It seems like reality TV that highlights the glamor of the real estate world has renewed the nation’s interest in real estate as a career. Watching snappy-looking agents showing luxury homes in exotic locations, narrowing the field to a few homes, and closing the sale within an hour can be enticing to someone who is looking for a change of career.
However, it is important to realize that the heavily edited TV shows do not show the whole picture. While there are certainly many positive reasons to pursue a career in real estate, it is smart to take the plunge with your eyes open. In this way, you may avoid shock and disappointment when you don’t earn a million-dollar commission in your first year as an agent.
The reality of real estate
As exciting and rewarding as a career in real estate may be, the work is long, and much of it is administrative, especially when you are just starting out. Instead of working Monday through Friday from nine to five, you can expect to work evenings and weekends if it fits a client’s schedule. When you aren’t showing houses or closing sales, you will likely be doing market research, following up on leads and networking with other agents and brokers. Other surprising truths about life as an agent include the following:
- Clients will not be beating down your door. In fact, a large part of your job will be tracking down leads and building a client base, and this may involve persistent contact with prospects.
- Not every client will be a good fit for you. It’s important to be yourself when dealing with clients so everyone involved can see if they click together.
- Your job is more about building relationships than selling property. This means you may work with a client for years before they make a decision.
- You will benefit from growing some tough skin because you may have to deal with difficult clients, competitive agents and even people who want to sue you.
Some tricks can help you improve the chances of more quickly reaching your goals in the real estate world. For example, getting your real estate license in more than one state can open doors because clients who are relocating will know where to come for assistance. Becoming social media savvy is an excellent way to create a brand, network and to reach your potential client base all at once. There is no question that real estate is a challenging business, but those who succeed wouldn’t have it any other way.