealth and close as many or little deals as I wanted or could at that time in my life without constant pipeline meetings taking up my days.

Tiana Vause, Real Estate Agent

Answer No. 4: Lifelong passion

Some said they found themselves in real estate after developing a passion for it at a young age. Either by chance or from growing up with a parent in the industry already. It seemed like a natural fit. Others were encouraged by their parents and are grateful for the sound parental advice they received. 

I didn’t! My dad had a surveying company and while I was in college and didn’t know what I wanted to do after, he kept encouraging me to get into real estate. He kept saying he thought I’d be great at it. Here I am, 16 years later, building a brand and a successful team. I owe it all to my dad! 

Megan Jarrard Bradshaw – broker associate, Realtor  

I was 12 years old and read the real estate section of the Boston Globe every Sunday.

Sarah Shimoff, Real Estate Agent

Answer No. 5: Accident

Some commenters found themselves in real estate by accident. Either on a whim or after starting in an adjacent career and finding real estate interested them more.  

I was drawing blueprints for a builder with a red pen and a ruler. Worked so hard to never see the finished product.

Stephanie Cashman, Brokerage-owner and agent 

When I found myself going to model homes and open houses for fun. 

Lina Lavine, Real Estate Agent 

No matter how agents found themselves in the real estate industry, the common thread among them was certainly career satisfaction. Almost every response included being happy with the decision.

You can read all of the responses on Inman’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and perhaps share how you knew you wanted to go into the real estate industry, as well. 

Are you considering going into real estate? Are you new to the industry? Check out Inman’s New Agent News to learn all you need to know about the real estate industry and how to thrive in it. 

Jessi Healey is a freelance writer and social media manager specializing in real estate. Find her on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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