becoming an agent. I have read all about the courses and fees, but does anyone have any advice on a path they took or a path they wish they took

Asked by Bryant, Raleigh, NC Wed Nov 13, 2013

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Skye Creech, Agent, Apex, NC
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Have a nice cushion to live on to start! Starting a career in Real Estate can be expensive at first, There are lots of start up fees you will incur such as triangle MLS and Realtor dues that lots of people wont tell you about. Interview as many companies as you can to find out which is the best fit for you. Ask questions such as advertising fees, desk fees and commission splits/percentages. Do your own due diligence and don't be afraid to ask questions that are important to you. Good luck and if you have any particular question feel free to ask!
1 vote
Caren Fried, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Nov 30, 2013
Hi Bryant,

There are a lot of ways to become successful. Mostly, it takes perseverance and strong will power. I am relatively new at real estate myself. I came in knowing that I would not have a paycheck for a few months and was ok with that. I chose a company that has excellent training, because the classes you are taking will only help you to pass your test. You need additional training to really understand the complexities of a real estate transaction.

Analyze your returns on what you do and the market you serve. Don't try to be an agent to everybody and really learn the areas that you want to work in. There are more than 5000 agents in Wake County alone and you need to make sure that you know more than 95% of them.

Give me a call or send me an email if you want to know more about the decisions I made and my success so far. 919-964-0732 or

Good luck!!!
0 votes
Lannie Hall, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Nov 23, 2013
Hi Bryant:

Your success is dependent upon your dedication and hard work. However, having someone give you a cheat sheet to shorten the learning curve really helps. I have been in the business for 12 years and came from a sales background prior to real estate that was related to the construction industry. With this experience, I was able to jump to the top 10% in my first two years in the business. However, this isn't the rule.... Because the national statistic reflects that 80% of all new agents aren't in the business 18 months after starting, I would highly suggest you begin your career in a more traditional brokerage scenario. The more traditional brokerage is better prepared to provide you with the training you'll need to be successful in the business. Good luck to you !
0 votes
Thomas Bohlm…, Agent, Rolesville, NC
Sat Nov 16, 2013
Many great answers here.

My path? I stopped listing to the mentors / expets on how to do proper listing and sales methods, and just did it.

Learn by doing, failing, and doing again and again.

The phrase that motivaed me the most was the "Oh, you cant do that here."

Lifestyle? You bet.
But anyone one succesfull in any carrer must be dedicated.
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Kanaka Sastry, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Nov 16, 2013
"Real estate" is not a job or just an agent. One must adopt a new life style. If you think you are working then never ending work.. No such thing as a part time or full-time. You learn by doing it not by reading or taking courses. Of course, you need a license and actual learning starts from there. Also you must be able to survive without income for a while . Lot of investment too! Put money to make money !!
Decision is yours ! Very challenging Career! Luck and welcome to the crowd!!!!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Nov 15, 2013
Yes, there are a few things.
I wish, instead to the standard non-sense, labeled advise, I had been competled to understand what this business is REALLY about.
Now, if instead of a real estate agent, a National Legue Football player asked, '...advice on path..' do you think anyone would say, "Learn how to play football?" Of course not. The creditial already state that skill is present. What the great coaches all do is to compel players to draw from the strengths they have within themselves. They bring to the players awareness all that they have accomplished to the point and how those accomplishments make them fully prepared to take their game to the next level. The coach DOES NOT get involved in teaching the player to protect the ball and prevent stripping, that is delegated to those who are technicians on strip prevention.
I wish, instead of accepting the notion I'd would make no money for a year, I had asserted my resolve to acheive a different outcome. Be aware, the common guidance will result in the common outcome...95% of newbies never see their 2nd year anniversary.
Looking within, pressing relentlessly towards the truth, persistantly challenging ones acceptance of "why?'- you need to embrace, in it full purity, the answer to "Why entering into the real estate businesss is important to you." Your answer, originating from the highest level of yourself, will provide the strength to endure the challenges that surely lay in your future. Staying centered on this higer lever purpose will prove essential.
Then focus on NOTHING ELSE but getting engaged in transactions.
You learn by doing.
Your Fortune lies in Finishing.
You acccomplish neither warming a stool in a classroom.
The facinating part of being a real estate professional is realizing this business depends on leveraging technologyes and sciences that are on the frontier of human perception. Those in possession of the curious mind will find this a stimulating and rewarding occupation.
Your success, you will discover, will be reliant on your ability to turn perception into action. Your role is to execute each play correctly. When that play ends, the game continues to the next play. Commit yourself to execute the PLAY....the outcome is beyond your control, but the universe has already demonstrated exactly how it will respond to those who act quickly and with commitment.
Had the beginning started in such a manner, maturing into the master craftsman, would not have involved a serpatine paths leading to chasing vapors and catching smoke with a net. With clarity of thought, such temptations will be seen for what they are, and your focus on your purpose undeterred.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Move to the Front of the Line
0 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Fri Nov 15, 2013
Bryant...Pay particular attention to those answers below that address the start-up costs. Most failed realtors fail because they lacked sufficient funds and/or failed to market effectively. If you talk to the heavy-hitters, they're spending GOBS of money on marketing. I have a friend who spends six figures each year on marketing alone! Rest assured...his return on that investment is exceptional. Many go into real estate because they believe, unlike opening a restaurant or buying a franchise, they can do it on a shoestring. You can, but you are far less likely to succeed. Many try to minimize marketing dollars...big mistake! Maximize them while staying within your budget. You need to drive business to you if you want to succeed. Work smarter, not harder...look for properties that you can feel good about selling that offer more than the typical commission...big return on same effort. Investing time in forums like this also reap benefits. Best of luck...(and don't let anyone tell you there's not a healthy heaping of luck can do everything right, and if luck goes against you still come up short)
0 votes
Ernie Behrle, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Fri Nov 15, 2013
Lots of great answers before me and some great advice. I would say when you are begin by starting with a good company that provides a mentoring or training program for new agents. I started back when Howard Perry & Walston was Better Homes & Gardens and their new agent program was wonderful. I learned much more about real life real estate than the schools provide as they had their own new agent classes. I was also fortunate enough to have a personal mentor who encouraged me to get into real estate in the first place and helped me through my first couple of sales.

The biggest pitfall I ran into as a new agent was learning how to manage my income and found myself owing a big tax bill at the end of the year. I would suggest if you have a friend who is an accountant/tax preparer that you enlist his/her services or find one and hire that person. This is something they don't teach in the schools. Having someone who can train you how to put tax money aside as well as manage your expenses ( of which there are plenty and they only increase as you start promoting yourself ) will save you a lot of headaches. Understand when you have large annual expenses just to be a Realtor due ( typically every quarter and especially at year end) and put aside for those. Personally, I have two extra savings accounts that I contribute to. One is purely for taxes so I can make quarterlies and the other is for those expenses I know come up.

Other than that and everything below, know that you are entering a very challenging profession but what that also can be very rewarding. Best of luck !!

0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Nov 14, 2013
The best advice I can offer is to try to mentor with a more experienced agent and to learn your "product". Experience only comes with time you can hasten the process by aligning yourself with someone who already has it so that you learn how to resolve problems, negotiate successfully , analyze values etc.

You should also understand that real estate is hard work. The statistics are that 80% of all new licensees won't be working in real estate within the first two years of getting their license.
The average NC Realtor earns less than $40,000 a year and this is all pre-tax income, as a Realtor you're self employed and are responsible for all your taxes, insurance, etc. This is a job that require you to work weekends, do like working weekends, then this isn't the job for you. It's also a job that requires you to spend money. As they say, "It takes money to make money" Any Realtor who tells you otherwise either doesn't know what their talking about or is one of those earning $40,000 or less a year. If you want a 6 figure income (very achievable) then I'd tell you you'll likely need to budget between $10,000 - $20,000 annually for marketing yourself. If you can't or won't spend the money I can almost assure you you won't ever earn that type of income. Most Realtors think real estate is a low overhead business, that why most Realtors never earn a good income and why most quit the business.

I love what I do, I love meeting new people all the time and I enjoy helping them realize their goals whether it's buying a good home or selling the home as they transition into a new phase in the lives. If you like people and are willing to work hard real estate can be an extremely rewarding career but success in this business rarely comes overnight and you should know this before you get started.

I wish you all the best and if you do decide to become a Realtor I wish you much success.
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Thomas Bohlm…, Agent, Rolesville, NC
Wed Nov 13, 2013

First do you like working 60+ hours a week? Do you like working weekends and. 2 pm to 9 pm the orher 5.days?

Or are do have an entreupenial attitude of working 1/2 days? You just have to choose which 1/2 day you will work? The first 16 hours ir the second 16 hours of the day?

Can you financially support your self for 2 years? Just like starting a business.

Do you like propecting for clients, without sounding MLMish?

If you answer YES to the above
Then welcome to your future if running your own sucessful business.

After 20 years I could not think of a better life.

Your commission splits will vary depending on the company you sign up with. Your training and support will vary with the company you sign up too.

Down side? It takes money and time ro make money.

Best of luck
0 votes
Carla Freund, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Bryant, It is very wise of you to ask now and you've been given some great advice below. It is important you find a company that offers training for new agents. What you learn in pre-licensing is great but, will only take you so far. Some companies have training programs that will continue to teach you rules and regulations as well as how to run your business and be successful. Be prepared - making an income in Real Estate doesn't happen overnight. It is a lot of hard work and dedication. I do suggest you speak to some of the agents in the office when you find an officer you're serious about. You'll also want to make sure you're working in an enviroment where people share and where you can grow.

Keller Williams Preferred Realty has career nights if you want to hear a little more about Real Estate. They also have a Success Academy for new agents. I watch new agents complete the Success Academy Real Estate course and do extremely well in a shorter amount of time! Send me a message when you're ready and I'll find out the date of the next career night.
0 votes
R B Bob, , Raleigh, NC
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Bryant, As Mr. Creech mentioned below, be sure to be very realistic about how you're going to pay your bills and be sure to ask a lot of questions from a lot of different companies.

But before I even did that, I would ask myself some pretty tough questions such as, "How will I do being my own boss?" or "Am I okay with having to be available evenings and weekends?" I say this because while real estate as a career can be lucrative and very rewarding, it can also be very demanding, as well as require a lot of self motivation. A lot of people get into it and find out that the job comes with enough rope to hang themselves!

Good Luck to you!

0 votes
Linda Skolni…, Agent, Westport, CT
Wed Nov 13, 2013
Work with a seasoned agent who is willing to share their knowledge with you. Don't try to do everything yourself, there is a learning curve. You will be doing your buyers, sellers and self a favor to initially share your clients and learned from someone else who has already been successful.
0 votes
Agreed! Join a firm with a training program and find yourself a mentor! Your first year is going to be learning, so look at your splits as an investment in your future...much like paying tuition in college...then you can renegotiate your splits, or just head out to a firm that is a better fit if you aren't happy at that point! Also, make sure you have a savings account to cover your first few months of expenses...good luck!
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