The Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent in Today’s Market
What are the pros and cons of being a real estate agent?
The job of a real estate agent is not for everyone. It takes a special person to be successful in today’s market.
Let’s talk about what today’s market means — and whether you could be successful in the real estate business.
What does it mean to be a realtor in today’s market?
In the last few years — even months — the real estate industry has changed. It’s more challenging; the role of a real estate agent is more complex. You’re not just helping people buy and sell homes, you’re helping people navigate a complex economic marketplace.
To be successful as a real estate agent today, you need to be adaptable and have a good understanding of the current market conditions. You also need to be constantly available — buyers and sellers need more coaching and assurances.
At the same time, there’s never been a market with as much opportunity. If you’re the right person for the job, you can be very successful — because the wrong people are getting pushed out of the industry.
What are some of the pros of being a real estate agent?
Ask any agent whether they love their job, and they’re likely to glow. Being a real estate agent isn’t for everyone — but those who love it really love it. Here’s why.
You have the potential to make a lot of money.
Let’s be blunt.
The most obvious pro of a real estate license is that, if you’re good at it, you can make a lot of money.
In today’s market, with the right skills and knowledge, you can be very successful. Even if someone loves a job, they’re not likely to stay at that job unless they’re getting paid.
But today’s market is volatile — you must keep up with current trends to make that money. So, there’s a key differentiator. The real estate agents willing to keep up with the market will make more money than those who don’t.
You are your own boss.
This is a huge perk for many people. Being your own boss gives you the freedom to set your own hours, work from home, and take time off when you want. You have to work with a real estate broker, but otherwise, you’re on your own.
Of course, this also means that you’re solely responsible for your own success or failure. If you’re not making sales, you will not get paid.
There’s no one around telling you that you have to work. You’d better be able to self-motivate.
You have completely flexible hours.
Work when you want to. Work around your family’s schedule or your spouse’s schedule. Or work between exciting trips to exotic locales.
A lot of people become real estate professionals after tapping out of a previous career — it just didn’t give them the flexibility that they needed.
Others become realtors when they realize that what they want the most is to spend more time with their children during their formative years.
You can work with a real estate team to make your hours more flexible. Or, if you want, you can completely ditch work-life balance and work even harder.
You help people achieve their dreams of homeownership.
There’s nothing like knowing that your job makes a difference. You’re not just shuffling papers; you’re helping people fulfill lifelong dreams. Each real estate transaction is an opportunity to help real people.
As a real estate agent, you help people at the end of their careers sell their houses so they can retire. You help people starting their families find their perfect family home. At the end of every transaction, you have a happy client. That’s far more fulfilling than many other jobs.
You can get started quickly — and your success depends on you.
You don’t need a degree to become a real estate agent. But you do need to go through real estate school, pass the test, and get a broker.
If you’re willing to put in the work, you can get started quickly and see results fast. Once you secue a potential buyer or potential seller, that lead is yours. The success or failure of your real estate career is entirely up to you and your hard work.
This is very appealing for those who don’t want to go through the traditional methods of success — such as getting a degree, a master’s, and a Ph.D.
What are some of the cons of being a real estate agent?
Of course, for every agent, other agents have tried and failed. What are the major challenges within the industry?
Long hours and irregular work schedule.
You might work 60 hours one week and 20 the next. And those hours are often irregular — you might have to show houses at night or on weekends.
For some people, this is a huge perk. They love being able to set their schedule. But for others, it’s a nightmare. If you need structure, this isn’t the right position for you.
Can be stressful and emotionally demanding.
So, you’re helping people buy their first home. But what happens when they can’t find anything? What happens when they’re nine offers in, and all they’ve faced is rejection?
This is more often the case today; it’s a competitive market. You may find that you’re frequently dealing with unhappy clients up until the point that the transaction has been completed. (Conversely, they will be all the happier when the transaction is finished.)
You need to be able to deal with high-stress situations and soothe people when emotions fly high. If you can’t remain calm in the face of stress, you may not last long.
Requires ongoing education and learning.
Just because you got your license doesn’t mean you’re done learning. You must stay current on trends, the market, and real estate law.
This means taking courses, attending seminars, and being a lifelong learner. In the past, it wasn’t that hard. Today, real estate is changing from day to day.
You’re not expected to be a fiduciary to your clients; you aren’t expected to give them financial information. But you are expected to consult with them and give them advice on real estate as much as you can. The problem is that the market is changing so quickly that you may not know what a “good rental” is.
And that means a few things. It means understanding that the market is changing, explaining the changes to others, and (importantly) being willing to find out more information when you can.
Need to be constantly available and “on call.”
This is even more pertinent now. In the past, of course, it was expected that real estate professionals might work long nights putting in last-minute offers. But now, every offer is a last-minute offer.
If you’re not available, you’ll lose the business. That means being “on call” 24/7 and working long hours to ensure that your clients get what they want in a market that is as fast as it is volatile.
You are paid only for results (no guarantee of a regular paycheck).
Let’s be realistic. You have your mortgage to pay — or rent on your office. Managing your real estate sales as a solo agent is one of the most challenging aspects of real estate. Even the best real estate brokerage can’t mitigate the fact that you and you alone are in charge of your success.
You are paid only when you produce results — that is when you make a sale or help someone find a rental property. This means that there are times when you will go without a paycheck. If you’re not good at saving money, this can be a real problem.
It’s also important to understand that you are paid on commission. If you don’t make a sale, you don’t get paid. Some people are okay with this; others find it incredibly stressful.
You need to have a thick skin and understand that the rewards of interaction aren’t always immediately obvious. You may connect with people, not make a sale, but instead, forge a relationship that will help in the future.
What skills do you need to be a real estate agent?
With the above pros and cons in mind, who makes a good real estate agent? What aspects of your personality would make you more likely to enjoy those benefits — and less likely to find difficulty in those challenges?
Here are some skills you need to be a real estate agent:
1. You need to be a people person.
This is the most important skill for a real estate agent. If you don’t like working with people, then this isn’t the job for you.
2. You need to be organized.
Real estate agents need to be organized. You’ll be dealing with a lot of paperwork, and you’ll need to keep track of all your clients.
3. You need to be able to handle stress.
As a real estate agent, you’ll deal with a lot of stress. You need to handle that stress and stay calm under pressure. Find coping mechanisms and ways to enjoy stress and turn challenges into positives.
4. You need to be willing to learn.
Real estate agents need to be lifelong learners. The market is constantly changing, and you need to be able to change with it. So, you can’t be someone who gets entrenched in what they already know and refuses to change; you have to be adaptable.
5. You need to be available.
You will have a schedule flexible enough to be there for your family or enjoy your hobbies, but by the same token, you will have to step away from your personal life at times to be flexible enough for your clients.
6. You need to be results-oriented and driven.
As mentioned, you’ll only be paid for results. This means that you need to be focused on making sales and helping your clients find rental properties. You need to advocate for yourself and work harder during lean times — and even harder during flush times.
Conclusion: Are you the right person for the job?
So, those are the pros and cons of being a real estate agent.
You’re likely to be an excellent real estate agent if you’re driven, motivated, and willing to work. If you truly love the real estate industry and are a people person, it’s a great industry to try.
But if you want predictable income and a 9-to-5 schedule, real estate isn’t likely the best option.
As with any career, it can be difficult to know whether it’s right for you until you really dig in. And maybe I can help.
Contact me today to find out more about what it means to be a real estate agent today.
There are a number of reasons why people may choose to leave the real estate industry. Some find that it’s not as lucrative as they had hoped, while others may not enjoy the constantly changing nature of the business. Still others may simply feel that it’s not the right fit for their personality.
The hardest part of being a real estate agent is that you are essentially running your own business. This means that you are paid only when you produce results — that is, when you make a sale or help someone find a rental property. If you’re not good at saving money, this can be a real problem.
If you’re not having any luck as a real estate agent, the first thing you should do is reassess your goals. It’s important to understand that the real estate industry is constantly changing, so what worked last year may not work this year. If you’re not willing to change with the times, you may find it difficult to succeed.
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