According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you’re over 50 you’re in the fastest growing part of the workforce. By 2024, about a quarter of the workforce will be over 55 and 13 million workers will be 65 and older. With the striking increases in longevity in the past 50 years, workers in their 50’s may not be looking forward to retiring but to starting a new career.
In fact, your golden years are a prime opportunity to get into a new field. You have years of both life and professional experience that can ease the transition and give you insight into a new skill set. The American Institute for Economic Research shows that most older workers who make a career change are successful, especially if they can utilize skills they already have. Becoming a real estate agent is an excellent choice for seniors for a variety of reasons. You won’t be alone either; according to the National Association of Realtors, the average realtor is 57 years old.
Why is Real Estate a Good Option for Seniors?
Although becoming a real estate agent requires a license and some training, seniors have been in the workforce for years and can utilize many of the skills they may have from personal and career experience. If you have any business experience, your skill sets in negotiation, marketing and client acquisition will allow you to get the first jump on making money from your new career. Any senior with experience in customer service or working with people will have an edge in real estate because once you acquire clients, convincing them to buy a home with you is where you will make your money. Most seniors also have the personal life experience of purchasing their own home, allowing insight into the customer perspective.
Another wonderful benefit of being a realtor is the flexibility it offers. It can be a full- or part-time career simply depending upon the amount of time you want to dedicate to it and the money you want to make. For the most part, you can make your own schedule. Sometimes the client’s schedule will dictate when you meet with them, but the research required on behalf of the client can be completed on your own time. You will need to interact with clients often, updating them as you receive new information on their homes or homes in their price range. If you live alone, becoming a real estate agent is a wonderful way to avoid social isolation.
In addition, realty is a great option for seniors because there are many senior homebuyers who feel more comfortable working with agents close to their own age. There is a special certification provided by the National Association of Realtors for realtors of any age to specialize in real estate for seniors; however, there are many senior homebuyers who prefer to work with someone in their age range because of similar life experience. Seniors offer personalized perspective on any need that seniors who are buying or selling a home may have, including how to downsize, how to find a home for aging-in-place and how to find a home with the necessary modifications or accommodations for comfortable living.