So you want to be a Realtor? It's probably the most common thing I hear after "how's the market doing?". I'm not sure if this is the same in all industries, I myself have never said "You're a doctor? That's interesting as I have always wanted to be a doctor!".
Maybe it's that the process to hold a Real Estate license is fairly simple. With a little dedication to studying you could easily have your license to sell within 6 months. It may also be the illusion that Realtors make huge money, just look at the commission they charge!!!
Let me start by saying I absolutely love my job. Yes, I still buy lotto tickets in the hopes of winning 35 million but realistically I would miss my work and the people I work with. I have been very lucky throughout the course of my career to work with amazing people, both clients and other Realtors. However, selling Real Estate isn't a job for the faint of heart. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. So, for anyone considering a career in Real Estate, let me show you a little of what's involved prior to making the "huge bucks"!
Myth: A career in Real Estate allows you to set your own schedule.
Reality: Hahaha! Be prepared to throw any plans you ever make out the window on a moments notice. Kids piano recital? "Sorry, I have a showing" Dinner with your spouse "Sorry babe, have to write an offer!". The fact is, you have to be prepared to work when the work is there and that means that you are operating around your client's schedule. If you have more than one client, and I hope you do, then you will be operating around many people's schedules.
Myth: Realtors make truck loads of money.
Reality: While there is money to be made in Real Estate, the truth is that 10% of Realtors sell 90% of the homes. That leaves 90% of Realtors to fight over the 10% of the market up for grabs. You don't need to know the numbers involved to guess that doesn't add up to big bucks for most of the Realtors out there. Realistically most people who begin a career in Real Estate leave within the first few years as they need to actually make a pay cheque. That doesn't even begin to address the office fees, MLS fees, Board fees, advertising costs, and so on and so on! These are costs that you pay up front long before you ever see your first pay cheque.
Myth: Real Estate shows on TV are EXACTLY how it works.
Reality: I admit, I am sucker for these shows. I love them all. However, these shows are a short clip of how selling Real Estate actually works. They edit out the 97 homes you took your buyer to prior to them making a decision. The clips of your Buyer's 3 year old accidentally flooding the toilet in a property you are viewing while you frantically try to mop up 3 inches of water from the floor with a McDonalds napkin IN YOUR SOCKS never make it past the cutting room floor. Nobody writes deals on the trunk of a car. Nobody looks at three homes then chooses one while I smile sweetly on as I conveniently have the contract already filled out.
Myth: Everyone will be lining up around the block to work with you the minute you get your Real Estate license.
Reality: Building a client base is the toughest part of a Realtor's job. Sadly clients do NOT fall out of the sky. Although you may be excited and ready to go in your new career this does not mean that anyone you know will automatically trust you with their biggest asset. Friends and family will need time to see you as a professional Realtor so you will need to work on building a client base elsewhere. How you build professional relationships with potential Buyers and Sellers will be different for everyone but trust me when I say that this is something that you will work at every day of your career regardless of how long you have been in the business.
Now, if that hasn't completely turned you off and you are ready to get out there and work every day at it I can promise you that working in Real Estate is the most rewarding career. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else, well, unless I DO win that 35 million!