6 Secrets No One Tells You About Being A Real Estate Agent

1. It Will Cost You Money

The only thing that people talk about in real estate is that you will have an unlimited income. It is the American Dream to work as little or as much as you want and have the chance to become a millionaire. No one tells you that it will cost you money to become an agent. What you never hear in advance is that taking classes, getting your license, joining the local and national boards, acquiring errors and omissions insurance, joining your local Multiple Listing Services etc. will cost you. These things add up, and most of the expenses recur yearly. However, they are all necessary if you are going to practice real estate. Not to mention the basic costs you’ll face to start your business; the technology, advertising, setting up an office, marketing materials, travel expenses, and more. All these costs are on you. It is not uncommon to face a loss on your bottom line the first year.

2. Licensing Classes Do Not Prepare You for the Job

Those hoping to get a license take classes with the objective of passing the state exam. However, passing that exam and getting your license turns out not to prepare you for the business of real estate. You know the legal side and ethics of the business, which is important, but the day-to-day work of an agent is a much more complicated process than these classes show. Do not expect to walk away with any information on what will be expected of you for you to succeed over time.

3. This is Not a Glamorous Job.

Reality TV certainly makes being a real estate agent look glamorous. What they show you is the chance to see beautiful homes and meet with interesting clients who have money to spare and want to buy one of three homes you show them. Or maybe you envision that you get to list the cleanest, most updated home in a great neighborhood. This is not the real daily life of an agent. I have cleaned doors and windows, countertops, put away belongings, made beds, vacuumed, shoveled snow, and so much more to get a property ready to show. This is to say nothing of how much of your time will actually be consumed by paperwork and administrative detail. It is challenging work, and not always the fun kind, to get involved in people’s lives. Selling and buying homes is a messy, complicated business.

4. Your Friends May Not Work with You

Once you are licensed, you think that your family and friends will flock to you to handle all their real estate needs.  You feel certain that the people in your life will trust you with potentially their largest investment. It is not personal, but this is a huge financial decision, and they may want someone with more experience, or they do not want you to know anything about their finances.  Whether they have a lot of money or are in financial distress, sometimes the conversation is uncomfortable to have with someone they know personally. They may not want to jeopardize your relationship by involving you in their transaction.

5. It is Harder than You Think

You cannot have a 9 to 5 mentality. If you want to be successful, work will consume your time at all hours of all days, and without regard to your personal life.  You must constantly be adapting to not only the market but the changing technology. Prepare to be available no matter what you may be doing personally when a client needs you. The unending prospecting, following up, adhering to each contract’s deadlines, marketing each property, and so on is a constant stream of emails, phone calls, appointments etc.

6. It Takes Time.

Patience and so much more is needed to build your business. Rome was not built in a day and your business can take years to get off the ground. Be consistent, make a plan, and put in the time. That will be your ultimate recipe for success.

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