Being a real estate agent is a tough industry to break into. You’ll often put in hours and hours of work, time and money before you make your first sale. Are you ready to be a real estate agent? Here are 5 things no one tells you about being a real estate agent before you take on the job.
One of the misnomers about being a real estate agent is that for every seller there is a willing and able buyer. Yes, people may like the house you’ve listed and yes, people may have the wherewithal to pay you the price you’re looking for, but no, most people who come into a home looking to buy are looking for a “deal.” Modern real estate is lampooned as being a game of virtual “home hot-potato,” but that’s not really the case. Negotiations can take days and weeks and longer. If the demand is low for the type of house you’ve listed, it’s even tougher. And of course you could have a willing seller and a willing buyer who meets your price target and then winds up not having the money! That’s the real kicker; even when everything else falls into place, pre-qualified or not, sometimes the money just doesn’t come through.
It takes a village to sell a home, or almost. There are many players that come to the table when you are talking about a real estate transaction. One of the things no one really likes to delve into when you’re thinking of being a real estate agent are the “splits” which occur. Your commission may seem pretty great at the get-go, but when you take into account how many people are getting a piece of that pie, the take home begins to dwindle.
Another thing no one really wants to tell you about being a real estate agent is that, when it comes to your clients paying you for your experience and services, everyone thinks that they are an expert. Real estate agents have been taken down a peg in this DIY world we live in today; anyone can do anything with the power of the Internet! Or so they would like to believe.
Another thing about being a real estate agent is that your income is directly related to how well and how fast you can turn properties around. If you are living in an area with a booming real estate market you may get lucky and begin to build a name for yourself. Of course if things have slowed down or you have just been paired with a few duds in recent months, you are still pretty well a slave to that commission. You have got to be able to survive for days, weeks, and sometimes months between your paydays. Fortunately, there are real estate commission advance services out there who can help you keep your cash flow steady.
A final point about being a real estate agent happens when the well of properties has run dry. This isn’t so much a “ghost town” scenario; people are always buying and selling homes. But if you are working for the wrong agency or you can’t bring bodies in the door to list their properties or you can’t get people out to view the properties you’re listing, then you are going to be trying to draw water after the well has run dry.
Of course being a real estate agent is also a thrilling job which allows agents to meet new people, meet local retailers and really get in touch with their local and broader community. But if you’ve made the plunge, don’t forget these potential pitfalls!