Posted On: May 20, 2022

Is it Hard to be a Real Estate Agent?

If you are considering becoming a real estate agent, you may wonder how difficult the job really is to maintain.

Every real estate agent faces a number of trials and challenges that are unique to the job. The obstacles that real estate agents face are unlike any other obstacles faced at other jobs. These unique obstacles are a result of the work that is completely unique and in a field of its own.

Becoming established in the industry requires a lot of work. For example, it may take several years to build a solid client list from which you get solid referrals.

However, the best part of being a real estate agent is that you can take away just as much as your pour into your career. The work is never more than you allow for yourself. You have complete control of your environment and work availability. Performing well in your first few years means that you work hard to establish yourself. After these first few years, the position changes and becomes busier as you build more work than normal and may even need to turn away clients. As you can imagine, challenges change as your career changes.

A career in real estate is unlike any other job. Part of what makes them an attractive career choice for people is the unlimited potential to gain wealth and influence. The industry provides unlimited earning potential for those who work hard and can build a large client base. Part of what make a career in real estate an attractive option is the unlimited potential to gain wealth.

While there are many positives in a real estate career, there are many challenges that agents face on their road to success.

We found nine of the biggest challenges in growing your real estate career along with expert advice on how to overcome those challenges.


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The 9 Hardest Parts of Being a Real Estate Agent (With Solutions!)

You Are Paid a Commission

Working in most careers, you get an hourly wage or an annual salary. Predicting your next paycheck is easy which makes it simple to plan to pay your bills. These steady jobs provide a sense of security.

However, most real estate agents rely on commissions. Commission pay is a percentage of a house sale. This percentage is predetermined when you start working with an individual to buy or sell a home. On average, the commission stays around 2.5%-6% of a sale. Even after that commission, many agents need to split it with their broker. They will end up taking home 1.25%- 3% of a sale after the split.

The amount that the property sells for, the commission, and how many properties you sell determine your monthly income. It is difficult to predict these factors, especially when you are first starting out as a real estate agent.


Even though earning a commission is inconsistent, commissions provide real estate agents with unlimited earning potential. In a salary or hourly position, where you know exactly how much you bring home and your income is capped.  you can only keep earning more in real estate. Unlike an hourly-paid or salary job, your income does not get capped or depend on how many hours you work. capped by the number of hours you work. Your paycheck depends on the number of properties you sell and the amount for which the property is sold.

Though it takes time to get to a position to earn a large amount of money, experience brings larger paychecks and more income potential down the road. Gaining experience and increasing your sphere of influence means your income starts to skyrocket.

Keeping a budget and keeping a reserve of excess income can help plan budgets.

Time Management Can Be Difficult

The independence of a job in real estate means you can select how many hours you work. However, it becomes difficult for some people to motivate themselves to build their own schedules. Real estate agents find it difficult to determine how their time will be spent.

Much of what needs to be accomplished in a day does not directly lead to house sales on current properties. You must work to gain new leads through social media and advertising while maintaining your current client needs.  

Many solo agents do not get to experience how other more experienced agents structure their time, making it difficult to understand which tasks they should prioritize with their time.


Making your own schedule is one of the most attractive parts of working in a real estate career.

Structuring your time largely depends on your experience. Try making a list of priorities and how much time you can spend on them each day. You will naturally find a rhythm for yourself. It is most important to remain flexible. Not every day is the same when working in real estate.

You Become Your Own Boss

It is challenging to become your own boss. Without a hierarchy or management, it becomes more difficult to deal with issues, questions, or frustrations in the workplace.

You also must navigate your own career and take charge of your education, hours, rates, and leads. This skill set is new to many agents, and it takes time for many people to adjust.

Because you manage yourself, you must understand how to market yourself and expand your business. You also must learn how to track your own business expenses and quarterly taxes.


Being your own boss means you have the opportunity to oversee your career and make the decisions that dictate your growth. You have the ability to decide how to manage your profession.

Your sponsoring broker guides you and shows you how to manage your career as you start out. The managing broker is your best resource, as they are someone who is experienced in the industry and understand how to manage the new career of a real estate agent.

It Is a Relationship-Based Industry

Much of an established real estate agent’s client list comes from what is known as a “sphere of influence.” This sphere of influence in real estate includes the people that you have some influence over. It is difficult to build trust among strangers and build a valuable list of people who refer to you as their real estate agent. But the people who already trust you may refer you to their friends and family.

Many people do not buy and sell houses very often. Sustaining a relationship with people over many years can be difficult.


Strengthening your sphere of influence should be a continuous goal that pays off in your career.

One way to have a growing sphere of influence is to find a charity or cause that means something to you. Volunteer your time or find a hobby group that meets often to expand your sphere. This networking method is an effective way to meet people and preserve relationships. When someone in your sphere needs a real estate agent, you will be the first person they think about.

The Real Estate Market Can Change

The real estate market is constantly evolving. A market crash is a constant fear for many agents, similar to the housing crash of 2008. There is no way to perfectly predict the market, which seemingly makes this job a risky choice.


Since the housing crisis of 2008, many programs and laws were created to prevent a similar housing market crash from happening again.

The demand for homes is constantly increasing as the next generation of homeowners floods the market. As couples become families, someone is looking for their starter house, or retirees look to downsize, there are people in transition at all times who require a real estate agent.

Difficult Work-Life Balance

Working with people looking for a home means that you must adjust your day to fit their schedule. This means that you may work outside of “normal” working hours. Your clients may need to meet for viewings after their workday or on weekends. It is not easy to find time for yourself or your family while working unpredictable hours.


Agents must set boundaries for themselves. Tell your clients your available hours and find a solution that works for all parties. Make sure you track your time at work and allow for your personal matters.

If you have clients that require evenings and weekends, then adjust your work hours to have your free time during the day to do your personal tasks and relax.

There Are Many Continuing Education Requirements

Every state has different continuing education requirements

These requirements typically require 10-30 hours of CE courses and must be completed every few years.

These CE classes serve as a refresher to the knowledge you learned in real estate school. CE courses also inform real estate professionals about new regulations and changing practices.

With such a demanding schedule, it is difficult for many agents to find time to take these CE courses. The added expense of taking CE courses is not desirable.


Try taking your continuing education courses online. 360training CE courses are 100% online and are available 24/7. You can take these CE courses anytime, anywhere.

Many sponsoring brokers purchase for their agent’s CE courses for them.


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You Wear Many Different Hats

Working a job in real estate means you have many roles to play. You are a trustworthy professional to your client, a skille negotiator to your seller, and a legal professional on your contracts.

It is exhausting to switch between these many roles.


Stay involved and do not give up.

Any new job may seem overwhelming at first. As your career continues and you complete more real estate transactions, your experiences will take over and your career will become more manageable.

It is important not to give up right away. Many agents give up in their first few years. But, with determination and a team to support you, your ability to fill your roles becomes easier.

What if I Do Not Want to Be a Real Estate Agent Anymore?

After working as a real estate agent for a few years, some people decide that they want to move on to other opportunities. Being an agent is an exciting and rewarding career, but the busy schedule may become tiresome as you transition into new phases of your life.


The good news: there are many areas to grow within the real estate industry.

After working as a real estate agent for several years, your industry experience is invaluable. There are several options to choose from to change your career path. You can take classes to become a managing broker and oversee agents, become a real estate appraiser, or become a property manager.

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