If you have ever searched for jobs that make more money or side businesses with easy money, real estate agent comes up. Yes, it can be a way to make more money, but it is not really a business that you can run on the side if you are working another job.
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Trust me I know from experience! It takes a lot to become a real estate agent. Before you consider getting started in real estate there are a few things to figure out.
How much time do you have to devote to real estate?
While the hours are flexible, you need to be available for clients when they have the time to see houses. If you work another job, can you take phone calls while at the other job? If clients don’t think that you have enough time for them they will find an agent that does.
One way around this is to start with an agent that runs a team. These teams will have the main agent and under them, there will be other agents that will have a set task. Some will be listing agents, others will work with buyers or some will handle the back end paperwork, etc. This works well since there are others that will be able to help you with questions as well as any schedule issues that may arise.
Next is to consider the details of the job.
There is a lot to learn and you need to continue learning all the time. Things are always changing since there are state and federal laws affecting your work. You must keep up on these things. Also as markets change you need to learn how to handle them so you can continue to make money. If you feel that you don’t want to learn new things then this may not be right for you.
Paperwork is a must with real estate.
Everything must be documented with a record kept. Details are very important and if not done right could even end in a lawsuit. I’m not trying to scare you, but lawsuits are not rare in real estate. If you are not one who wants to read every detail and be sure that things are done correctly this may not be right for you.
Are you a people person?
It’s not that you need to be, but if you aren’t then helping a family buy a home may not interest you. There is another option, which is commercial real estate. While you still need to learn and be detail-oriented for the paperwork this is a little different.
Commercial real estate will be business based. This will be based on making money. Transactions will involve properties like apartment buildings, commercial rental space like for a clothing store or even a restaurant building. If you are more of a number’s person than a people person than this may be the route for you.
There are costs involved.
There are the costs of your pre-licensing classes, the license, and your set-up fees with the company. Then there are the fees that go to the company either on-going or per transaction. These will vary wildly depending on the company that you choose.
Plus you will need to join the board which makes you a member of the National Association of Realtors or NAR. There are on-going fees for that. Plus you join the board to be able to have access to the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. That is another on-going fee. There are on-going continuing education classes required by the state and possibly your broker. You will likely want to do other classes to increase your knowledge too. In addition to the classes, there are accreditations that you can get through NAR. These help you show off to clients.
If you are not making money this could really push you into debt. Knowing upfront what the costs are will help you make the right decision.
Who this is not for?
This is not for someone who is an introvert. If you absolutely don’t want to or can’t deal with people this is not the career for you. I am sure that there are some introverts out there that do this business, but they are the minority. And I would guess that they don’t make as much money as a non-introvert.
Whatever you decide you need to take into account that this can be a very demanding job.
It’s not as simple as taking someone to a house that they like and then getting a check. Also, a very important thing to know is that you can do everything right and then not get paid. Yes, you read that right; you can do everything like you were supposed to and then not make a single dollar.
The situation will vary. It could be that the buyer’s financing falls through just before closing. Another possibility is with bank-owned properties that the bank can decide at the last minute that they want to back out. Their addendum allows for such things. So if you really need to make money this is not like a job with a steady paycheck. This is a business, which you will run like a business and there are no guarantees.
Still thinking about being a Real Estate Agent?
Remember that this is not a business that you can take lightly. There is money to be made in real estate, but it isn’t easy and the money doesn’t usually come fast. There are many different niches within the business that you can find something that is a fit for your personality.
If you are willing to put in the time and learn the right way how to run this as a business you can succeed. Be careful to not be taken in by the potential money that you can make if it really isn’t something that fits you. If you hate people, paperwork, and learning then this is not for you and no amount of money will make it work.