I'm thinking about becoming a Real Estate Agent... - Mothering Forums
Work from Home Parents > I'm thinking about becoming a Real Estate Agent...
amyandelle's Avatar amyandelle 05:20 PM 06-30-2005
Does anyone here have any experiance with selling real estate? I am wondering about the hours and income potential as well as whre I can take classes to get a licence. From what I have read it sounds really flexible and the income potential sounds really good too!! Before I had Elle I was a restaurant manager but I don't want to go back to working full time so right now I am waiting tables and we are just barely getting by. I am so tired of being broke all the time KWIM?
Any info would be so much appreciated!!!

momto l&a's Avatar momto l&a 06:43 PM 06-30-2005
It supposidly is flexable but its not really as people want to see property and they want to see it NOW. If you have them wait they will go somewhere else.

Its takes a lot of work and time to become successful at selling.

Real Estate is a full time+ job.

My mom was an agent, she took what classes she could at home then had to spend a number of weeks 5 hours away for the other classes.

It is a fun job seeing all these houses and property and meeting all sorts of people. But some people youll wish wouldnt have never met or had to deal with.

The hours stink IMO they range from earliy morning to late night weekends, and anyother time. You dont want to put people off becaus ethey may be a possible sale.

Sorry to sound like such a downer but IMO it not a good job for a mom with young ones at home. I mean I was a young adult living at home and didnt see mom all that much.
Starr's Avatar Starr 06:48 PM 06-30-2005
I agree I have a friend that is a real estate agent and her work hours are much more chaotic than mine. People generally want to see houses after work so be ready to show houses at night. Also they sometimes want to see the property more than once and with family so the viewing can take a couple of hours. You need to be extremely organized and available at all times. Plus you work mostly off of commision so there never is a guarantee of how much you will make. Basically you get what you put into it, so keep that in mind.
AinNJ's Avatar AinNJ 11:00 AM 07-01-2005
i've wanted to sell real estate for years. but i needed a full salary, so i couldn't do the "start up" thing. now that we could afford the start-up lack of money, dh talked me out of it because there's really no way of getting out of working weekends.

yeah, the hours would suck. and 100% commission based is scarey...
ma2maya's Avatar ma2maya 01:32 PM 07-01-2005
I just started in real estate. Quite honestly the hours are what you want to put into it but the more hours you put in at the beginning, the quicker you will find success and the more flexible you can choose to be in the future.

In the beginning it is a lot of business building. Talking to people, open houses, marketing etc. One big key is to work for a broker that offers a lot of support i.e. has a good marketing base/name already in place in the community, good backbone of technology, business building training etc. My company gave me 2 weeks of supplemental training over and above the state required 90hrs of pre-licensing classes.

With multiple listing services it is a lot easier and simpler to weed down houses for clients so you're not running all over to every house. But yes, be prepared to work some evenings, but remember you set the schedule and if that evening is family time you tell your client that you already have an appointment. If you have had them sign a buyer/broker agreement, which you should so all your work is not for nothing, they have then signed a contract to work exclusively with you and can't head off to another agent. Plus if you begin to establish a competant and trusting relationship with the client from the get-go they won't want to go with someone else.
However, your goal should be to get the listings a be representing the seller, then your not running around all the time just with buyers.

But yes, at the begining be prepared to have no income and to be putting out some intial funds to fill your licensing requirements, biz cards, small amount of personal marketing, local realtor association dues and MLS dues.

So that's my 2cents, which I will keep half of as my cut of the commision

And BTW- if you know of anyone that is wanting to buy or sell a home I can help them find a qaulified and reputable agent in their area
(sorry, the prospecting scripts are ingrained in my head )

amyandelle's Avatar amyandelle 05:04 PM 07-01-2005
Thanks everyone!!

ma2maya can I ask approx how much starting up costs and approx how long it takes to make the first commission?

Working nights actually works really well for me since I am currently already working four nights a week. Luckily we are also able to adjust my dh's schedule so that weekends should not be a problem My main worries lie in the whole start up process KWIM?
ma2maya's Avatar ma2maya 03:37 AM 07-03-2005
Well start-up costs can vary but basically...

Pre-licensing classes-$500
License exam-$90
License-$120(initial reg. plus normal $20 3-year license)
Assoc. dues(MLS, local/nat'l realtor assoc.)-$500
Supra key(for keyboxes)-$120 or so

Also, the company I work for has a start-up package which includes biz cards, 6 mos of post card mailings, website set-up, additional training, open house signs, and other stuff that I cannot dig out of my mushy brain right now That was just under $500. Oh wrapped in that was th premium fo rbeing included under the brokers Errors and Ommisions Insurance.
I also purchased car mags at $55 for a set.

As far as commision goes, lets say you sell a house the first week you have your license...figure in a 30-45 day escrow period until recordation and depending on how your broker works you recieve your commision check a day or 2 after recordation. You can bust your butt and get business going from the start so you can start earning with in the first 2 mos. But remember during that time you are spending money on marketing, but don't spend more than you really need to, and there are ways to get things done for little $. Gas for your car, pos. cell phone bills etc.

It also really helps to be working with a company that gives you a lot of support. Other places might look attractive becuase they don't ask you to put much in at the beginning, but then again theydon't give you much except a place to park your desk. My company has established reltionships with local print outlets and buys in bulk so when us agents want to print ads, we get screaming deals, its little things like that which really make a difference IMHO.

Anyways, I am sleepy and rambling...
Night Owl's Avatar Night Owl 05:31 AM 07-03-2005
So, what's the real estate market like in your area?

I know someone who earned her license and started working for a local realtor -- but ended up quiting because she was making no money since the real estate market in her area had gone kaput.
Night Owl's Avatar Night Owl 05:33 AM 07-03-2005
I also know someone who is a buyer's agent. He told us that the reason he became a buyer's agent is because the buyers will tell him what they want and where. He can then look at all the listings and find what was available that would meet their needs. Then he'd just call the realtors to setup an appointment. He said finding the right house for a buyer is a lot easier than finding the right buyer for a house.

Made sense to me, but I'm not a real estate agent either. :LOL
ma2maya's Avatar ma2maya 03:12 PM 07-03-2005
Your market definately makes a difference. In general, the market is good right now, more so for sellers than for buyers. Around here you can write a couple of contracts for your buyer before they get one accepted because there is a lot of competition, especially in cetain price ranges.

So though on a national level the market is good, a local market can be different.

radish's Avatar radish 09:14 PM 07-06-2005
DH is a realtor. It is hard work and LONG hours *but* it is flexible.

It took him 2-3 years before he made a decent living. And even now, we live on credit cards between deals. DH has found a niche though (online sales) so business is good - finally!

Another option is to work in a small group within a well-known brokerage. For instance, DH works for Coldwell Banker and in his office there is a top sales person and she has a few peopke work for her. So it is a little more "steady" and less starting from scratch.

It is a lot of money up front and you have to continue to pay fees every year.

amyandelle's Avatar amyandelle 02:16 PM 07-07-2005
Thanks Everyone!!!

radish and ma2maya: Would you say that it might be a smart idea for me to take my Salesperson class and a Brokers class before actually getting started? I am still sort of confused about the whole difference between the Salesperson and the Broker (?) I am currently hoping to enroll in the Salesperson class hopefully next week.

radish: I was wondering about how much it cost for your dh to start up with Coldwell Banker? we have a local Coldwell Banker office that I was considering. I have also been speaking with Century 21 and I really like what they have to say so far

One last question... One of the agencies I talked to say that they want a full time long term commitment. Did you/your spouse have to sign a contract? How do they know if you are putting in full time hours?
Thanks SOOOO much!!
radish's Avatar radish 02:25 PM 07-07-2005
DH has worked for CB in San Diego and Sacramento (both in CA) and I would have to ask him for specifics but IIRC they are similar to the previous poster. Although in his new office he has to pay for "desk space" and "phone", etc each month.

Hmmm, I've never heard of a contract. Seems like it woudl be bad for the brokerage (I mean if they hire soemone who doesnt bring in any sales, they would be stuck with them YK?). Sounds fishy to me.
ma2maya's Avatar ma2maya 01:32 AM 07-08-2005
Here in Az a salesperson must actively practice for 3 years before they can receive a brokers license. Basically a licensed saleperson must practice under the umbrella license of a broker. It is a broker/broker's agent relationship so as a salesperson you are acting as an agent of the broker.
A person who holds a brokers license can practice independently if they choose.

Also, the type of hours you work can be seen in your level of productivity.

My company did ask me to make a commitment to the company, not a time span type of commitment. Basically, they didn't want just anybody who could afford desk fees to work for them(not saying that agents that work for these types of agencies are not good nor ethical). They want to build a strong(er) business and their biz model is to hire agents who fit into this i.e. are in it for the long run, have a good work ethic, and are driven. So this may be what the one company may be getting at.

When you are interviewing agencies pick one with a strong system of agent support i.e. initial post-licensing training and continuing training and biz building support. Also, make sure you like the people in the office and the managing broker

The NAtional Assoc. of Realtors site is a good resource for you

taffy610's Avatar taffy610 12:16 PM 04-27-2006
Hi there..you seem very well educated in this field... I am in the Charleston, SC area and am contimplating real estate as well. Can you give any information on a potential salary for first year vs going into your 3rd year? I know that it is all based on your motivation, drive to succeed etc. What has been your experience with the compensation? Thank you!
mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 01:26 PM 04-28-2006
I tried real estate some years ago, and although I worked under a fantastic, supportive broker, and actually made some money, I quit after 6 months. I had underestimated the adversarial aspect of the field. I had imagined I would take prospective buyers out to find the home of their dreams, sellers would be asking a reasonable price, buyers would agree to it (or dicker a bit just for fun), and everyone would live happily ever after. The reality for me was that this was very high stress for everyone involved. Most people came into the transaction wanting to get "more" - more than they could afford or were willing to pay for, more $ than their house was worth, more from me in the form of services I could not provide (legal advice, housekeeping, etc.). The buyers and sellers had opposing goals, and it was my job to mediate. Even within my friendly office, the atmosphere was more competative than I am comfortable with.

I loved seeing the houses available, taking buyers out, listing and creatively describing houses, running open houses, and many other aspects of the job. But I would advise you consider the emotional climate of the industry before committing to a career.