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Kenny,  in 37876

I am considering making Real Estate my profession but everything that I hear is negative about the industry.

Asked by Kenny, 37876 Tue Mar 18, 2008

Mostly the negativity is about money. Will I be able to have a comfortable living and if succesful what salary range should I expect?

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19
Judging by your picture, I would say you might be a little young for the industry. Finish pre-school or at least potty training and then consider a career change.

I made the leap a few years ago and have no regrets. Yes the industry has changed a great deal over the past year, but for me, here is the bottom line. If you are the kind of personality that loves being your own boss, are motivated, organized, like working with people, detail oriented, and can generate your own clients, have at it. It is a great business and lifestyle. But if you are getting in because you expect to make $250K next year, you are sadly mistaken. It is quite difficult getting started. If you are getting in because you love the industry and are willing to stick it out through several years of getting ramped up, welcome to the club. If you are getting in to get rich quick, you will be out of the industry in the first few years.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
With that picture you're off to a good start. Most agents use pictures of them when they were much younger

JD
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
One more thing-I'd work on a more "professional" photo!! Get rid of the shades!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
Bottom line is you have to be committed financially and timewise to starting your own business! It takes most Realtors 1 to 2 years to truly get off the ground - establishing a referral base, all of the upfront licensing and education fees, cost of website and all of your marketing, etc. In other words, no longer can you have the mentality "I've always thought about getting my license and trying Real Estate"... it is competitive and you have to love what you do!! If you have finances set aside to cover your bills for the first year and you have an entrepreneurial spirit you will make it in ANY market. They key is having a business plan (and financial reserves) upfront, get as much education as you can on real estate, the area, and the mortgage industry and be committed!!! It is SO worth while if you follow a plan and choose an office to work for that has a solid support system. Please let me know if you have any questions, and good luck:) Rebecca, Helen Adams Realty, Charlotte 704.648.4185
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
Kenny, Real Estate is like any other sales career. There is just as much turn over as in any other industry. The hard thing about this career is that it is all about marketing yourself. There is no salary. You will be 100% commission. If you sell you make money if you don't you will be gone. I hope this does not sound negative these are just the facts. People see the big commission and don't see the hard work and expense it takes to be successful. So, if you decide to venture into this career just know what you are getting into and be prepared to work hard.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi Kenny,
When I got into real estate way back in 1979 the interest rates were 18-19%. People told me that it was a terrible time to get into the business. Well, almost 30 years later I can tell you it has been the best career I could have ever wished for. In markets like we have now, agents who take their careers seriously still are doing business. Sellers and buyers need a good agent more than ever when there are challenging markets. I would recommend that if you are interested in becoming a real estate professional that you find a company what can offer you some real training - take advantage of every opportunty to stay at the top of your profession. Kenny, real estate can offer you benefits no other profession can - job security, flexibility for your family, and no limits to your income. Good luck. PS I taught prelicense school for 10 years and if I can answer any question let me know. Our laws in Georgia are probably different then in your state - but maybe I can point you in the right direction.
Web Reference: http://www.century21max.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
Kenny,

Normally I would say go for it. However you need to know a few things about the atrition rate. In good times fully 80% of new agents leave the business within the 1st two years then half of those remaining are still here at the 5 year mark.

Of those remaining past 5 years the old 80/20 rule kicks in. 20% of the agents are doing 80% of the business.

Add to that, one of the most sucessful title agencys in our area just closed it's doors because business is so bad.

If you have someone at home that can feed you for the first 5 years and you have a high level of drive and you have STRONG people skills and you don't mind puitting in 12 to 18 hours a day and you are willing to prospect for business every day and not take a day off for the foreseeable future, then real estate is for you. To anyone else I always use the line given to our class back in Minnesota ....learn to say "Do you want fries with that?"

JD "Dan" Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.neflahomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
Realtors/Licensees work on "contingent fees"--no salary, draw, etc. In our county last month we had 200 sales for about 2500 Realtor/Licensees. These numbers differ from area to area but sales are about 50% off in many states. Yes, times are tough. You need to be supremely focused, coached and mentored and do what you are told to do! How much can you make--that depends on many, many variables. Setting realistic goals is a big part of being successful in real estate and also coming in with the right attitude is paramount. If you go to a broker and says this is a horrible time to get into real estate just get up and walk out. You need a straight shooter who can also provide training to take you to the levels of income and production you seek. Harvard Busines School years back did a study on the industries which could take you to six figures the quickest. Number one was a real estate career. I'd reccomend you interview all the major players in your market place. Pick a few major franchies and a couple of leading regional firms. Keller Williams Realty has superb training and the best mindset in this market. Coldwell Banker and C-21 also come to mind. Good luck!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
This one tough question to answer with today's market conditions.You really need to think about your timing right now.Unless you have a huge savings account to live off of,I highly advise against it right now.Even for the most experienced agents and brokers, this is a difficult time in the real estate industry.I live in a resort and second home market in the Hampton's,NY. and times are a bit challenging for most. Good luck with your decision!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
You can expect it to go up and down, no salary. Realestate is like watching sports players, singers, and actors- for everyone that does well, there are 10x that many that don't, and that may be a low estimate. If you have a few years money saved, or out of debt and a spouse that works a regular job, you might be ok. People are mislead when they see the big checks at a closing. What they don't see are endless hours, fuel and vehicle expenses, advertising fees, and professional fees. Not a negative view, just a realistic one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2008
Kenny,
I would have to say it depends on what kind of niche you create on whether you can make $150,000. If you are selling homes above $500,000 it will be a lot easier than selling homes in the $80,000 range. A good agent can make over $150K especially if you have a plan and some financial reserves to get started. Marketing is key in Real Estate. To many agents come in and wait for the company phone to ring to find clients. You have got to get YOUR phone ringing. Also, make sure everyone you know is aware of your career change. Then remind them of it often. Not in a hounding way but in a way that they want to help you succeed in your new venture. Good luck. Send me an email and I will invite you to join a network that will give you a great background on the industry and it is free to join. James.r.mccall@charter.net
Jimmy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
I just left a profession where I was making 150K. Will a good agent make that or is that to far out there?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Kenny,

Glad to see you're not out to get rich quick. Some would argue that this profession is geared to go broke quick!! (Perhaps that's why the boss is a broker)

By the way, since I saw your recent answer to our discussion i will mention this only because i actually hear professionals use the term incorrectly We are REALTORS two syllables REAL-TOR. When I hear agents use REAL-I-TOR and REAL-A-TOR it's the same as someone scraping fingernails on a blackboard OUCH! And beleive it or not, at one time I actually worked for a company where the broker ordered signs that read "REALITY" That word is pronouced RE-AL-I-TYjust like those fake TV shows.

Just my 20 bucks worth (that's what it takes to make 2 cents worth now)

JD "Dan" Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate
Vanguard Realty, Inc., GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.neflahomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
The real Estate Industry is going through an adjustment period, that is to be sure. It's not an easy field to get used to, if you have always been an employee...but never a boss. The fringe benefits (flexibility, and income) are great. You can make a very nice living in this field but you do have to work hard and be consistant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
Im not getting in to get rich quick and I realize that realators are not on salary. I owned a restaurant and someone set it on fire. If im going to start over I want something that I think I will enjoy but I want to live comfortable as all of us do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
Hi Kenny, you have probably picked up the theme by now, you can expect no salary at all. As long as that is not a deterrent, knock 'em dead! One nice thing about the industry is that if you have a flexible schedule at your current position you might be able to dabble for a while. Part-time agents are looked down upon in general, but starting out part-time you can gain the training and experience to decide if it is an industry you enjoy, before making the big financial leap. Be careful not to burn any bridges if you do decide to leave your current position, so that if you find the uncertainty of the commission world too trying, you can easily go back to a "real" job. The agents who do stay do so because we have a passion for it, not because we expect to begin rubbing elbows with the likes of Donald Trump. Your picture shows a great personality, that will serve you well, for sure! Stacey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
When the market is slow, most agents go. Be committed to stand the test of time and remember that nothing is without hard work! If you have an avenue to give you some leads.. great.. go for it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2008
Definitely not comfortable. Even if you become one of the rare successful agents averaging $100,000 plus per year. It might be 190,000 one year and $10,000 the next. I think the average licensed agent made 1or 2 transactions last year. If you believe you have all the skills, passion and aptitude for this business and are confident that you will be in the top fifth of agents who make a living, then proceed. Sadly, there are too many agents. Many in the second fifth are skillful, but barely scraping by.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I think its a good idea to get into the real estate game, lot of the attention is media driven, which effects the potential buyer or seller thinking their going to get the most bang for their buck, but reality is, atleast in my neck of the woods, buyers are losing out on homes frequently cause their making too low of offers, and houses are going what their asking for in most cases..I live in Kenosha, Wi. right near lake michigan, so i see it as alot of business is out there to be had..Just have to have goals and the right marketing strategies to make a go of it..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
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