If you watch real estate shows and think being a real estate agent looks fun and easy you may want to do a little research before you become an agent. The real estate industry is fun, exciting, and rewarding, but it’s also a lot of hard work and responsibility. Here are some things to know before embarking on a real estate career.
- You’re the Boss
Real estate agents are small business owners. You’ll have to deal with the things other small business owners handle like taxes, insurance, accounting, marketing, and reinvesting in your business.
Your take home pay may vary from month to month and in the beginning, you’ll need money saved up to get started. Serving clients is only part of the job. You have to actively look for clients, called prospecting. They don’t always come to you.
- You’re a Fiduciary
This is not a casual business relationship. Real estate agents are fiduciaries holding a position of trust and serious responsibilities like managing legal documents and handling other people’s money. State real estate license law specifies the required fiduciary duties:
- You Set Your Own Hours
That can be good and bad. It gives you lots of flexibility but how much you earn depends on how much work you put in. Real estate requires constant hustle: prospecting, juggling multiple roles and clients, advertising yourself and your listings, and managing your business.
And agents work weekends, evenings, 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.
- You Must Love People and Real Estate
Happy real estate agents love real estate, buying it, selling it, learning about it, talking about it, blogging about it. This business is about building relationships with customers, clients, real estate professionals, and competitors. Many agents are people persons who love chatting with everyone they meet about real estate. As an agent, your number 1 duty is helping people.
- There is a Lot of Variety
You won’t be doing the same thing all day. An agent acts as an accountant, promoter, counselor, and interior designer sometimes in one day. This career allows you to be analytical, supportive, tough, creative, and strategic.
- There is a Lot to Learn
Top agents are constantly learning. They know a lot about real estate and a little about everything else, like economics, regulations, construction, design, psychology, appraisal, environmental issues, marketing, and negotiations.
- You Solve Problems
Every transaction will have some problem that needs solving to close the deal. Agents must effectively communicate with clients, customers, and agents and gather the information and the tools needed to resolve issues. Clients expect their agent to have the answers and solutions.