Have you ever considered a career as a real estate agent? Do you think you have whatit takes to pull it off?
This blog aims to delve into the world of real estate agents, covering details related to the process of becoming a real estate agent, the tasks, and responsibilities that an agent covers, and the advantages and disadvantages that you should expect from a career as an agent in the world of real estate.
What Is a Career as a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents are the cornerstone of the real estate world. They are the front-liners of real estate transactions, the consultants behind great decisions, the negotiators of fair and profitable deals, and the real estate investor’s gateway to a successful investment.
So, what should you expect from a career as a real estate agent?
The world of real estate agents is an extremely competitive one. With over 2 million active real estate licensees in the US., the world of real estate agency is a sea full of fish, sharks, and other types of marine life (figuratively speaking). While this is enough to scare most people away from this area, a career as a real estate agent can actually be a thrill. So, if you’re someone who enjoys competition and thrill, then this might be the career for you.
As an agent, you should expect to cover a broad range of tasks and responsibilities. Mainly, you will be trying to help clients buy or sell real estate properties, which sounds straightforward. But in reality, these processes can be very complex, requiring a great deal of time and an even greater deal of knowledge on the ins and outs of the business.
Naturally, you will also deal with other real estate agents, attorneys, investors, bankers, governmental officials, and all kinds of other people, and in order to be able to work with all these people, you will need to have at least basic knowledge about the areas that they serve.
Additionally, you will be cover tasks such as agreement and lease writing, conduction property walk throughs, holding open houses, marketing, and advertising properties, interviewing buyers and sellers, and a number of other responsibilities that will be considered daily tasks in your career.
How Can I Prepare to Become a Real Estate Agent?
With all the wide range of tasks and responsibilities that you will be covering as a real estate agent, and with all the different areas that you will be dealing with, the first and foremost asset that you will need to have as a real estate agent is a great deal of knowledge about ALL the different aspects of the real estate world. This includes knowledge of property types, investment strategies, financial and legal aspects, online sources, networking methods and sources, marketing and advertising techniques, writing reports and agreements, and much more.
While this might seem like a lot, before getting yourself licensed, you should fully understand the scope of your responsibilities for the career that you’re moving towards. Although you might not have to use or apply all of this knowledge, especially in the early stages of your career, if you’re aiming towards becoming a SUCCESSFUL agent, all knowledge becomes mandatory, and the more knowledge you have the higher your chances of success.
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While most states will require you to have finished 30-90 hours of real estate courses before applying for a license, you should not rely exclusively on these courses as a source of knowledge, and you should always thrive towards self-learning and researching to acquire more knowledge on your own.
Although there are several online sources that can offer you the knowledge that you need, it is usually best to go around and look for other, more experienced real estate agents and brokers to learn from. Visit brokerage firms and ask for their advice or for an internship or a mentorship, and try to learn from them the ins and outs of the markets that they serve.
Keep in mind, however, that some of the agents that you will talk to might give you misinformation to try and sway you away from a career as a real estate agent due to the highly competitive nature of the job, so it is always best to consult a number of different agents to get a clearer picture of what to expect.
How Can I Become a Real Estate Agent?
In order to become a real estate agent, you don’t necessarily need a college degree in a real estate related field, nor do you need any specific official education. In most states, however, a real estate enthusiast will be required to finish 30-90 hours of real estate courses, which can either be taken at a university or through online courses, before he/she is able to apply for a license. Additionally, in order to obtain the license, you will be required to take a difficult exam at your own expense, and in many cases, you might need to re-take the exam due to failure in your first attempt.
It is important not to let failure bring you down, and this can be a lesson you learn that will stick with you for the rest of your career; as a real estate agent, failure is a possibility, but it is not the end of the world. Always think of failure as a learning opportunity, it is always better to fail at the earlier stages and learn from the beginning than to fail during the later stages of your career.
After you’ve obtained your license and are officially a real estate agent, you will need to find a good brokerage firm and a good broker to work for. Make sure to study your options carefully and make sure you’ve made the right choice when it comes to the broker you’re working under, as different brokers will offer you different commissions and different experiences.
How Much Money Does a Real Estate Agent Make?
According to the National Association of Realtors, a full-time real estate agent makes a median annual income of $55,000-$100,000. While this seems like a very good amount of money to make, you should keep in mind that this is just an average and that there are successful agents out there who make much higher profits that can go up to the 7-figure category income.
As an agent, do not expect a fixed salary. The way you make money will be through commissions earned from the deals that you help close. This commission can be between 6%-8% of the transaction for both buying and selling houses, which means that the bigger the deal you’re taking a part in, the bigger the profits that you will be making.
Related: How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Real Estate Agent
Now that we are done talking about the neutral aspects of becoming a real estate agent, it is time to talk about the advantages and disadvantages that you should expect from your potential future career.
The Boss of Your Own
One of the major advantages of being a real estate agent is being your own boss. As a real estate agent, you will have full control over your own business, work schedule, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put towards your career on a day-to-day basis.
In the world of real estate agents, the sky is your limit, and your determination and attitude will determine how far up you go. If you’re enthusiastic and driven, you will find yourself putting more towards your work, and with time you will also start to enjoy it even more.
Additionally, you will have complete freedom and flexibility when it comes to setting your work schedule. You will not be obliged to be present in your office in set times, and you will have control over your vacation times.
However, being your own boss also comes at a price and a very high responsibility. For example, while you will be in control of your own work schedule, you will also have to keep your clients’ schedules and appointments into consideration. Since your clients are your main source of income, and your job is to provide them with the best services, this means that you will have to tend to your clients’ needs whenever they arise. As an agent, you will often find yourself working evenings, weekends, and even holidays if that’s what your clients’ needs require you to.
Additionally, while the broker you’re working under may provide you with a number of resources including an office to get you started, you will be responsible for all the other expenses related to running your business as an agent. This means that you will have to put some of your own money into running your business, such as acquiring new technologies, subscribing to services, or even hiring an assistant; these are expenses that you will have to cover from your own pocket once you’re your own boss.
The Potential of Profits
As mentioned earlier, there is virtually no limit to the amount of money that you can make as a real estate agent. The amount of time and effort you put towards your job and towards improving and enhancing your knowledge and skills will determine the profits that you’re earning. Additionally, being an agent means that you will have the freedom to choose the area that suits you best to serve in. If you believe your skills might serve you better in the area of commercial real estate, or perhaps buying and selling lands, then you can focus your career on that area and excel in it to earn higher profits.
The downside to being a real estate agent, however, when it comes to making money, is most relevant when you first start your career. Since you won’t be earning a fixed salary as an agent, you should expect to go weeks or months without earning any money until you close your first deal. During this time, you will have to rely on your savings to survive, which means you will need to have saved enough money before even starting your career to make sure that you don’t go broke while waiting for a deal to close.
Additionally, sometimes you might find yourself going several months without closing any deals. You might put a lot of time and effort towards deals that your financial situation will rely heavily on only for the deals to get thrown away at the last moment, leaving you with an empty pocket and more months ahead until your next opportunity comes by.
The Satisfaction of Helping Others
Last but not least, as a real estate agent, your job will be to help homeowners, investors, and other individuals in the real estate world fulfill their dreams and ambitions. There will be no higher satisfaction than what you will feel once you close your first deal. The look at your clients’ faces when they finally own the house of their dreams, or when you help an investor make their first profitable deal in the real estate market – these are moments that you will be looking forward to in your career, and they will be your drive to thrive and grow as an agent.
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It should be noted, however, that this emotional investment you’re putting into your career is not always a positive one. Whether it is the enormous stress that you will be under most of the time, or the disappointment of your clients when you don’t manage to get them the deal that they were hoping for, as an agent, your career will have a great influence on your emotions, and it will cause you both pain and relief, depending on the situation.
Becoming a real estate agent is a dream for many real estate enthusiasts all around the world, and it is so for a number of convincing reasons. But before you get started, you should definitely know what you’re getting yourself into. Being an agent isn’t cut out for everyone, and you need to make sure that you’ve got what it takes to become one.
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