Working in real estate is quite the popular career choice, especially for people who are reinventing themselves and trying to dip their toes in a different industry than they previously worked in. Despite it being a popular choice, being a realtor isn’t for everybody. It requires certain skills and personal characteristics to make one stand out from the rest of the other “hungry” realtors out there.
If you decide to become a realtor, you do not need a college degree. You simply must take a pre-licensing course and subsequently pass the exam. Pre-licensing course costs anywhere between $100-$1,000 and the cost of a license fee is anywhere between $60-$615 depending on the state and the examination provider. South Dakota, Colorado, and Ohio currently have the highest total fees that you need to pay to become a real estate agent (over $1,000) while Michigan, Florida, and Mississippi are the most affordable ones (around $350). Other startup expenses include sale signs, open house signs, business cards, website, and a reliable car.
The pre-licensing course can be taken in-person or online and takes anywhere between eight weeks to six months to complete. It teaches real estate principles, practices, and dives into the legal side of real estate. The exam is then divided into a section about state-level real estate and national laws. But before investing your money, time, and effort into becoming a realtor, consider the following points:
In real estate you will be meeting new people a lot, so it’s important that you enjoy social interactions. Your personal charisma, honesty, and positive demeanor will help attract more clients.
Real estate agents earn money through commission from a sold house, and the amount is usually a percentage of the selling price. Beginning real estate agents may go without earning a commission for a few months or even a year. It’s important to budget for this possibility. Without a sold house, there is no paycheck.
No real estate agent has business hours set in stone. Most have flexible schedule and strive to always be available whenever their clients need them including evenings and weekends. Sometimes, you will have to sacrifice your personal time, but you will also be able to set your own hours and learn to create boundaries over time.
Working in real estate means handling complex paperwork where accuracy matters. Any mistakes in paperwork can break the deal. Your clients will expect you to know the entire process of buying a house inside and out.
Just like most careers in this time and age, real estate too requires computer proficiency. You will be required to update websites, maintain active social media accounts, and complete paperwork digitally.
Your clients will have different requests. Being attentive to their specific needs and overcoming any obstacles in the way will help you close more deals. Some houses will be more difficult to sell, and it will be up to you to market them creatively.
Finding clients will be your single most important objective to earn money. You will continuously need to grow your network, and always be open to meeting new people from all areas of real estate industry.
Challenges will come in many forms—technology, high expectations of your clients, lack of clients, low inventory, etc. Overcoming the constant challenges will require perseverance and determination.
In real estate, every day is not a pay day. Successful real estate professionals remain persistent through tough times. The key is to relentlessly pursue every lead.
The task list of a typical real estate agent includes answering phones, emails, showing houses, creating promotional material and reports, filing records, attending various meetings, and combing through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to name a few. In essence, you never run out of things to do, and you may often be expected to do a few things at the same time.
Real estate can be a financially lucrative field, but success comes with hard work and long unpredictable hours. It is an exciting career field that enables you to impact people’s lives by helping them with one of the biggest purchases in their lifetime.
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