Are you planning to start a new career as a real estate agent or just as a side job? Then I guess you want to know what being a real estate agent is like.
Although there are a lot of perks to this career, it could be pretty challenging and tedious. Nevertheless, with a strategic plan, it can be pretty lucrative.
In this article, I will discuss extensively real estate agents, what being one looks like, the benefits, and the downsides.
Let’s get started.
What is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is a licensed individual who helps clients buy, sell, and rent properties. They get paid through commissions earned from the sale of properties. This means their income comes from their ability to close deals.
Every licensed real estate agent works under a real estate broker or firm with a specialized license.
What is it like being a real estate agent?
Being a real estate agent in any location worldwide can be pretty challenging. Some of the challenges or difficulties many real estate agents face are;
1. Flexibility and balance
One primary challenge real estate agents face is balancing work and personal life. While they have complete control of both, balancing them can be tricky.
For example, you may occasionally need to attend to clients after work hours or attend to them on short notice. Over time, this may strain your relationships with friends and family.
2. Working on commission
Like other workers, real estate agents get commission checks after a deal is closed rather than weekly or monthly paychecks.
Considering that sometimes it could take several weeks to close a deal, you need solid money management skills.
If you’re not careful, you may close deals, get commissions, and still lose due to high business costs and poor business practices.
3. Requires mastering many skills
A real estate agent works with different kinds of people regularly, which requires many soft skills.
To be a successful real estate agent, you need to have skills such as:
- Business skills
- Communication skills
- Marketing skills
- Listening skills
- Negotiation skills
- Social skills
- Organizational skills
Is being a real estate agent worth it?
Yes, it is.
Although it can be quite challenging, starting a career as a real estate agent can be a great decision. It gives you room for growth and an increased earning opportunity.
How can you become a real estate agent?
Now you know what a real estate agent is and the challenges associated with the job, how can you become one?
1. Get a license
The first thing you should do to become a real estate agent gets an official license. Simply go to the official page of the state’s Department of Real Estate or Bureau of Real Estate.
There, you will find a list of approved real estate online courses or in-person courses you can take. If you have limited time, you can take the online course, and if you have enough time, take the in-person course.
The course can take around six months, sometimes up to a year. After the end of the course, you are expected to take the state’s official test.
Afterward, you get your official license to be a real estate salesperson. This test isn’t cheap; it costs around $60. So ensure you study enough, so you only take it once.
2. Determine which broker you want to work under
After earning your license, determine which broker you want to work under. A real estate broker offers a salesperson support and legal protection.
Some prefer big brokers, as working under a reputable firm gives them credibility. Others tend to go for smaller brokers, enabling them to be more flexible.
You can do a little research about different brokers near you and know their rules and regulations. This way, you know which is more suitable for you to make the job less challenging.
3. Plan for the incoming expenditures
Even though you work under a broker, it doesn’t mean they would handle all your expenditures. Real estate agents are independent contractors, and you take your expenditures.
Some expenditures that you should expect as a new agent include;
- Printing your business card
- Making business signs or poster
- Website (optional)
- Annual real estate association and board dues
- Membership dues
Additionally, you should budget the cost of transportation as you may be moving a lot.
4. Have a plan
This is a crucial step in becoming a successful real estate agent that many fail to adopt. Working as a salesperson can be overwhelming, especially for parents or one working two jobs.
This is why having a plan or setting boundaries is important as a real estate agent. I recommend setting a time to see clients and show them houses and sticking to it.
This way, you have time for your other job and your family. Furthermore, you will be able to reduce or tackle the challenges that come with the job.
What are the perks of being a real estate agent?
1. You make lots of money
If you are good at what you do, you can earn a lot from it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual income for real estate agents is estimated at $48,770.
2. Flexible working hours
If planned properly, you can have a very flexible schedule. Simply know when you work and when you don’t.
Although some clients can call unexpectedly, with a properly planned schedule, you can accommodate these requests.
3. You make lots of friends
Being a real estate agent means you have to work with different people.
With the right approach, these people can become your friends, building your customer base. You never know when you will need the help of a friend, so ensure you do your best to be friendly.
What are the downsides of being a real estate agent?
1. The job is competitive
The job can be quite competitive because thousands of real estate agents are in a state alone. This means that all agents must be patient and hard-working to ensure success.
2. It can be challenging working with people
People prefer specific approaches or manners in which they want to be spoken. This can be difficult for agents since they have to know how to negotiate, collaborate, and handle situations professionally.
Can you become a real estate agent without spending money?
No, you can’t. Aside from the exam fee, there are other expenditures, dues, or fees you would be required to pay.
Do real estate agents need to renew their licenses?
Yes, they do. Although the time may vary depending on the state you reside in. Some require agents to renew after two years, while some after four years.
Should you become a real estate agent?
If your dream is to become one, and you feel you can handle the challenges, then you should.
How is a real estate agent different from a broker?
A real estate agent helps clients buy and sell properties, while a broker has taken a step further and can hire agents to work under them instead.
Can you work as a real estate agent part-time?
Yes, you can. It is a common practice for many people who are looking to get some money on the side.
Being a real estate agent can be quite tedious and challenging. However, it shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams. With the proper planning, you can become a successful real estate agent.
If you aren’t sure about doing it as a full-time job, you can do it part-time. You can see this article on how you can simultaneously work a full-time and part-time job.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Thanks for reading.