I'm considering a career as a Realtor. Your profession has been something of interest for me for many years,

Asked by Jennifer, Orlando, FL Mon Mar 24, 2008

and now I'm professionally ready for a change. I have 2 questions for you seasoned professionals, please. With the market in it's current state, is now the right time for some green to enter this business? What skills will I need to bring, or learn to be successful?

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Jose Gomez, Agent, Miami, FL
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Hi Jennifer, My colleagues below answered your question very honestly and personally. I too would have mentioned what they have. However, please don't be discouraged because of the market. I got into Real Estate in 2005 just as the market started it's downward turn. Since I never knew what it was like when it was "good" I just did the things I had to do - which was work hard. Remember these words, this business is about Nose to Nose and Toes to Toes. Basically, you have to hit the pavement everyday and meet people. You can't be discouraged, shy, antisocial or easily have your feelings hurt. This is a people oriented profession and you always have to be in control of the situation. One last thing to consider, while the market is somewhat slow at the moment, now might be a great time to get into the business. You'll have the time to educate yourself, take classes at your local board, work on a marketing plan and master the skills you'll need to have when the market picks up again. It's better to be in the market and seasoned when things get good as oposed to getting in it when it's already good and fumbling around with no experience. Best of luck to you Jennifer and if you have any more questions or need insight, please don't hesitate to email me. My company has branches all throughout Florida and stopping in at a branch is the first step. Jose Gomez - Miami Realtor - The Keyes Company http://josegomezfl.sef.mlxchange.com
5 votes
Lisa Spencer,…, Agent, Lithia, FL
Mon Mar 24, 2008
The important thing to remember is that real estate is a "performance based" compensation career. There is no base salary and the start up costs can be shocking for some. There is never a perfect time to start, but starting in a challenging market will make you have to master your skill and will show you what you are made of. You should have at least a 6 months to 1 year reserves. You will need to bring patience and perserverence to be successful. You must build your business one referral at a time and never forget that if someone has a good experience in working with you they will tell 5 people and if they have a bad one they will tell 25. I have been a Realtor for 13 years and I have seen many very nice people come and go, mostly because the really great Realtors make it look so easy, when in fact, it is a lot of hard work if you do it right? If you follow the golden rule and serve the public with a view that you are a professional that will never give up integrity to make a sale, you will go far in the real estate business.
4 votes
Elizabeth De…, , Yakima, WA
Fri Apr 25, 2008
Hi Jennifer,
I just got into RE about a month and a half ago and here are a few things I can tell you.

First as I'm sure you know is to make sure you have enough money up front to get yourself financial through at least the first 6 months or more.
Taking the fundamentals of RE is the first step which costs $$'s after that it's more $’s followed by even more $’s being paid out.
Research like crazy the agency you want to join. Put on your consumer hat and check the company website, are they user friendly. Got to the office does the receptionist great you in the way you would won’t future clients to be greeted. Is the office smelly (not as funny as it sounds).
When you meet the broker have questions prepared. What is your market share? how many agents have you? how many agents have you taken on in the last 2 yrs? of those who has stayed and how successful have they been. What do you attribute to their success? And why should I join you and not someone else.
Ask what is the most important thing for you, the bottom line or the education. I opted for the company that would help me with my RE education starting out. knowing that if I learn the job right the $’s will come. Some agencies will sit you down and say here’s your phone here’s your desk and come see me when you make a sale. My company Windermere took the time to show me how to get started and are constantly helping me out so I know I picked a top company. My broker is AWESOME!
I have shelled out a lot of money and every day I get the car it cost for gas so it is an investment. I’m happy that I joined at this time because the market is slower but to me it’s all I know. There are so many, many things to learn that the time has been a blessing. As for making money, don’t be put off by the number of Realtors but be encouraged if you have a good work ethic. I am blow away every day by things I see Realtors do that lose them business, such as putting listings on the MLS and waiting days to put Pictures on or important info. If you like the 8-5 job and getting a pay check each month then real estate is probably not your thing. If you have a passion for real estate and have enough seed money and are prepared to give up week-ends and listen to the pro’s an Joes give you tips. Then you are on the right track, but my biggest tip I would give you is do your homework first and research, research. If you want to chat at all feel free to contact me although we are in different states and things are probably different I can at least talk about being new.


Good Luck!
3 votes
Melinda J. R…, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Jennifer, are you self-motivated? If so I say GO FOR IT!!!! I have only been in real estate for 3 short years. I have never seen a good market. I know nothing other than the market getting worse and worse and worse! However, according to my broker I am in the top 100 of real estate agents out of a board of around 2500 members! You can do it!!!!! You just have to set your mind to it!

I had a manager at a company I no longer work for, tell me I would never sell more than 10 houses in a year because he had been in the business 10 years and had never sold more than 10 in a year. Ha! Wrong thing to say to me! I ended up selling 40 houses last year and hired a buyers agent and I am having a couple of others come on board to help part time with some of the office and computer work.

I used to be bummed (for about 6 months) that I started in such a bad market. However, it is such a blessing that I did! A lot of agents come in during a good market, but when the market gets tough they don't know how to do it any more. Cream rises to the top in a bad market. I am not saying it is not a lot of hard work, but in 3 short years I have agents that have been in the business 25+ years calling me asking me how in the world I am doing it!

I think if you have enough motivation and get into a company where you are surrounded by top producing agents, you have no where to go other than up! By the way, last year I had an incredible income like I have never dreamed possible in just 3 years into the business. You can do it! I know you can! Be another success story! You are so much better to start in a bad market than good. Your skills will get sharpened more quickly! Besides that you are a professional now so you know what it takes to bring on success!

I hope you don't take this as me lifting myself up. I truly do not mean it that way. I truly, truly mean it in an encouraging way! I just wanted to share with you it is not all doom and gloom out there! There are some awesome things happening out there and now is a great time to get in and build your name.

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes to you!
Web Reference:  http://www.gomelinda.com/
3 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Mon Mar 24, 2008
I would vote that NOW is not the time for a new person to enter this profession, UNLESS, you have no need for money, and plenty of time to learn the industry.
It is hard enough for those of us who are vets to get the job done - with so many foreclosures and shortsales going on, I'd recommend this as NOT a time to get into the real estate profession unless you work under an experienced TEAM...

IF that is possible for you to do and money is no object - but learning IS......then GO FOR IT!

You just don't want to be a newbie - on your own, right now. The ROI is not worth the loss of brain cells...neither is trying to help someone with their house sale or purchase when you don't really have the experience to help. It's like being a Dr.... they say 'FIRST, 'DO NO HARM'

MY .02
Hope this helps you or feel free to email or call me for more info. I know plenty of people who are looking for help, but you must be supervised and trained. It is not as easy as it looks.

Hope this helps!
3 votes
Viviana Katz, Agent, Altamonte Springs, FL
Tue Jun 17, 2008
I find myself in awe of people who are just entering the business today because of all the negative press & public scrutiny, but it seems to be a nice option for some. You've gotten a lot of advice, so i will keep it simple.
Do you like people? Are you comfortable making friends from strangers? Are you self-disciplined? Can you set goals and meet or exceed them? Are you patient & do you have a fallback or safety for the time it will take to bring home that first closing? Answer YES to any of the above & you will make the others work for you. Answer NO to any of the above & you will find yourself frustrated & unhappy all too quickly. Definitely research the firms in your area. Ours offers a Career Development Institute & continuous educational & networking opportunities. Or, you might prefer a small, intimate boutique brokerage with more hands-on mentoring from a broker. Whatever you decide, please let us know how it goes for you. All my best, Vivian
2 votes
Richard Tres…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Apr 25, 2008
For me, the first question to ask is "Is it your passion?" Life is too short to spend your time in areas where you do not see yourself creating real value for society. If you think you can make a difference, then put your whole heart and soul into it and make it happen.

You can do a lot of reading, studying, classes, training, etc but at the end of the day, it has to be what gets you up in the morning if you are going to do it.

In Orlando, typically total home sales are 30-40k units. There are 9-12k realtors so on average each realtor does 6-8 sales per year. (35k units x 2 / 10k agents) If you only do 6 sales a year, it will be a financially troubling experience. (6 units x $225k(ave sale price) x 3%(example commission) x xx% (your share))

Better figure out before you jump into it if you have a passion or are you a statistic. I think all prospective realtors should consider being buyers and sellers of several investment properties before they make a career decision to become a realtor. The best education is experience. If you have owned property, managed propert and sold property, you have a much broader base of knowledge from which to assist others in the process.
2 votes
Amanda Edwar…, Agent, Starkville, MS
Mon Mar 24, 2008
I read some of the responses and did not see this yet: Research the company you plan to work for. You mentioned being green, that will be fine as long as you have a good team, a broker that will train you and a market with some potential to get you approved buyers. I have found that I have learned the most from people right here in my office. Be proactive. Attend education after getting your license and pay attention to what top producers are doing.
2 votes
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue May 27, 2008
Our best advice it to have some kind of income you can fall back on until your business skills are developed to the point of being abe to sustain you.
Good luck,
The Eckler Team"
1 vote
Jodi Tussing, , 06489
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hey Jennifer,
Now really is a good time to get into the biz. Why? As long as you have good people skills, exceptional training, a positive attitude and support system, you can do really well. People are always moving. My advice - go with an agency that has the top market share in your area, it will give you credibility being new, offer to have open houses on new listings for tha top producing agents (they may be too busy) and have a plan. My new agents are listing and selling right now, in our area the market shines on those who work hard. Also - only listen to and seek advice from people who are making crazy money.
Web Reference:  http://www.joditussing.com
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Mon Mar 24, 2008
My professional opinion is, anyone who is good (or great) at customer service..will be good at Real Estate.
It helps if you are a "self-starter" and have some money to invest in your new business. You will learn a lot if you start right now.
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
1 vote
Voices Member, , Orlando
Mon Mar 24, 2008

I would not say this is a bad time to get into real estate. I would just caution you to do your homework on how you'd like to get into real estate right now. As mentioned by other's answering your question, there is a big learning curve and it's very costly to enter real estate as a career. If you're going on your own, find an office that's focused heavily on training and support. I happen to work in an office such as this and it helped me tremendously in the beginning. The skills you'll need to bring with you are great people skills, communication skills, sales skills and customer service skills.

If you don't have reserves set aside to sustain you for 6 months to a year, as well as funds for marketing and establishing your business, you may want to think about joining a team and learning the business that way. A good team leader will be able to provide you with a steady stream of leads, and you won't have all the expenses youd have if you were on your own. I'm looking for a buyer's agent right now myself. Feel free to give me a call. I'd love to speak with you!
1 vote
KWCareers, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Thu Mar 29, 2012
This is the perfect time to get into the real estate business! There has been a real 'thinning of the herd' since the shift in the real estate market in 2007. Many agents are having the best years of their real estate career now, because in a good market, anyone can sell a house. In a bad market, customers need great agents. If you are committed to the process of becoming the local real estate expert, and you are education and customer service based, you will not only survive in the business...you will thrive.

You are also have to make sure that you are looking for a real estate company that focuses on agent training and education. Try to remember, that a 100% of $0 is still $0. Successful real estate agents are more focused on who is going to help them do more business and as a result, net more money. This is a great real estate career blog from Keller Williams, that has a ton of free real estate career training and education: http://moving-careers.com/blog
0 votes
How true! Amateur hour is over. The herds have definitely thinned out.
Flag Thu Mar 29, 2012
Dans, , Canada, KY
Sat Oct 29, 2011
Me Realtor to you inocent human beeing.
First before you've read a lot of so beautiful messages I bet you checked who wrote them: Agent , Agent, Brocker, Agent.
Now let me tell you something honest, which I took it from my mentor, a very experienced realtor. A House doesn't need a realtor to be sold. A house gets sold by itself and by its price. That's it. We all are here for big tips. We all are here for big and easy money. We are called very high educated persons. :) makes me smile; Hey everybody, that the fact we go to the board and attend those cheap courses every year makes us very educated ?!?! :) There is no realtor working for the client or for its best interest, we are here for %, if it's bigger that's definitely your dream house we often say to the buyer :), The thing is if you get in and can't make cash you're scrued cuz you'll have to pay the bosses(You'll find them later to be the broker and the board). To survive in this field you have to smile with no reason, you have to know which client worths to make an appointment and when you sell, just sell, make sure you have that think sold, cuz if you'll go by the golden rule you'll die by starvation. All this people you saw theys posts here none of them were honest to you. Few of them are even retarded, they talk about "passion". Do we need passion in Real Estate? We need to be strong and sell and buy everything for nomatter what the price is as long as we don't pay, we get payed anyway. For this job you have to be tough, cruel, no passion, that's home for your family. this job Realtor, is not supposed to even exist but since get's a lot of cash why not.
At least, did I wake you up a little bit?
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Fri Sep 19, 2008
Don't live your life according to outside elements. Make decisions on what you want to do with your life.

I always recommend reading a few different books.


Fantastic book - great insight - straight forward (cheap).

Good if you want really basic stuff.

To me - this is a must

Also check out the web reference - check out personal development - I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Tony Robbins - here's a link to him (but you can find it on the web reference site:

Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Tue Jul 8, 2008
I think this is a great time to enter the real estate business. I've been around the field for nearly 30 years and what I have learned the first 20 years, is great experience and useful knowledge. But, the way things have changed (in the past 10 years) makes the experience almost obsolete!

From a market values, technological advances and financial standpoint; now is a great time to start fresh and bring with you lots of patience, ambition, determination, compassion, courage and wisdom.
0 votes
Lawrence&She…, Agent, Plainview, NY
Sun Jul 6, 2008
0 votes
Tim Churchwe…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Jun 19, 2008
I don't know your market, but I can tell you that when entering into any business, especially one based on commissions, that you have to be committed. Find a company that will provide training, operational support, marketing, and guidance.

From choas can come opportunity. Each year, I've hit a new record, regardless of the market environment. I did more business last year than the years before (and before the criticism starts, I've been a President's Club producer since my first year so I'm not talking about going from $10,000 to $20,000!). And I did it moving into an region in which I didn't know anyone and didn't know the area.

Be outgoing, be ethical, be honest, and work to separate yourself from the competition. If I can help at all, just give me a call (emails get messed up on here). Especially since you aren't in my area, I don't mind providing what little advice I can. And there are some great answers below. I'm reading over them just to give myself a pep talk (no, i'm not being sarcastic! I'm being honest). So participating on sites like this one is a great start.
Web Reference:  http://www.tchurchwell.com
0 votes
Donna Lynam, , 47611
Tue Jun 17, 2008
Today is a Awesome time to become a Real Estate Agent. It is a Great time to purchase property. Even to purchase property yourself. I believe you need to always remember that for you to receive what you want in life no matter what it is...you have to help others to get what they want....Does that make since to you? Always think of the other person before you think of yourself and you will see what I mean. Best wishes to you in your decision.
0 votes
Maria Lindh, Agent, Lynbrook, NY
Mon Jun 16, 2008
Hi Jennifer, if you begin your real estate career in this market I promise you that you will learn a lot more about the industry and yourself than if you had started in an "easier" market. The lessons learned in this type of market are priceless! Go for it! Stay focused, be consistant, service your customers and clients and you will succeed! Good Luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.Maria4Home.com
0 votes
Lisa Jones, , Eustis, FL
Sat May 31, 2008
I agree that all the answers are right on. I got in when the market began to decline, or as I like to say, adjust. Take the time to learn. Taking the GRI classes are extremely valuable. The only thing I would add is that in order to make money you will need to do this full time. The best way insure your success is to get saleable listings, keep up to date on all new market statistics and get up every morning positive and with your goals in front of you. I wish the best to you in your new career.
0 votes
Rudy Bachraty, , Fort Collins, CO
Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hi Jennifer!

Your question inspired me to write a blog post about 3 things to consider before becoming an agent.


There are many fantastic answers below as well. You should now have a good idea on what to expect.


Social Media Guru at Trulia
0 votes
Amanda Mccum…, , 77429
Wed Apr 23, 2008
Do your homework and be prepared to work a lot of hours. Make sure you put together a list (in your Outlook or where ever you keep your email addresses) of everyone you have ever known in your lifetime. Start telling them now that you are thinking about making the switch. The only way to do this business successfully is to stay in front of the people you know as their real estate professional. The more you remind them that this is what you do, the more referrals and business you will receive. Realtors make money no matter what the market looks like. The key is to make sure everyone knows you and trusts you as their realtor of choice
0 votes
J.D. "Dan" &…, Agent, Orange Park, FL
Tue Apr 22, 2008

There's never a good time or a bad time to get into real estate. In the good times everybody's in real estate. The present market is weeding out wanna-be agents and many brokerages as well. In good times the discounters are all over the place, they are getting hard to find now. My advice would be to get woth a broker that will arrange for you to have a mentor, a team leader, someone who's at the top of the game that you can learn from and also, as you progress, contribute to their bottom line.

Good Luck in your new adventure

JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference:  http://www.neflahomes.com
0 votes
William Spiv…, , 32803
Tue Apr 22, 2008
Ask yourself, "what different take do I have on being a Realtor?" The most important thing is to have a plan and then work your plan. There are a lot of ways to be a successful Realtor, even in todays market but you have to have a clearly defined focus!
0 votes
Ken Herrera…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Hello Jennifer,
All great answers you have been given by everyone.
As a Realtor in Las Vegas, I can speak for a very crazy market. I was able to get in before the boom and I'm still here. Many people got into Real Estate because it was a hot market and I can tell you a great majority of those people are no longer in the business here. During the peak years, everyone was selling and buying to friends and family and it was a big shock to many realtors when the market turned and they actually had to prospect for business. A market like this presents a challenge, however it will be a rewarding challenge as it will teach you to survive in an adverse market. Real Estate requires a large amount of discipline, make sure you are up for it.

FYI, there are also salary positions that may be available from new home builders.

Good Luck
Web Reference:  http://www.C21Infinity.com
0 votes
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