A career in real estate can be as rewarding and as big as you want it to be
Ways out of a stagnant wage rate may be scarce, but owning your own business can offer lifetime benefits. Unfortunately, starting a new business can be expensive.
The good news is that becoming a real estate agent can help you get started on your own business path at a very low relative cost. The cost of a license exam course and test is all you need.
It's also very easy to recruit new real estate agents. When a broker who loves the business talks with a potential candidate, you can feel the excitement rising. Whether it's being your own boss or building a business for life, there are so many reasons to choose a career in real estate.
Be your own boss
Most real estate agents are independent contractors. This means that they can set their own hours, develop their clientele, decide on their marketing methods and develop their business as their own.
Take control of your company's growth
There are no limits to the growth of your real estate business, and you can achieve fantastic rewards if you combine a good attitude with a superior work ethic. You will need to incorporate good business skills and develop effective marketing methods, but it's all in your hands.
An overlooked facet of the real estate profession is that your independent contractor status means you are in business for yourself. The broker you choose to work with will often provide you with office space, support, training and prospects, so you should always think of them as your own business to grow and evolve as you see fit.
Reap the future rewards of excellent customer service
Studies have shown that the majority of home buyers say they would use their real estate agent again or recommend the agent to others. It's a huge advantage for this business to be able to reap future business benefits from the goodwill of past clients.
Pay as much attention to the nuts and bolts of work and customer service as you do to marketing. You'll see great results later.
Take that vacation!
Your time is your own, so take that vacation! Develop relationships with other agents in your office. When you find someone with a similar style and work ethic, you can work together to set up time off knowing your clients will be treated the way you want them to be. You are in charge of your business and your time off.
You can be as big as you want
Your business can be as big as you want it to be. The real estate industry offers tremendous potential for expansion from your solo start-up.
As an agent, your income is controlled largely by the time you invest, but you can expand your business by adding one or more assistants. Or get your broker's license and start a brokerage, sponsor agents to leverage your potential.
How to get started: develop a plan
Develop a plan to give yourself the "good life" later. If you decide to develop a brokerage business, it is possible to structure it for sale at some point in the future. The value of your brokerage business will increase and become a marketable retirement asset if you use good business practices.
Keep in mind: this is not easy money!
Now, a word of caution: no, it's not expensive to get into this business and if you couple that with the low education and training barriers to entry, you can see why it attracts people who shouldn't be in the business. There is a prevailing attitude that real estate is fast, easy and a lot of money, and that is not true.
A large percentage of new agents leave the business within a year or two when they realize the easy money is not there. They struggled and worked long and hard, and earned very little commission. Their costs to transport buyers in their cars were higher than expected, and they learned to hate working with buyers.
Starting out part-time can be a little more challenging in terms of marketing, getting business and keeping up with client schedules, but it helps some agents stay in the business until the commissions start rolling in. It's not fun when you're working hard and not bringing in money, but it's worth it to stay if you can.