Thanks for asking. The last year or two have been a real challange for many agents and some have decided to move on to something else. Others have found a way to adapt to the current market and are doing quite well. Several years ago the market was so hot that if you just showed up and did a few basic things you could make a living. Now you have to apply some serious discipline and take the job very seriously.
This is a self screening career. I was told that only 1 to 2% of folks who take the classes to become Realtors stay in the business for more than 18 months.
If you are thinking about getting into the business there are some questions you should ask yourself.
1. Are you able to survive for several months making almost NO money? For most agents it takes a year or two to build up to a moderate income. You should have a minimum of 6 months living expenses set aside before you "give up your day job".
2. Do you have the discipline to be your own boss? Your manager or Broker will help you with some training and other encouragement and support, but it will be up to you to get up every day and do the things that have to be done to be successful.
3. Do you really like people? Can you give yourself away in order to get what you want back?
4. Are you tough enough? You have to be prepared for lots of rejection, some of it intentional and some of it completely unintended. Your best friend probably knows three or four Realtors. Only one of you is going to be his agent.
5. Do you have the skills and ability to do the job. You will have to take the classes and pass the tests. You don't have to be a genius, but you do need good writing, reading and math skills.
6. Are you computer savvy? The internet is becoming hugely important to Realtors and their customers. (But here you are talking to us on the net, so you probably have a good start on that!)
Those are just a few things to think about. If you want to consider becoming a Realtor you might ask to shadow an agent for a day or two, or at least interview several agents. You have made a start on that by asking this question.
Why don't you go ahead and take the classes? It doesn't cost a great deal of money and will give you some good information that you will be able to use to do your own investments, or buy your next home. If you like what you see take the exam. There are Brokerages that offer to train you. Interview carefully to see who seems to be the best fit for you. For some people working as an assistant to an established agent is a great way to test drive the career while still bringing in a small paycheck.
Are there some unhappy agents? You betcha! But most of us can't imagine going back to doing anything else! It's a great job if you can stand it!
Thanks for asking. By the way, if you got through my long tirade you are pretty much pre-screened for the job!
Best of everything