A real estate agent smiling while in the background a couple stands with a for sale sign in front of a home

The Truth About Being a Real Estate Agent – Is It Worth It?

Many people believe that being a real estate agent is an easy career where you can make a lot of money while working as your own boss and deciding your own hours.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you become a real estate agent, you are essentially running your own business.

In this post, we’ll discuss the truth about being a real estate agent and whether or not it’s worth it. We’ll go over everything you should consider to see if this career is right for you.

Work-Life Balance

While it’s true that running your own real estate business means you can set your own hours, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will work less than a typical nine to five job. In fact, you may find yourself working more than 40 hours a week at times.

One truth about being a real estate agent is that you will have to strive to have a good work-life balance. As your own boss, it can be easy to let work take up too much of your time. It can also be challenging to stop thinking about work at the end of the day.

In addition, real estate agents usually have to work on the weekends because that is when most people have the time to go to open houses and showings.

An important part of being a real estate professional is to have an effective time management strategy, where you have dedicated work and relaxation times.

One strategy to help you manage your time is called time blocking. Time blocking for real estate agents can help you have a healthy work-life balance so that you can avoid constantly working.

As you get more experience and your business grows over time, you can start hiring others to help you manage the workload and give you a better work-life balance. You can find real estate agent virtual assistants on popular freelance sites like UpWork and Fiver.

Income and Expenses

Perhaps the most important truth about being a real estate agent is that your income will not be consistent for at least the first couple of years. As a Realtor, you will not be paid a normal salary. Instead, everything you earn will be from the commissions you make from closing deals.

This carries a certain amount of inherent risk for every agent. While many agents end up failing in their first year, the ones who push through and find motivation will eventually see a larger, more stable income.

Another point to consider when deciding if it’s worth it to be a real estate agent is the number of expenses you will have, even as a brand new agent.

There are a certain amount of upfront costs associated with being a Realtor, and usually, you will not see a return on your investments in the first year.

For example, some of these expenses include license fees, MLS fees, paid advertising costs, tools, and systems, and website domain and hosting costs.

However, because you are running your own business many of these expenses can count as tax deductions for real estate agents.

A group of business people sitting around a table. The truth about being a real estate agent is that it requires team building

Training and Team Building

Before you become an official real estate agent, you will have to take a pre-licensing course and pass an exam in order to get your real estate license.

Once you complete these steps and become licensed as a real estate agent, you will have to join a brokerage, whether you want to work in luxury real estate, commercial real estate, or residential real estate.

When looking for brokerages, don’t just focus on finding a real estate broker with the best agent commission split. Instead, focus on the value they can provide for you and your career. Find a broker that can provide you with the right tools, training, and mentorship to help you succeed.

The most successful real estate agents often work with a mentor for guidance, for example, a more experienced agent within their brokerage. For this reason, find a brokerage that you will enjoy working at that is also a great fit for your goals.

Interview several different brokerages to find the right culture and personality fit for you. Once you have some experience under your belt, you can start building your own team and form your own brokerage if that’s a path you want to take in your real estate career.

The right brokerage can help you improve your skills and knowledge through continuing education. The real estate industry is constantly changing due to the creation of new technology and services like Realtor.com and Zillow. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of the trends in the industry and adapt accordingly.

Marketing and Branding

Another truth about being a real estate agent is that you will have to develop a marketing strategy and personal branding plan.

Developing your own brand is key to finding success as a Realtor. You must use your brand as a way to set yourself apart from your competition.

Content marketing is one strategy you can use to develop your brand. For example, you can write blog posts on popular subjects in the real estate industry and post them to your website to offer your clients helpful guidance. When you do this, increase your brand awareness and authority in the industry.

Another element of branding is having a cohesive message, color scheme, and style. Use the same profile picture across all your social media and professional pages. If you don’t have much graphic design skills, you can hire a freelancer on UpWork or Fiver to create any graphics you may need for your website or social media pages.

Also, an often overlooked element of branding is simply to dress professionally and develop a business image that your clients will be able to respect. Whenever you meet in person with clients, you should be sure to dress in professional business attire. Something as simple as this will go a long way to developing your brand.

As a new real estate agent, you will find yourself constantly compared with your competition, and it’s up to you to show your potential client what makes you unique. Instead of comparing yourself to your competition, focus on a niche and marketing yourself to that audience.

Your marketing plan can include creating content on your own website, social media marketing, print materials, cold calling, content creation, and any other strategies to increase lead generation and brand awareness.

Networking and Prospecting

You may have heard that it doesn’t pay to be “salesy” in real estate. And while it’s true that being authentic is preferable, it’s still important to have sales skills.

Another truth about being a real estate agent is that your sales skills and people skills will determine your success.

While you don’t need to be extroverted, you will have to feel comfortable cold calling, networking, and working with people. Your people skills will help you get good testimonials, grow your sphere of influence, and increase the number of referrals you get.

For prospecting, it’s best to choose a niche. For example, this could be FSBOs, expired listings, or other types of listings.

In order to bring in a steady income, you’ll have to consistently prospect for new leads. To this end, follow-up is key, no matter how long it’s been since you last spoke to that lead. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to someone to see if they are in need of your services, or even just to see how they are doing and maintain a relationship.

There are tools that can help you easily stay in touch with your entire sphere of influence, such as SendOutCards, kvCORE, and Agent Legend.

Dealing with Rejection

The flip side of prospecting is that you will inevitably face rejection, but you cannot let these rejections get to you.

You must stay positive no matter what situation you encounter. If a lead rejects you, you will always find another.

Once you build up your reputation, leads will come much easier and you’ll face less rejection. The best way to create a good reputation is to get reviews and testimonials from everyone you work with.

Even when you’re just starting out, you can get character reviews from friends, family, and neighbors for your website and social media. Even reviews like these will go a long way in convincing leads to work with you.

As you work with more clients, you’ll eventually want to start asking for real estate reviews on your Google business page, Zillow profile, Facebook business page, and Yelp profile.

There are other situations where having a positive mindset is key to success. You should prepare for some difficult moments, such as dealing with uncommunicative clients or handling real estate objections while cold calling.

A man writing in a notebook while looking at a laptop

More Responsibility

Becoming a successful real estate agent essentially means you are running your own business. You are technically an independent contractor, and there’s a certain element of entrepreneurship involved in running your own real estate business.

This means you will have to do your own taxes, administrative tasks, marketing, lead generation, customer service, and manage your own time effectively.

In addition, there is no corporate ladder that you need to climb in real estate. Instead, the amount of success and income you earn directly depends on the level of work you put in.

While there’s a lot of competition in the industry, it’s possible for anyone to become successful if they work hard and put in consistent effort for the first few years.

For this reason, you should go into real estate for the right reasons. If you just want to become an agent because you want to make a lot of money and work on your own time, you probably won’t make it very far.

On the other hand, if you’re passionate about the industry, working with people, and serving their needs, you can use that passion as motivation to get you through the challenging moments.

Final Thoughts On The Truth About Being a Real Estate Agent

So, what’s the truth about working in the real estate profession? Despite what real estate shows on TV might lead you to believe, the real estate industry is anything but glamorous. Becoming a millionaire real estate agent is incredibly difficult, and it will take many years of working in the industry to see that level of success.

With that being said, working as a real estate agent is a deeply rewarding career. if you work hard, stay positive, and be consistent, you’ll soon see the results of your labor pay off in no time!

What are your thoughts on being a real estate agent? Do you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

Kyle Handy

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Check out my Partner Page for details on the benefits of working with me at eXp Realty. I’ve helped hundreds of real estate agents, team leaders, & brokers all over the country, increase their business & build additional revenue streams. Together, we can make this year your best yet!

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3 Comments

  1. As always great content Kyle. Thank you for been an inspiring too selling agent. I’m glad to be part of your team!

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