A lot of times when I tell someone that I am a Realtor® I get responses such as “oh yeah, I have thought about doing that” or “I really like decorating so I think I would be good in real estate” and let’s not forget “I was thinking that would be a great way to supplement my income.” In reality, most of these people don’t know why, how or even what the job entails. But the truth is, there is a lot more to beginning a career as a Realtor® than anyone really expects.
- Taking the courses and passing the exams is tedious and takes time, but is not difficult. It is afterwards that it becomes tricky, trying to create and manage a business that offers a real income.
- It takes money to make money. We’ve all heard this before, but it could not be more true in this business. It takes thousands of dollars to develop a business from the ground up. Even more, its takes originality and unique ideas. Most ‘new’ concepts that you may foster have probably been tried and tested hundreds of times. Every new agent spends a lot of money on the wrong things; it takes time, $$ and unrelenting effort to understand what is important to sustaining your personal trade.
- Your smartphone is your new best friend. It doesn’t matter if you having dinner, out at the movie theatre or even sleeping, it is imperative that you get up to answer calls, emails and text messages if you want to be successful. Of course this is not something that you must do, but it makes all the difference between those who are prosperous and those who are not. Ignoring a call/text/email could be a costly mistake.
- As a new agent, be prepared to be questioned, doubted, accused and lied to.
- You will show thousands of houses. You must be prepared as anything can go wrong at a showing (ie. late clients, bad weather, angry dogs, etc) and most houses you show, you won’t sell.
- Almost nobody will respect your time, and everybody thinks you are overpaid.
- You pay taxes. Along with dues to different associations, signs, lockboxes, websites and advertising… the list goes on.
- This is not a business for the naïve, ignorant or light-hearted; you must have thick skin!
- You will deal with clients where you just wonder… how?
- You will deal with a wide range of people; from those who are extremely appreciative and respectful, to the strange men and women that call and request that you meet them at a house RIGHT NOW!
- Being a Realtor® can be quite risky; you may get towed once or twice, you could get into an accident while showing houses- let’s hope you’re clients aren’t with you, getting sick or breaking a bone (having surgery, needing bedrest, etc) will hurt your business, you may have to show houses in questionable neighbourhoods and/or to unknown clients- always let somebody know where you will be.
- Listing homes that you will not sell; no Realtor® sells every home that they list.
- Your signs will be stolen and/or vandalized.
- Each transaction that you work means that you are likely dealing with about eight different people; people skills are of utmost importance.
- People will talk to you about their personal life. You might be a therapist one day, and a divorce lawyer the next.
- When you are sick, you work. When you are on vacation, you work. Business is always #1.
- You should have a nice car and wear appropriate attire.
- You will work with all sorts of agents; they all have different methods of running a business and dealing with transactions. Egos will get involved.
- Friends and family will ask for real estate advice on a transaction that you are not involved in; conversely, other Realtors® will give your clients advice. Every Buyer and Seller knows an agent somewhere.
- When you first start, you will have no idea what you are talking about and everyone is aware. Stick it out. Upwards of 65% of new agents do not make it! And 4 out of every 5 Realtors® is out of business in the first 18 months.
- Real Estate as a supplementary income is not a wise decision; as I mentioned above, it takes A LOT of time, money and serious effort to be prosperous in this type of career. It is important to invest all of your focus into your business as a Realtor®. Your clients need your full-time attention.
After reading all of this, you probably wonder why someone might choose to be involved in Real Estate.
- It is an amazing opportunity to reap what you sow.
- You are your own boss; you get to choose when you work, how your work and who you work with.
- The people that you work with change all the time; clients come and go. The majority of them will be great to work with, some not so much. However, you only work with them for a certain period of time, and then you can move on!
- You can help make their dreams come true!
- Not all clients are bad; most of them understand and it is all fabulous when everything works out!
Now, if you are still an aspiring Realtor®, my number one piece of advice for you is: go and talk to someone in the industry. A Sales Representative, Broker, Manager, etc. They can easily explain everything you need to know before jumping in head first. And always remember, it takes 3-5 years to make that phone ring and have a solid business.