If you’ve been thinking of changing careers and earning your real estate license, there are a few things you should know before taking the leap. This list will help make sure you’re ready when you take the first step toward your new real estate career.
1. You Decide How Successful You Are
That’s right! You will get out of a real estate career exactly what you put into it. This is a career that rewards hard work. If you dedicate yourself to being successful in real estate, you will greatly increase your odds of success. Your income potential as a real estate agent is basically unlimited. But it goes both ways…part-time effort will likely lead to part-time pay.
2. You’re Going to Need a Plan
When newly licensed real estate agents fail, it’s usually because they didn’t think about that period of time between passing their exam and cashing their first commission check. You need to set goals, as well as develop a business plan and marketing plan. That plan should include metrics and daily activities all driven toward helping you meet your goals. Hold yourself accountable to the goals you’ve established and the tasks you’ve identified to help you get there.
3. You Should Have a Small Nest Egg
The period of time between earning a license and getting a commission check is not a set amount of time. Having a plan will certainly help you keep that time period to a minimum, but you’re going to need to be able to cover the costs of your day-to-day life, as well as business startup costs. If you’re thinking of earning a real estate license within the next year, start saving whatever you can now so that you can handle living expenses while you wait for your first check. Although there is some financing available to eligible agents, putting a little money away at a time to ensure you can cover your costs for a couple of months is your best option.
4. You’re Going to be the Boss Now
If you’re used to the typical company structure with a boss telling you what you’re responsible for, this can sometimes be a shock. The broker you work for will likely keep an eye on how you’re performing. But for the most part, it’s up to you. You need to be disciplined enough to take control of your career and make the most of your time. Nobody will be as invested in your success as you are.
5. You May Have to Work Some Weekends
If you are planning to work in residential real estate sales, you will likely need to dedicate at least a portion of your weekend to work. People shop for homes in their free time. And their free time is typically on nights and weekends. As a result, buyers and sellers expect their real estate agent to be available for showings, open houses, and office visits on the weekend. However, compromise is attainable. Many successful real estate agents work one day of the weekend to balance client service with their personal lives. As long as you’re up front with your clients about your availability, it’s usually not a problem.
6. You Need to Set Yourself Apart
The good news is your friends and family will likely be eager to work with you as a newly licensed real estate agent. The bad news is nearly everyone knows someone who sells real estate. So what are you going to do to set yourself apart from someone’s neighbor, brother, or best friend from college? The most successful real estate agents know the value of differentiation. You need to develop a brand that sets you apart from the rest of the market and gives potential clients a reason to choose you over someone they know on a personal level.
7. Real Estate is an Incredibly Rewarding Career
Some people enter the real estate business with unrealistic expectations. It isn’t easy, and it is incredibly competitive. There also isn’t a guaranteed weekly paycheck. But all of these challenges are what make real estate such a rewarding career. If you dedicate yourself to exceptional client service and hard work, the rewards are worth it. There’s nothing like helping someone find the perfect home for their family and handing them the keys to their future.