How difficult would it be to start a career as a real estate agent in this market?

Asked by Jamie, 60532 Wed Dec 9, 2009

I passed the NJ licensing exam but have not interviewed any agencies yet. I am also new to NJ and do not know many people. Any suggestions?

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Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Very tough to start in this market. You need the following:

1) Do not expect to make any money for 6 months, and very little money for your first year.
2) Expect to spend lots of money during your first six months, and lots more for your first year.

You are opening a business and you need to invest money without any return for a certain period of time. You also need to do this full time, without any expectation of making any real money for 1-2 years.

You cannot do this part time. Many people will tell you that you can, and many people will tout bogus examples of how they or someone they know started part time and were making fabulous money in 6 months. Total bull. 90% of all people who start real estate part time are gone in very short order. Real estate is more than a full time job. It's a way of life. It requires total commitment.

The biggest key as a newbie is to get mentally on board with the fact that you need $20,000 or so to get started and you will not make any real money for 1-2 years. Yet you have to look and act like a million bucks from Day 1.

Once you get past these hurdles, it's the best job ever invented! Call me if you like, there's so much to know that nobody will tell you in your interviews.

1 vote
thinz, Agent, Allenhurst, NJ
Mon Jun 15, 2015
It is as good a time as any. In my opinion, I think now is a better time because the pack is getting thinned- unlike in a strong market where everyone jumps in to try and sell homes to make a high commission. If you get in now and stick with it, you will have an advantage for positioning yourself down the road - especially when the market does get stronger. Marketing yourself in a weak market for any business has advantages!
Tom Hinz
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Warren, NJ
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Hi Jamie, you've gotten some great responses here - I agree in particular with Marc's comments. Managers/brokers are interviewing constantly and I continue to hear claims that you can do this work part time, but it just is not so - particularly in this market. It is tough and buyers and sellers are more educated than ever before. I began in 2005 and finished my training just as the market began to fall - based on my own experience I think that the 2-3 year horizon to get settled and make money is on target.

If you enjoy the real estate market and have a time horizon that would allow you to get established, then it is a very interesting time to join.

The "formula" for each brokerage is a little different - some take a heftier chunk of your commission in exchange for office usage/support, with others you pay to use resources but keep more of your commission. When you are first starting out, you may want to consider the former, if they have good training/mentoring - Weichert is the brokerage I work for and I selected it for that very reason - the training is very good.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
"Unwavering Commitment to Service"
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0 votes
., , Denver County, CO
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Now is not the time to start a real estate career unless you have deep pockets to pay your bills for a year or more. I have been a full time Realtor since 1996 and when I started the rule was to have enough income for six months. However in today's economy, a lot of long time Realtors have already left the business due to the slow down in sales. The bulk of the rest of the Realtors are holding on waiting for the economy to rebound. This past year has been one of the worse years since I first started and this is true for most of my colleagues. If you still want to pursue a career in real estate, then you should go with a company that has good training and also can provide you with qualified leads.
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Pam Mccormick, , San Diego County, CA
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Be sure to join an office that has a great training and support program because you need to start with a concrete plan of action. Establish a niche market to pursue and get help in how you should begin marketing and investing your time. Picking out a farm area that has substantial turnover is the best location to choose for your marketing efforts. Join networking mixer groups to introduce yourself and meet potential buyers or sellers or people who will refer you to clients. Tell everyone you know that you are doing real estate a don't forget the people in your present circles such as your gym, church, family, hair salon, insurance agent, doctors, dry cleaners, lunch spots, get the idea. There are many realtors right now who are having their best year yet, so keep a positive attitude and that will definately help you get off to a great start!
0 votes
Anthony J. G…, Agent, Middletown, NJ
Wed Dec 9, 2009
I was told years ago when I started with my first Broker and I will never forget what she said. Its real simple, "what you put into this business is what you what you get out of it" The days of an easy sale for a rookie agent are long gone. Buyers and Sellers are demanding an agent that can provide direction in the tough market and that can help in a consultative manor. Real Estate is not Sales you are nothing more than a information portal, consultant, and negotiator. You must know your buyer/seller, out wit the buyer/sellers on the other side and negotiate hard for what your buyer/seller wants and most important know your inventory.

If you think the house is great but the buyer simply “isn’t feeling it” you must support and move on to the next property no matter how exhausted or exhausting the buyer might be. They buyer will tell you where and what they want to buy you will negotiate well on their behalf, provide accurate market information and know the neighborhood.

It’s a tough business, good luck out there!
0 votes
William Troy, Agent, Toms River, NJ
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Take the time to do research before picking a company. Getting started in real estate and developing a good client base take time and money. In a market like this the established agents are doing well and the other agents are sinking. If you have the money, time and dedication to put into a career and you are prepared to not see a return on that money for a decent amount of time, then go for it. If not, maybe you should consider hanging your license as a referral agent. Good luck!
0 votes
James ORourke, Agent, MONROE Township, NJ
Wed Dec 9, 2009
Extremely, You must be prpared for lean times before things get better. Spend the time learning the ropes. Be a listener. Spent money wisely to support your goals.
0 votes
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