THE #1 REASON NOT TO BECOME A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Being a real estate agent is a demanding job that requires significant time and energy. While it may seem like there are more agents than houses on the market, an agent with experience and area expertise is an incredible asset in the current market.
Many people will tell you that they got into real estate because they “like houses.” What they don’t realize is that everyone likes pretty houses. Everyone enjoys looking at home decor magazines and doing open house tours; it’s fun. But it’s not a reason to start a profession. So you have to enter this industry with eyes wide open.
Real estate is about people, personalities, and finances. You have to understand how to consult, understand the points of a house, how it operates, what works, what doesn’t, what the costs are, what the expenses are, how to change things, what it would cost to change out floors or the materials or the structure; there is so much that goes into it. For example, a real estate agent can wear so many hats - a psychiatrist, a therapist, a financial consultant, a builder, a designer. It goes way beyond just showing a pretty house. If “because I like houses” is why you are considering becoming a real estate agent, then get yourself a subscription to a magazine, not a real estate license.
People often ask me, “What is it that you like the most and the least about being a real estate agent?” What’s great is that there are no set hours. However, the bad news is that there are no set hours. As a single mom, I was able to do everything with my kids and manage my time. It was a lot, but I did it. However, it wasn’t easy balancing personal and professional time constraints. It’s incredibly challenging if you don’t practice managing time regularly. Without that skill, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
There are pros and cons of being a real estate agent with no set schedule. It allows agents to be flexible with their time and requires agents to be available at all hours. This can make it challenging to find a work-life balance.
Real estate agents are always on call, available to show a house or meet with clients. There is no such thing as a weekend or vacation because people want to buy or sell homes. So it can be difficult to turn off your work brain and relax when you know there is always something that needs to be done. So even if you aren't doing work, you are still thinking about it.
My advice is the same for everybody; when you become a real estate agent, you should always start with a mentor, coach, or someone who can help guide you. Unfortunately, everyone does it differently, which means there are no fundamental guidelines or rules. So do what works for you - but having a mentor or coach or even working on a team is helpful and allows you to consider it an apprenticeship until you figure out how you want to work in the industry.
When you first enter the industry, there are so many unanswered questions and very few answers that you can find without going through the experience yourself. Working alongside someone experienced or having somebody to guide you through the process becomes crucial to creating long-time success. It will also help you avoid burnout, frustration, or loss of hope.
I also recommend allocating some money at the beginning of your career towards hiring an assistant. I chose to employ an assistant over hiring a nanny. As a single mom, that was a priority because I wanted to be home with my kids, but I also needed time to do paperwork, show houses, etc..… So early in my career, I hired an assistant to help manage some of the things that were time-consuming but not crucial to my professional growth.
If you are considering becoming a real estate agent, look beyond the glamorous side of the profession - the beautiful houses, the great clients, the fast-paced lifestyle. Unfortunately, too many people assume that it will be an easy way to make a lot of money, but the reality is very different. Being a successful real estate agent requires hard work, dedication, and people skills. You need to understand your clients' needs and desires, navigate complex negotiations, and always be on the lookout for new business. It's not a job for everyone, but it can be gratifying if you're willing to put in the work. If you're thinking about becoming a real estate agent, make sure you enter the profession with your eyes wide open. It's a challenging and rewarding career, definitely not all rainbows and roses.
HOW WILL YOU GET CLIENTS?
If you're thinking of becoming a real estate agent, one of the first things you need to think about is how you're going to get clients. Many people mistakenly believe that they can just rely on friends and family, but the reality is that most people already have a real estate agent that they're happy with. So instead, you need to focus on finding ways to stand out from the competition and build a reputation for yourself. One way to do this is to get involved with your local real estate community. Attend events, join committees, and volunteer your time. By getting involved, you'll be able to meet potential clients and build relationships that could lead to future business.
Invest in yourself and be patient. You need several months of repetition to make an impact. Focus on a small area and advertise repeatedly, get involved in the community, volunteer, support schools, places of worship, and fundraisers. Get KNOWN - your face and name. Use social media to target demographics and advertise yourself.
How do you become a credible real estate agent and build a business that people will want to work with, like RLA? It’s not easy, but it can be done. First and foremost, focus on building yourself as a person. Be someone known for their integrity, their values, and their dedication to helping others. Build your business, become an expert, and gain credibility. Once you have established this foundation, the rest of your business will grow more efficiently. Let clients come to you organically; don’t force things or try to shortcut the process. Instead, focus on becoming the go-to person in your market, and the sales will follow. When you put in the hard work and let your reputation speak for itself, you will be rewarded with a thriving real estate business that attracts quality clients.