Is real estate a good career? That's a question that many people are asking these days. The answer, of course, depends on your specific situation and goals. For people looking to get rich quickly without working hard, no. Real estate is not a good career.
It's true; people can make money fast in real estate, but it takes a lot of work and isn't for the faint of heart.
Are you wondering if real estate is the right career for you? If you're looking to be your own boss and join a winning team, it might be a good fit.
This article asks five questions you need to consider before becoming a real estate agent. If you answer "yes" to all of them, then real estate is probably a good career for you.
Are You Ready to Start an Exciting New Career Quickly?
The relative ease of getting a real estate license draws many people to work in real estate. In most states, you can become a licensed real estate agent in as little as a few weeks by taking a course (either online or in-person) and passing the subsequent exam.
The low barrier to entry is good news if you're interested in real estate as a career but don't have the time to invest in a four-year degree. You can also develop your real estate experience in a part-time role, meaning you can attend college or focus on another job while developing your skills, client base, and income.
To get started, you'll want to learn about your state's real estate agent requirements, take a prelicensing course, and pass the exam.
Requirements vary from state to state, but they all demand a prelicensing course and an exam. Expect to dedicate anywhere between 40 hours and more than 180 hours to complete your prelicensing course.
Texas requires one of the longest time commitments at about 180 hours for the prelicensing state, while other states are shorter. For example, it takes about 90 hours to get your license in the state of Tennesee.
There are many prelicensing courses to choose from, both online and in-person. Choosing the right one will depend on your learning style and availability. Costs range from between $100 and $1,100, although some brokerages offer discounts and scholarships to new agents using their preferred real estate courses.
Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss?
Your education as a real estate agent doesn't end when you complete your exam. It's only the beginning.
When you're starting as a real estate agent, you'll face a lot of challenges. Income will be sporadic at first. You'll work long hours and have to market yourself to potential clients continuously.
You need to define your structure as a new real estate agent. While it may seem daunting, this will also afford you many freedoms such as:
- Being your own boss
- Creating your own schedule
- Establishing your own budget and income
- Developing your own creative marketing and branding strategies
Don't worry; you don't have to do it all alone. While a real estate agent is highly independent, you must join a brokerage before practicing. Joining the right team and finding a helpful coach will make it easy to learn the ropes of the job and develop a reliable stream of commission.
Are You Ready to Work Well With a Team?
Newly licensed agents aren't allowed to work alone in any state. They have to join a brokerage.
What is a brokerage?
A brokerage is a firm made up of licensed real estate agents who work together to help buyers and sellers complete transactions. When you join a brokerage, you're essentially joining a team of agents and support staff who will help you grow your business.
The right team will provide new agents with the following:
- A real estate office
- On-going training programs
- Lead generation tools and technology
- Access to experienced real estate professionals and administrators
In exchange for all this, you'll split the commission you earn from every sale with your brokerage.
Are You Ready to Take Charge of Your Earnings?
Real estate agents make their money from commissions. Commissions are a percentage of the final sale price of a property, and they're typically split between the buyer's agents, the seller's agents, and each agent's respective brokers.
Commission earnings can vary greatly depending on your brokerage, the city where you work, and your experience level.
Commission rates on an average home sale are usually between 3-6% of the sale price of a property. So, if a property sells for $100,000, the commission would be between $3,000 and $6,000.
Each party (agents and brokers) will usually take an even commission split. If the commission were $6,000, each party would walk away with $1,500 before taxes.
There are pros and cons to working for a commission. On the one hand, it can be a very lucrative career if you can close a lot of deals. On the other hand, income can be sparse when you're just starting out or if you're not working effectively.
Real estate is a good career for you if you're ready to take control of your earnings.
Commission-based income allows you the freedom to create your schedule, but you'll only get out what you put in. If you want to make money as an agent, you need to keep a consistent schedule, make a reliable budget, and remain flexible to meet your clients' needs and close deals. The average income for first-year agents is about $93,000.
Are Your Interested in Growing in Your Role?
There are many directions in which you can take your real estate career. The most common path is to become a real estate broker.
To become a broker, you'll need to take additional courses and exams to obtain your broker's license. Once you have your license, you'll be able to work independently and hire agents to work beneath you.
There are three levels of brokers:
Associate brokers: These real estate professionals have completed the requirements to be brokers but continue to work beneath a larger brokerage.
Managing brokers: Also working with a brokerage team, managing brokers oversee teams of agents, high-level administrative duties, and lead staff.
Lead brokers: Lead brokers are also called principal or designated brokers. They're like the CEO of the brokerage and responsible for directing the entire agency.
Real Estate Works For People Those Who Will Work For Real Estate
Real estate can be a lucrative and satisfying career for those willing to put in the hard work. The income-based commission structure means real estate professionals are responsible for their own success, which is a great motivator. Anyone interested in starting their own business and being their own boss should consider pursuing a career in real estate. Do you think you have what it takes?
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