Laid off, thinking about a career swtich to become a realtor. any thoughts?

Asked by Julie, 60614 Fri May 1, 2009

Would I be able to make a living? How long does it take to become a licensed realtor? What are the ups and downs in selling houses/condos in chicago?

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Voices Member, , Chicago, IL
Tue May 5, 2009
I'd listen to Kipp on this one. When I first made the switch into real estate, I decided to get into leasing first and am very happy I did. Here's why (It's late so I'll make a list to keep my thoughts together)...

1. You can quickly pick up leasing and start renting places immediately which means no lulls in pay checks

2. You can figure out if this is the right job for you. Real estate IS a 24/7 starting up if you want to give yourself a fair chance at making it. This is not a 9-5, 5 days a week career.

3. In leasing you learn all the Chicago neighborhoods as well as all the legal rules and regulations.

4. Someone who leases from you may become a potential buyer when their lease is up so keep clients information.

On a side note

When applying to a leasing agency, make SURE that they have a listing agent/provide you with properties unless a company is willing to invest a lot of time training you on generating properties. If you are just starting out it can be very difficult going out on your own and finding your own landlords and convince them to work with you.

Feel free to click on my profile and contact me if you have any questions/want to know more about breaking into real estate.
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Laurie Chris…, Agent, Oak Park, IL
Tue May 5, 2009
You can take a crash course and get licensed in as little as a week. The test isn't too hard. On-the-job experience is crucial as there is a steep learning curve as you work through each transaction. I would definitely recommend finding a busy, experienced agent to team up with - it has been vital to my success! I do most of her online marketing and get to work with buyers as well. Try to negotiate some sort of base pay so that you have steady income coming in, otherwise you may go quite a while between commissions. I've been in the business 2 years, and I absolutely love it. It's an exciting business, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Best of luck!

Laurie Christofano, Realtor with the Pych Team @ RE/MAX In The Village
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Kipp Blackbu…, , Chicago, IL
Sat May 2, 2009
Get your license and give it a go! If you love it, you'll find a way to succeed. You get your feet wet with some leasing, which is pretty hot right now. You can always do it while you're looking for another job. In fact, you can try leasing on a 90 day permit (temporary leasing license). Call me for more info.
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J R, , New York, NY
Sat May 2, 2009
Any kind of sales is hard work. If you love real estate and don’t mind working hard, if you are self motivated and not a procrastinator, real estate sales may be a good career for you. You will likely go 6 months or a year with no income when you start, and you can have dry spells even when you are in the business a while. It also helps if you are local to your area, if your ancestors were local to your area, and if you are active and know many people.
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Christopher…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat May 2, 2009
Dear Julie,

I'd suggesting taking a look at Your Successful Real Estate Career by Kenneth Edwards, which is a great book that kind of introduces most of the major questions and things that you might want to consider before you begin a career in real estate.

If you do decide to enter a real estate career, then I'd also suggest having a sizable number of months worth of reserves (at least 6 and more preferably 9-12 months).

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to speak with you or meet with you regarding my experiences in the business.

Good luck.

Christopher Thomas
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty
773-418-0640 (cell) 773-293-1200 (off) 312-577-0985 (fax)
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Kale Realty, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri May 1, 2009
Hi Julie

Real Estate is a great career. You can make a good living if you are honest and hard working but it does take at least 3 months to start making any money.

We would be happy to talk with you as we are located in the South Loop
312-939-5253 give us a call anytime ask to speak with Cass

Thanks and good luck!
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Marilyn Gibs…, Agent, Saint Charles, MO
Fri May 1, 2009
I am in the St. Louis market and made the decision to become a Realtor more than 20 years ago. The market has been up and down several times, but I still love what I do. I find that people who have an outgoing personality and like to help other people do well in this industry. I suggest you speak to a couple of brokers in your area to get particulars about the market there. This can be a rewarding career but you have to work at it. Many agents have gotten out of the business in the past year because in a down market you can't wait for the phone to ring... you have to make it happen.
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Ginny Herman, Agent, Blue Ridge, GA
Fri May 1, 2009
First there are different requirements depending on your state. There is a test you must pass , you take a course to study this and then pass the test in the course then the test at a state level., It is a difficult study!
I suggest a 6 month savings for your standard bills, and depending on which company you go to workfor, you may need to spend alot of money advertising your self. I suggest a company that there is not desk fee, but a split of commission, and a brokerage that will WORK with you as a new agent, there is much to learn..
All that being said, the number of realtors with active license today has dropped greatly as you can imagine.
real estate can be a 24/7 job. With the help of the blackberry phone and wifi. it is still possibe to have a personal life. just know to make it in this business, you must be consistently ready to be tested, dissapointed, and surprised!
best of luck
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