The Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent
If anyone could jump into an industry with unlimited earning potential and a flexible schedule, they would, but let's be honest: it takes a lot of dedication and sales skill to close properties. You’ve got to have the drive to build up your business and make it through the slow times, the times when the market bottoms out, and the times when competition gets the better of you. Get a clear picture of the pros and cons of starting this amazing journey by reading below,
The real estate industry is famous for giving you the opportunity to make it big, while at the same time asking you to invest a lot in order to make that a reality. Successful agents—whether in buying, selling, residential, commercial or renting—will tell you the payoff is worth the hustle. If you’re looking to put in your eight hours and drop out, this isn’t the job for you. But with that mindset comes an income cap, and real estate income is unlimited, while at the same time giving you the opportunity to truly help people make the biggest purchase of their lives. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of becoming a realtor.
There are a lot of benefits of being a real estate agent, and one that is not in the list but that we will mention immediately is the ability to get started right away. You don’t need four years of education to become a real estate agent, you simply need to become licensed. Many of the best realtors were interested in selling or buying properties from a young age, and so prepared early on for their licensure, allowing them to get started working as soon as possible, with no student loans. Pre-licensing hours range from 60-135, depending on your state. After you take the licensing exam, pass, and activate your license, you’re ready, and each stage only costs a few hundred dollars.
- Mobility: When you’re a real estate agent you can work from anywhere, and work within a wide range of roles. This to us means mobility has multiple definitions when it comes to this lucrative career choice. Say, for example, you don’t like being an actual agent, you can move into sales associate, customer service representative, officer manager, leasing consultant, property manager, residential appraiser, or real estate investor roles and still support the industry you love in a way that works better for your skillset and personality.
- Helping People: As a salesperson it can feel like you’re pushing a product on a client, and depending on what you sell, this may be true—but a home or business, these are essential to the lives and livelihoods of your clients.
- No Income Cap: You can grow your business as large as you would like. As any realtor knows, you can earn as much as a doctor or lawyer without spending the hundreds of thousands of dollars in educational costs that those professions require. Even the average agent still earns a respectable $51,000 per year.
- Flexible Schedule: When you work for yourself, and often when you work for a brokerage, you can set your own schedule. More than that, you can organize your tasks the way you’d like. This does come with the caveat however that each day for a realtor is a mix of calls, appointments, showings, offer evaluations, closings, negotiations, marketing, and more. You do it all, and because you can manage it, you can have control over your situation.
Many have tried their hand at real estate and many have failed when the money didn’t come big, quick and steadily. Real estate is a gamble, and you have to be all-in to win.
- Slow Periods: As with any job where you create your own income, slow periods mean you don’t get paid. Not only do you need to generate work and make enough to cover slow periods, you need to manage your money wisely enough to ensure you actually have money when you need it. While periods of low or no money may be easy for some people, others, such as those with families, may find it hard to handle the stress of the unpredictability. This is one reason why people seek out jobs with set paychecks—it is more comfortable. There really is no comfortable position in the world of real estate agents, because if you aren’t gaining an edge on the next agent, he or she is gaining one on you.
- No 40-Hour Weeks: Just as there is no scheduled pay, there is also no such thing as a 40-hour workweek in real estate. As stated above, someone is outworking you if you’re only pulling an 8-hour workday. This is the cost of an unlimited earning potential—an unlimited workload potential. Make sure you truly have a passion for the industry, not just the paycheck, so that you can work long weeks, skip family time and make sacrifices in the long-term in order to ensure your success.
- The Grind: Everyone thinks their job is difficult, and most jobs are, but real estate stands out for its true grind. Managing listings, clients and marketing—jobs usually reserved for three people, plus another for actually doing the selling—isn’t for everyone. Actually, it’s not even for real estate agents who thrive, because they still struggle to juggle it all. That’s why Symplete exists, to be an affordable software solution that streamlines everything but an agent’s core competency: knowing their niche and closing deals.
- Turnover: After you sell a property you have to start all over again. Referrals help with this process to a degree because you aren’t always doing the legwork of finding new clients, but you do have to sell from scratch and that’s a new process every time. Each client usually only buys or sells once, maybe twice, and after that you are selling their friends and family, who are completely different buyers or sellers. However, if you like mixing things up and not getting stuck working with the same people, this con could easily turn into a pro.