Thinking of a career in Real Estate?
Real estate has a long history of making the people involved in transactions a good living, and there are some very wealthy agents in the practice today. Becoming a real estate agent is not something that should be undergone lightly, however, nor should a person think that this career choice is a quick way to easy money. This article talks about some of the things to consider if you are thinking about becoming a real estate agent, as well as the requirements by law to become a member of the profession.
Real estate broker vs. real estate salesperson
The first thing to do in making your decision about entering the real estate profession is to make sure you know what the difference is between a real estate salesperson (associate) and a real estate broker.
Real Estate Brokerages act as intermediaries to bring buyers and sellers of property together. All listings and brokerage agreements are made with the client and the brokerage, not the salesperson (associate). The salesperson is authorized by the brokerage to represent them in dealings with the client. Technically the brokerage is the client’s representation. The broker is the person who is ultimately responsible for the brokerage and its dealings. After some years of practice and further education, the associate may become a broker.
In order to be a successful real estate agent, there are certain qualities that you will have to possess. Chief among these are a willingness to work with all sorts of different people and meet their requirements. Consider the following list of character traits. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may have a good career in real estate ahead of you.
Do you communicate well with people? Real estate agents have to be able not only to make themselves clear to clients, but also to understand what their clients are looking for. A good understanding of what people are telling you and a willingness to listen to their wishes is vital for a good career.
Do you work with minimal supervision? Real estate agents will often have to make their own schedules, which will include meeting with buyers and sellers, showing homes, and arranging negotiation sessions. There is a lot of flex time, but you had better be able to work it right!
Are you willing to go the extra mile? Summers and weekends are prime time for showing real estate. What is convenient for clients is not necessarily convenient for the agent! You will have to be prepared to spend time when others are vacationing on the job.
Don’t think “get rich quick”!
As we mentioned above, a lot of people are hearing about the massive success that agents are having in the field with the hot markets all over North America. What newcomers have to remember is that real estate is more prone to peaks and valleys as far as business is concerned than any other profession. The success of the individual is not only based on personal factors such as work ethic and word of mouth, but also on outside factors such as local economy and interest rates. 2007 was a record breaking year, a “perfect storm” of real estate. Agents who have been in the game a long time will tell you that this does not happen often, and that you have to be able to prepare for the lean times during the booms.
Training and education
All states in the United States and all provinces in Canada require realtors to be licensed under state or provincial law. This requires an individual to take specific course in real estate law and practice, which can require from 60 to 90 hours of course work. In addition, potential agents must also write at least one exam. Individuals who are hoping to become brokers will have to undergo additional training and more exams.
A career as a real estate agent has many opportunities to vary your experiences and to earn more money as time goes by. There are dozens of different fields within the real estate profession, so individuals are guaranteed never to get bored. Aspiring agents should keep in mind that despite the upsides to the job, they will almost always be working on commission. In a field that is prone to very slow times, this can mean some financial strain for the unprepared.
If you have more questions or would like to talk about becoming a Realtor, please call me any time.
Kurtis Bain 403-375-0004