Published by Kartik Subramaniam
In a host of different ways, real estate is a truly great business to get into. Not only does it bring with it the potential to make a significant amount of money, but it also offers flexibility and the power to be your own boss. But before you decide to get started with your own career in the industry, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
By far, the most important thing you need to understand about being a real estate agent is that it takes a tremendous amount of time to be successful.
Building your business takes time and consistency. It takes time to build your clientele. Direct mail marketing is a good way to market your business by mailing out direct mail marketing materials to let people know what is going on the local market and that now might be a good time to sell. Let people know who you are, what your focus is and how you can help them. Consistently build your outreach efforts to get your name in front of as many people as possible. By being consistent with this method, you will eventually find a buyer or seller who will become your client!
Likewise, you need to be aware that you can't just wake up one morning and declare yourself a realtor - before you get started you are required to take a wide range of different courses and you'll have to take the state exam. But beyond that, understand that all of those governing laws change on a regular basis - which is why it takes continuing education courses to actually keep your license.
In a general sense, one of the most critical things to understand about a career in real estate is that real estate agents do not get regular paychecks. You would think that people would know that by now, but you'd be surprised by how many people are shocked to hear this.
Real estate is a commission-based enterprise, meaning that the more you work, the more you make. You make more money on more expensive homes, and so on and so forth. But the reverse is also true - if you have a particularly slow period where you're not selling (or helping to buy) any homes at all, you're not generating income during that time.
This can be a difficult thing for people to wrap their heads around, which is why you need to make a business plan and stick with it. Based on your personal financial goals and business expenses, sit down, and calculate exactly how much money you need to make during a given period. With that, you can reverse engineer the total number of transactions that you need to be involved in to meet that goal. That will tell you how many new leads you need to generate on a monthly basis, which in turn will give you a good indication of what you need to be doing every day.
Yes, it's true that there is the potential to make seven figures in real estate. People do it all the time. But it's hardly a passive form of income - meaning that if you want to get to that level, you're going to have to work for it.
Finally, understand that real estate agents work long hours and irregular days - meaning that if you're coming into the business looking for something like a more traditional "9 to 5" experience, you'll likely want to look elsewhere. Oftentimes you'll need to show homes on nights and weekends. You might put in 12 hours or more one day trying to get a home ready for showing. But as stated, the earning potential is incredibly so if you're able to be successful, the effort will be more than worth it.
In the end, there will always be a need to buy and sell real estate - meaning that there will always be a need for real estate agents. The market goes up and down and some periods will be more fertile than others, but if you truly understand trends and "get" how the local market works, you can find a tremendous amount of success in the field.
If you approach your real estate career by having realistic expectations and a good understanding of what you need to accomplish your goals, there is truly no limit to what you can accomplish.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?