The business is challenging because the hours can be unpredictable and long, especially in the beginning. That said, it's very rewarding and interesting and fun. I've been selling, full time, for 30 years and have watched a lot of people enter and leave the business. Mom's make great realtors! Who has more patience and resourcefulness? It seems to be the hardest when the kids are younger.
I agree with the previous answer about it not being a part time job. I think, as an agent, you must be committed to being full time, plus. There's too much to learn and the responsibility to your clients is too great for this to be something that is done part time.
A suggestion would be to get your license and then find a job as an assistant to an established agent, working hourly for a predetermined number of hours each day/week. It's a good way to learn the business and see if it's something you would want to do. Eventually, you could move on to become an independent agent. Or, decide-no way!
Tis a noble profession. We help people with one of their most important needs. Whatever you decide, I wish you well!
It's not easy, but it can be done. You've received lots of good advice from the previous posters.
I would add that you might also want to read one of the books by Danielle Kennedy, a real estate legend, who raised five children while developing a highly successful career in real estate. She is truly an inspiration. Take a look at the website referenced below:
Also, read some of the reviews of Danielle Kennedy's books, such as this one, entitled "How to List and Sell Real Estate in the 21st Century":
Now I'm not saying real estate is easy--It isn't. However, with a good attitude, and strong organizational skills, you too can succeed. Good luck.
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.
Seriously, if you're interested in becoming a Realtor you should look at your goals and your needs. If you need income and benefits right away, this could be a tough business. If you have the personality and work ethic and are a strong self-starter, you can certainly do it.
Do you have strong support (someone to help with the kids when you have appointments or buyers calling who want to see your listings when you're running car pool or one of the kid's Birthday parties. If you have someone in the business to share the load that can also help.
The turn-over ratio in the industry is astronomical. I've heard figures like 70% never make their first sale and are out of the business in six months and 83% don't make it through the first year. I can tell you that you will get to write a whole bunch of checks before you receive any so having strong financials in the beginning is important.
And get a mentor or experienced agent who might take you under his or her wing. You can cut the learning curve and not have to make all of the rookie mistakes. And my number one tip...if you are not willing to prospect for business you will fail. The best educated, most personable Realtor with no client base and no prospecting systems or lead generation will have a very short career.
Good luck if you move forward. It's a wonderful business with many benefits but it's not just driving a fancy car, going to lunch everyday, wearing nice clothes and running to the bank with commission checks. It IS hard work but equally rewarding.
One of the greatest attributes you will have as a realtor since you are a mother of 4 is being a good multi- tasker. If you can jugglea a household, homework, school & sporting events for 4 children successfully you'll do just fine in the real estate biz.
I see lots of great answers here. We love having other good realtors out there upholding the code of ethics along with us. And you have not given us a lot of information about your situation. For instance, if you are married and your husband makes good money, that is a very good thing. If you are divorced, get some child support, and this would be your main source of income to take care of your family, it is probably not a wise move at the moment.
I've been in the business for a little over 8 years. My experience is limited. But the agents that have been here for 30 and 40 years have clearly stated that this last couple years was the absolute worst they have ever seen. We lost agents that have been around for 15 and 17 years that just could not do it. Nationally we went from 2.5 million agents to about 1.1 million in just the past 2 years. Our office went from 97 to about 30, and a bunch of them have other full time jobs. It has been tough.
But, we that are here survived. And technically, if you have a husband who is not completely relying on your income to pay the bills, this is a good time to get in this business. It is all moving the right direction. I know m numbers increased last year significantly from 2009 and I truly believe that this year will be much better than last year.
As Lenny said, interview a number of good brokers. Pay specific attention to the type of training and support they offer. As the broker/manager you are interviewing with if they meet with new agents on a weekly basis for training, etc. A lot of brokers will take you fresh out of your RE classes and give you a desk and a phone and say, "Good luck!" That won't do for you. Now, an experieinced agent could come in there and maybe do okay, but you will need support.
As important and maybe more important, ask about the office culture. This is huge. Are you going to walk around without any support and all the other agents telling you to figure it out on your own every time you need advice (which you will want from your peers)? This was huge for me, even though I have been in sales since I was 10 years old. And I chose an office and a company where they offered support and where I knew I could sit down with an experienced agent and buy him/her dinner, ask some questions, and get answers. One gentleman told me he really liked my work ethic and my attitude and offered to be a mentor to me. He tought me everything he knew and didn't want one dime for it. I am forever grateful for that time. Because I did interview at a few companies where they told me flat out that most of the agents would NOT be willing to share things with me. A lot of them did not have sales meetings every week and the broker was frequently out working/selling and not in the office managing and answering questions.
Another key thing for me was legal support. Many companies don't have legal counsel that I had accesss to. I am very intelligent and saw that need. I knew then and now that I cannot afford to run around guiding my principals in a transaction without legal counsel and I did not have money to pay for lawyers. I can tell you that I call our corporate attorneys almost on a weekly basis STILL asking how to do this or that. They are the best in the business and if anything every comes up . . one call to them and I have the right answers. And if anything ever happens where I need their council in court . . . they have never lost a case.
Just be wise and ask a lot of questions. Because once you're with a broker it will be necessary to have all their support and not feel all alone out there against the world.
Yes it is possible.
Alot depends on the office you hang your license with. Some require desk duty, some require all agents be part time, office meeting requirements....etc.
If you can find an office that will allow you to be a Virtual Agent, that would offer the most flexibility with your schdedule.
Being a Realtor is a lot more work that it looks like from the outside. Time needs to be scheduled to increase your Internet presence, getting to know the market, corresponding with your clients & prospects, generating leads (buyer/seller), .....etc. the list goes on.
I replied Yes it can be done..... as long as you are willing to put the time in and be super organized!
I enjoy the business and hope you find similar satisfaction.
1). Shadow a sucessful agent in your area for a few days/weeks
2). Get in with a reputable agency who will invest in you (training, marketing & staff help etc.)
3). If you can, do this business Full time.
4.) Like with any other business, be prepared to spend money (start-up cost).
Our best wishes to you!
Chris and Maria
I agree with Lenny. I have 4 step kids and it's a BUSY household. However, I have found that my real estate career is a very flexible balance to all the happenings with the kids. If you're well organized and can time block out your day you can give the business a go. Be dedicated! Good Luck!
Some things to consider:
The times when families are normally together (Sat &Sunday) are the times when we are working. We are also very busy during Summer so that is another thing to consider.
On the other hand, business is traditionally slower during Holidays (Christmas) .
You can set up a "home office" and work mostly from there, that is very conducive to family life.
As with any endeavor, the amount of time and effort you invest into being an agent and your business... has a direct reflect on the amount of money you are able to earn.
Working proactively across multiple channels (referrals, web, print, etc), is continuously required to produce leads.
That is what was so tough for me. Real estate is the easy part. I won't bash any companies on here, but if you would like some free advice feel free to call me anytime.
Im Db117... it's been so long since I've posted this ... I just wanted to say thank you to all who replied with great advice and and for sharing your opinions with me. At the time of this post I had still had a child at home and decided to hold off on this dream of mine until all kids were in school full time, Now that kids are in all in school, I am thinking now is the time to take the leap and enroll in the RE courses.
Being that it is now a few years later, I'm just curious to know if the responses to my question would be the same, How's the timing now for a real estate career?
Thanks again for all your help :)
No one will be able to answer this for you. If you have wanted to do this for years, I would recommend jumping into it (or you will be thinking about it for years to come). The more successful you are, the less time you will have (like any job in life), and the harder it will be to balance 4 kids. Due to the current market though, I would worry more about not being busy enough ïŠâ€¦â€¦when the obstacle of too busy comes up, hire an assistant. Best of luck!!
C: 612 396-0692
Well, this is tough question right now. I came to real estate after many years in another career in which I still dabble. Right now, the real estate industry is not an easy way to make a fast buck. It is, in fact, a full time job just like any other. You will need to be available at odd hours because SO many things about a real estate transaction are time sensitive. I raised 2 children while being a REALTOR, but my husband was also self-employed and was available to take over when I couldn't be there.
Ask yourself if you have reserves and wherewithal to tide you over for 6 months to a year for you to get a handle on everything you need to learn to be able to actually be out there with clients and make some money at it. That's about how long it will take. With such high turn over, part timers are not doing too well in real estate these days. What you want out of it and what you put in to it will dictate how well you'll do. Good luck!
I am sure she would be glad to give you good advice.
1. Do you have any other source of income (and benefits like health insurance)? If you are going to be the sole breadwinner, keep in mind that you may not make any money the first year (or two). And even once you get your business going, you may go months without a sale. Are you prepared for that? Do you have any savings to help get you through the "dry spells? It's expensive to become a realtor. In addition to RE school, you have to buy E&O insurance, memberships to local, state & national associations, memberships to local MLSs, "desk fees" or brokerage fees to actually work for a company -- these are just the basics to get started. Then you have to pay for all of your marketing & advertising (websites, advertising, mailings, etc.). It can cost you several thousands of $$ just to get started.
2. How much time are you willing to devote to your business? As other agents have said, it's really difficult to do it "part-time". It really needs to be a full time effort (or more). Are your kids at home, or in school? If your kids are in school or daycare, it will be a lot easier. Do you have any other support (i.e. husband or partner) who can take care of the kids when you're working on weekends?
If you want to chat, I'd love to answer any questions you may have. Good luck!