Real estate is a fun yet challenging way to earn a living—but it’s not right for everyone! Many factors go into determining whether you will find success and enjoyment as an agent, and it’s a good idea to weigh all the pros and cons before jumping in.
If you’re considering a career change or side work as a real estate agent, here are some positives and negatives to consider first:
Positive #1 – It’s Rewarding to Help Others
Homeownership ranks among the top dreams and goals for most people. Many consider it to be a major life event or rite of passage to maturity. Being part of this big step can bring a sense of satisfaction for you, and a payoff for all of your hard work. Knowing that your clients (often friends and family) will be embarking on a new stage of life, transitioning to a new location, building a “nest” to start a family, or investing in an asset that will bring them a healthy long-term return can be extremely rewarding. Not every job gives people a sense of fulfillment, but real estate can be one of them.
Positive #2 – There’s Awesome Potential for Income
There’s a LOT of work involved in real estate, and we’ll talk more about that in the cons, but there is also SUBSTANTIAL income to be made. Most agents receive a typical commission of around 2.5% to 3% of the sale price of a home, so the payout for each sale is well into the thousands and depends upon the market and location. The sale of just one $750,000 home, for example, could bank you around $20,000 or more.
Positive #3 – There’s Lots of Flexibility
Because you decide which and how many clients to take, you get to determine how many hours you work and when. Need to take time off for an important event? You can. That said, many of your clients’ schedules aren’t as flexible as yours, so evenings and weekends could fill up fast with home showings and open houses.
Lots of real estate agents choose to sell homes as a second job or side hustle, or sometimes choose to limit their clientele to people they know. Whatever your schedule, it’s possible to make real estate part of your workflow. Just know that—like any other career—the less work you put into it, the less income you’ll typically see, and vice versa.
Now let’s take a look at some of the negatives that come with being a real estate agent:
Negative #1 – Working with People Can Be Challenging
Real estate is a people-centric career. This can be a fantastic thing, especially if your personality lends itself to making friends and communicating well with others. However, because this is such a major purchase and big step for many of your clients, it’s likely you will experience and have to deal with some of the negative aspects of relational transactions, including stress, fussiness, and penny-pinching. Keeping an open mind and knowing in advance that you will encounter conflicts from time to time will certainly ease the process.
Negative #2 – Patience Is Required!
You can show a client dozens and dozens of beautiful homes over the course of many weeks, or even months, without success. You can be sure that your clients’ hopes and expectations will most likely exceed their budget. You can know that escrows will take longer than anticipated and sometimes fall through. You can expect that your clients won’t always be as forthcoming as they should. You can anticipate that home inspections are going to reveal issues. Delays and obstacles and hiccups are all par for the course, so patience—both with the process and with people—is an absolute must.
Negative #3 – The Competition is Fierce
Because the payout can be lucrative, there are always more agents than the market requires. Know that there are thousands of other real estate agents who are vying for a piece for the pie, just like you. You’ll have to get creative in terms of differentiating yourself from the competition. Tap into your existing network and sphere of influence, especially as you are getting started. And be sure to be true to who you are. Clients value authenticity and can sniff out phoniness and insincerity. Many new agents often give up in the first year or two because it can be extremely difficult to close a sale when you are new to the game. Be persistent, be creative, be yourself!
Interested in learning more about beginning a real estate career? Get a head start by learning the details about what it takes to succeed. This real estate course is a good place to begin.
As with any industry, there are pros and cons to consider in determining if real estate is right for you. But let me encourage you with a friendly reminder that with perseverance, a great attitude, and willingness to work hard, you WILL succeed!