None of the people that are suggesting getting a Realtors license are mentioning the costs involved with it. First, you have to pay at least $200-500 to take the courses that will allow you to take the Realtor Exam, which also costs at least $100, depending on where you live. Then, once you get your license, you HAVE to work for a broker - you cannot just go out on your own and sell houses unless you have a Brokers License, which will cost you more money for additional classes, and another exam. Most companies that you work as an agent for are going to charge you a desk fee per month - where I worked, it was around $70 a month, no matter if you made any money that month or not. Once you sign on with them, they give you a desk, a phone, and then you're on your own. Also, nothing is free with most real estate offices. They will charge you fees to use their software to look up lists of potential sellers, printing your cards or any kind of promotional items, etc. You will have to pay for your own signs, flags for open houses, access to the MLS system, etc. Aside from all those monthly fees, you will also have to renew your license on a yearly basis, which is fairly costly especially in the first year, when most agents struggle. There will also be continuing education courses that you will be required to take, which cost money as well. You will have to pay for Errors and Omissions insurance on your own, and of course there is no health insurance coverage, since you're basically working for yourself. In the first year I worked for the largest real estate company in the state in which I live, it actually cost me money...I didn't even break even. I left and went with a smaller company that did not gouge me for all the little fees, which was nice, and I did much better the following 4 years, but had to leave when I found myself in need of health insurance.
I don't doubt that many, many people start making money right off the bat, but in talking to a number of people both still in practice, and that have left the real estate business, I have found that a large number of people struggle, and that the things I have listed are things that seem to get glossed over or not mentioned at all when they are considering entering the industry.