I'm considering getting into real estate as a profession.

Asked by Dave V., New Jersey Tue Oct 20, 2009

time. I'm looking for opinions regarding which companies might be the best for a prospective agent who hasn't even gotten a license yet. Ideally (not too sure how realistic this is, but I'll throw it out there) a company that will pay for training towards my license, and can provide me with some way to generate an income until I gain experience and start making sales. Any suggestions?

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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Wed Oct 21, 2009
BEST ANSWER
Hi Dave,

If you are looking for structured training, Classroom setting, I would suggest that you start out ( as I did ) with one of the big Companies. Coldwell Banker has probably the best training in the industry, that is the corporate owned Coldwell Banker. The classes are top notch and they are taught by trained professionals from the business. Coldwell Banker usually has a mentoring program once you get out of their "fast start" program. Use the big company for the training and work for 1 year.. and then really decide where you want to work.

The other thought is to get with a smaller company that has a producing agents that will take the time for the manager/broker to train you with hands on training.. going out with you, teahching you ahow to get appointments and listings.

Either way, go to school and get your license, THEN visit offices that interest you and interview them. Remember, you are an independent contractor and you will need to work in a productive office. Refrain from going to say a company that gives you the course .. they office then expects to retain you and keep you as a agent, use your time during training to do work for them. Get your license first and then find an office to hang it.
1 vote
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Oh god, I am the typo King!

I need to stop hitting enter so darn fast! I hope my thoughts came across.
1 vote
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Tue Oct 20, 2009
Hi Dave,

I'm a fairly new agent myself.
I would be careful of going with a company purely because of their contribution to your education and/or training. For example, I know some companies that have terrific training programs but a terrible work environment. For me personally, the most important thing was to work someplace that had a great, supportive broker and an environment that fostered support, not competiveness.
This is obviously a competitive business by its very nature but being a new agent in an office that fosters that competitive environment can be devastating both personally and professionally.
As far as generating income while you are gettting your business "up to speed" , there may be things that you can do, such as BPO's and other revenue generating activities but you have to be careful that you are not caught up in a "side" business that will take away from your main goal: building up your real estate business.
I have given myself realistically 1 to 2 years to build up my business (especially in this particularly challenging market) before I can consider this an actual "living".
Hope this helps and good luck with everything!
1 vote
Jill Southren, , Randolph, NJ
Tue Oct 20, 2009
Hi Dave - Real estate is a wonderful profession with flexible hours even though we work 24x7. I work for Weichert Realtors and they will pay towards the education to obtain your New Jersey Real Estate License but remember as a realtor, you are an "Independent Contractor" and there is no way to generate an income until you just throw yourself in and start selling and listing homes. The best way to do is either keep your "day job" while you are "ramping up" or just have enough saved to pay your bills for a good 6-9 months since it will take that long to start earning an income in your new profession. Good luck to you! Real estate is still selling as long as the homes are priced where they need to be for appraisal purposes and people are motivated to sell. Jill
Web Reference:  http://www.JillSouthren.com
1 vote
Joseph Washi…, Agent, Berwyn, IL
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Hi Dave, my opinion is biased of course because I own my own Century 21 real estate company just outside of Chicago. Still, I believe Century 21 can be a great choice for an aspiring new agent like yourself. Ironically, Century 21 Corporate Headquarters are located in Parsippany, NJ. Therefore, this just may be a double great choice for you. Century 21 was founded as a company that helps new agents find their way. Re/Max trumpets the greatest average experience but Century 21 has long been renowned for helping the new agents. We are a solid franchise with a long, proud tradition of excellent brand name recognition. It is a great way for you to get started and learn alongside some of the best in the business. Embark on your company interviews and make a well-researched, informed decision. Best of luck in your new career!!
0 votes
Barbara Asco…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Hi Dave...There is nothing more exciting than starting something new. Thinking about a new career though, is not only exciting but challenging. You are asking for opinions on which companies might be best for you as someone who is not yet licensed, so I hope that means that you have researched the committment required, the investment and the challenges in beginning a career in real estate. I have been in the business for a number of years and I can honestly say that I can't imagine a career that is more rewarding, both financially and personally fullfilling. Your first question regarding whether there exists a company that will pay for training towards obtaining a license is easy. The simple answer is yes there are, but truthfully the cost of a licensing course is quite inexpensive and I firmly believe that when we pay out of our pocket for any type of education, we tend to take it more seriously. Also, the cost of your course will be tax deductible if you decide to go ahead a pursue a career. Once you are licensed and affiliated with a company there are many ways to generate an income immediately. Some realtors are reluctant to spend time with rentals, however they do offer quick money, usually a matter of just days before you receive a check. You might also hook up with an experienced realtor who might need assistance with grunt work and who might be willing to give you a small weekly check to help out with paperwork (a good way to learn imputing listings,making flyers, etc.) You might also type up a list of activities that you would charge agents to take care of for them, for example: open houses, home inspections, meeting with town inspectors for c of o, etc. These types of activities might put quick money in your pocket as you are learning the business.
Some agents have answered your questions by telling you the benefits of the companies they are affiliated with, so I will as well. I was with a very well known company for many years and then two years ago I moved to Keller Williams. This was the best decision of my career. This company not only offers continuing education and agent support, but also is the only company that I know of that believes the agents come first. Keller Williams is about building careers worth having and lives worth living. As a Keller Williams agent, you have the potential to earn a great income while putting in place a lucrative retirement through passive income. Please call me so that I can tell you more about the Keller Williams opportunity and the great culture of this company!
Good luck and happy sales!!
0 votes
Steve Kappre, , Gloucester County, NJ
Thu Jan 7, 2010
Dave - I applaud you for doing the research. Keep reading up on Trulia and other sites like ActiveRain.com and you'll be smarter than a good % of Realtors before you even become an agent. (Don't worry, agents, I'd say the very same to loan officers too!) If you are in South Jersey I might be able to help you find a few brokers to interview with. Heck, let them lay it out. An interview never hurt anyone (I think).

As far as income ... I don't have any suggestions until you are an agent, but you are in the right place already. Start marketing from day one online. You would be surprised how fast you can get some quality leads. I had buyer leads within the first month of actively being online. If you currently have a full or part time job, I'd suggest keeping that and "sliding" into real estate. Having a solid income and no money worries is important.
Web Reference:  http://njmortgageblog.com
0 votes
James Miner…, , Westfield, NJ
Wed Oct 21, 2009
Real estate can be a great career. It can be rewarding and lucrative and you'll meet many great people.

Be prepared to work hard though, and to put in long hours.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Oct 20, 2009
Dave,

If you believe there is gold at the end of the rainbow this also may work. It's highly unlikely that a company will be willing to invest in this type of initiative.

Many new agents begin their real estate profession by "tossing their hats into the ring" as part time agents, keeping a means of employment that will continue to pay the bills. It may be beneficial to have a job that would allow you to grow your business and make contacts at the same time.

Good luck
0 votes
Audeliz Angie…, Agent, Westfield, NJ
Tue Oct 20, 2009
Dave,

Congratulations on deciding to enter a new profession. Real estate is a rewarding yet challenging career. For one, you are an independent contractor and depending on your business model and the company you hang your license with, you only get paid if you close. I’ve been in the business for 4 ½ years, which is not a long time, but I started and still remain with my broker of choice, which is Weichert, Realtors.
I can go on and on about Weichert, Realtors, which makes me bias. I can give you all of the pros of working with and being a Weichert Realtor.

I will say this. When I first got my license, I sent an email to 7 different brokers. I asked to meet with each broker individually and interviewed them as much as they interviewed me. I would recommend that you do the same and you can do this before you actually have your license. At that time, you will find out if your real estate school, license and training can be included in your start-up fees.

If you liked to contact me on my cell, please do so at your convenience. I would be happy to answer as many questions as you like.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Oct 20, 2009
Real Estate is a great profession however you might consider obtaining your license work as a staff member learn practice.

I not heard any firm which pays for education AND pay for training after you receive your license. I have many associates across the country.

I have seen where a person is part time till establish savings go full time in their practice.

Training is great however matter of marketing yourself to the public

Choice work with office meets your personality and professional goals. I have switched my license on 3rd time "found my lifetime" home don't foresee ever making changes again.

I love real estate however it is a practice you are 24 7 365

Good luck

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
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