Have you ever watched those real estate shows on HGTV and thought – “Hey, being a real estate agent looks easy and glamorous! I’m fun, cute, and social! I could do that in my sleep”?
The truth is, a career in real estate isn’t just driving around with people to chat and look at houses. The real estate industry is big business, and being an agent is a serious profession with a lot of responsibility. Are you up for the challenge?
To be a broker you have to get a real estate license, which means taking a prelicensing course, passing a licensing exam, paying fees, and submitting an application. Then every few years, you have to renew your license: pay a fee and complete continuing education.
Are you ready for the responsibilities of a real estate broker? Take a look at a few of the things you should consider before leaping into the real estate profession.
- It’s About Relationships
The relationship between agents and clients is not a casual arrangement. State real estate license law specifies the responsibilities of licensees when they represent buyers or sellers, called “fiduciary duties:”
Beyond the legal requirements for real estate relationships, you’ll need to develop and maintain relationships to be successful. Real estate brokerage is selling, selling yourself, your expertise and selling properties. And since you’re also an advocate and advisor, you have to have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with a variety of people. Here’s a good read on how to get ready owning a brokerage.
To expand and mine your sphere of influence, turning leads in to clients or customers, it’ll help to be a people person (or act like one). Get out there and become a part of the community and meet as many people as possible. Then you have to keep in touch so they remember you when they need an agent.
- It’s About Juggling Multiple Roles
You’ll be wearing several different hats: salesperson, matchmaker, advocate, coach, counselor, teacher, accountant, advertising wiz, and market expert. It can be a lot to handle, but you’ll never be bored.
Real estate brokers are hired to manage the largest financial transaction of the clients’ lives. That means high stakes and high stress. A home is a big, emotional purchase. Many clients and customers have little experience buying and selling real estate and unrealistic beliefs about how much house they can afford or how much money they can get. It would be your job to manage those expectations and educate your clients.
- It’s About Managing Your Own Business
As a real estate broker, you’re basically self-employed. You are supervised by a sponsoring broker and work in her office (usually), but brokers are typically independent contractors. You’ll have to deal with the things other small business owners handle like taxes, insurance, accounting, marketing, and reinvesting in your business.
This is not a traditional job with a predictable salary or hourly wage. Your income would come from commissions, a percentage on sales you close that your share with your sponsoring broker. Your take home pay may vary from month to month. In the beginning, you’ll need a few thousand dollars to get started because it may take six months to make regular money. Plus, agents need an income buffer to survive.
Remember, serving clients is only part of the job. You have to actively look for clients, called prospecting. They don’t always come to you. That’s where hustle comes in . . .
- It’s About Hard Work and Lots of Hours
Real estate brokerage is a business that requires constant hustle. Look back over the items above and think about the time and commitment needed to keep all that going: prospecting, juggling multiple roles and clients, advertising yourself and your listings, and managing your business.
You will be working weekends and odd hours. You may need to be available to show property at a moment’s notice. Clients and customers working 9 to 5 will want to look at houses in the evenings and on weekends.
As a Jack-of-all-trades growing your business, diligent research is required. In this multifaceted profession, you’ll learn about your local market, economics, demographics, sociology, law, cultural trends, psychological factors, marketing strategies, appraisal, home inspection, and environmental issues. Some may find this daunting, while others find it fascinating.
But the varied, complex nature of the job is part of the appeal. You won’t be sitting behind a desk, doing the same thing every day. You get to meet a variety of people and learn and talk about something you love. While the hours and pay may vary and the stakes are high, real estate brokerage is a stimulating, rewarding career. You get to help people make their dreams come true!
So, want to become a real estate broker? Take the first step at 360training.com, where you’ll find convenient online real estate pre-license courses.