On November 13,2011
Time for a serious discussion for all you new agents out there. Starting a career in real estate is not like starting a business. A career in real estate sales is starting a business.
If this sounds daunting to you, don't worry. Upon close examination, you will see that the revenue that a real estate agent can make relative to the amount of investment necessary is amazing.
For a moment, let's compare real estate sales with other businesses like restaurants, clothing stores or most other businesses that you might think of.
Imagine how hard it is to own and operate a restaurant, for example. You have to purchase supplies, hire staff and deal with dozens of customers on a daily basis. Don't forget rent each and every month. You're also going to need a phone line and probably Internet access. Additionally, you don't get to take time off randomly like you would as a Realtor. You don't get to create your own schedule. You have to be there six to seven days a week from open to close.
Man... THAT'S HARD WORK.
Compare this with real estate sales:
You don't have to carry any inventory. Our inventory is out there ripe for us to sell! We have zero carrying costs and don't have to pay for the inventory (listings) that we have.
You don't have payroll to make until you can afford it. If you owned a restaurant, bar, clothing store, coffee shop or almost any other business, you would have payroll obligations from day one. In real estate sales, you hire an assistant when you can afford to.
You don't pay for an extra phone line or Internet access, your broker pays for this. Don’t kid yourself about how expensive business class telecommunications can be. Many businesses have a phone and Internet bill of several hundred dollars per month or even more!
You only deal with a small number of select clients unlike the volume game played by most other businesses. Think of something as simple as a coffee shop. How many customers does a coffee shop have to deal with each and every day? Potentially dozens or maybe even hundreds. Every single customer has to leave happy. In our real estate business a successful Realtor might only have to deal with 20-30 clients over the course of an entire year. Yes, this means that each deal comes with more pressure, but you don't have the constant pressure you would have in a higher volume business.
There are a ton of people who get into our business that come to the sad realization that buyers and sellers aren't going to beat down the doors of the newly licensed agent. This causes them to second guess the real estate sales business and dismiss it as "too difficult". They then start to blame the market.. "Hey nobody is buying anyway"... "Haven't you read the news lately? The market sucks..."
The truth is that as Realtors, we don't know how good we have it in our business. Even as a new agent, over 50% of the gross revenue generated is ours to keep. Strong, experienced Realtors often get to keep over 80-85% of the gross revenue.
Think of attorneys as a point of comparison. Attorneys typically bill out at $275-$450 per hour. Do you think that and average attorney working at a firm gets to keep that high of a percentage? Even half of it? No way. An associate at a law firm might be making $40-$50 per hour against the $250+ that they are billing.
Yes the market might be down and prices are lower than they were in many parts of the country but real estate sales can be one of the most most rewarding business out there. This is true from an economic perspective as well as the inner feelings of fulfillment that comes from helping clients navigate the complex world of real estate.