Being a real estate agent isn’t easy. On paper, it might sound that way, as you can work independently rather than with an agency and have a flexible work schedule, among other aspects. However, like with any job, doing your research on what will be expected of you in the field is vital to making sure you go into a position you’ll enjoy and excel at. Before becoming a real estate agent, here are a few things you may want to know.
- When you’re a real estate agent, you’ll be investing yourself into it like you would a business. You could pay hundreds of dollars in pre-licensing before even starting your career due to coursework, state exams, fingerprinting, background checks, and getting a license itself. After that, there will be membership dues for state and local real estate boards, multiple listing services, errors and omissions insurance—the list goes on. If this is a career you’d like, save some money so you can cover the expenses.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your career. It can take months to sit at a closing table with a client. To shorten this waiting period, make yourself readily available to clients and continuously work on your brand and network. Always put your best foot forward, because even if a client decides to go elsewhere, they could give you a referral.
- A flexible work schedule may seem like a plus before diving into your career, but the truth is you’ll be working according to everyone else’s agenda rather than your own. Even if you’re not working under someone, you’ll be working for someone: your client. Their schedules may not be the most convenient, and you can expect to work at odd hours of the day, seven days a week.
- As much as freelancing seems nice, it might be more beneficial to work on a team instead of on your own in the long run. Successful real estate agents will have plenty of listings to go around, so having their paychecks cut won’t be too much of an issue. Plus, you’ll have someone to guide you through the ropes of what it means to be a real estate agent and help build your reputation. By the time you head out on your own, not only will you have plenty of experience, but you’ll also have a network of people to work with.