Is it for You?
Starting a Real Estate Career
A career in real estate means being a part of one of the most important industries in the world, employing millions of highly skilled professionals. Real estate agents play important roles in helping home buyers choose where to live, and helping home sellers to gain the most value from the homes into which they’ve invested both time and money. Successful real estate agents develop lifelong, trusted relationships with customers that span generations.
Real Estate Career Advice
If you’re interested in a real estate career, we recommend that you explore the topics on this page. This will give you a good overview of who real estate agents are, where they start, and what they do. Once you’ve reviewed this information, we recommend that you contact us to learn more.
Who Becomes a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate career can be a rewarding choice for anyone, with almost any level of professional or educational achievement. What you have done or learned prior to your real estate career can contribute to your success as an agent, but the common elements in most successful real estate careers are a sincere focus on helping customers, a strong work ethic, and common-sense intelligence.
Your Own Path to Success
Real estate agents have a variety of backgrounds and beginning skill sets. Since Real Estate is primarily a service and relationship business, relatively few come from careers where “hard selling” is a part of the job. Those that enter the industry from “sales” positions often find it to be more fulfilling, both in terms of personal satisfaction and earnings.
Real estate agents are often professional business men and women who have decided to “work for themselves”. Many are recent graduates from school, just starting their careers. Others are active semi-retired individuals, with years of experience and much wisdom to offer. Still others are energetic “part time” agents that dedicate their efforts to a tighter circle of customers.
Why Choose a Real Estate Career?
If you ask an agent why they chose to make their career in real estate, you’ll find a number of answers. Real Estate can certainly offer a high earning potential. The longer you stay in the business, the greater that potential becomes, through widening your circle of current and past customers, all of whom can refer new customers to you.
Many love the “helping people” aspect, while others want to exercise their independent nature and be their own boss. Most RE/MAX Associates Agents are independent contractors, and are thus able to set their own work schedules and build their business in the way that they want, while relying upon RE/MAX Associates for professional marketing and career assistance. From being your own boss to growing a lifelong business, there are many reasons to choose a real estate career. We at RE/MAX Associates can provide you the necessary tools to serve your clients successfully.
Do I Have the Right Personality?
You may feel that to become a successful real estate agent, you need to be a typical “extrovert” – the life of the party, willing to talk to anyone, at any time, about anything. This isn’t true. Most people, including real estate agents, consider themselves somewhat shy in social situations. While many real estate agents are certainly outgoing and gregarious, not all of them were “born” extroverted.
Expertise Becomes Confidence
The important thing to remember is that any worries you may have over “social shyness” doesn’t really apply to your real estate career. Knowledge of real estate and your local market will give you the confidence to talk with, work with and establish long term relationships with people that you might otherwise be hesitant to talk to, out of a sense of social restraint.
You may have to stretch your comfort zone at first, but it becomes easier every time you talk with a potential buyer or seller. The more you know, the more you work, and the more customers you assist, will all diminish any sense of shyness you may have on the job. As your professional capabilities and reputation grow, you may find yourself becoming less shy in your personal life, and building an even wider circle of friends.
Real Estate as a Second Career for Retirees
A second career in real estate can provide an active, enjoyable lifestyle, the opportunity to continue to learn and grow, and what can be a lucrative supplement to retirement income. Working as an agent also offers the ability to generally set your own schedules, and the freedom to work from virtually anywhere you wish. Real estate is an equal opportunity career, based upon your ability to succeed in serving home buyers and sellers, and age is no barrier – it’s often an asset.
Your Life Experience Pays Off
Some of the highest producers at RE/MAX Associates are mature agents who have years of work experience outside the real estate industry. Even if you have no previous real estate training or experience, you have valuable life experience, a wide circle of contacts and usually, the experience of buying and selling several homes. This can be a major asset in understanding the needs of customers, and getting quickly up to speed in your real estate career.
Stay Involved, Stay Independent
Earning a real estate license is well worth the time and surprisingly affordable. Once you’ve become an agent, you’ll find that unlike being cooped up at a desk or working behind a retail counter day after day, real estate offers flexibility and personal freedom. And, real estate provides a channel for staying involved, and building contacts and friendships in your community.
Earning a Real Estate License
The first professional requirement for a career in real estate is to earn a real estate license. Part of this process is to pass a written exam. Although initial pre-real estate license training differs from state to state and is a prerequisite to enter real estate, on-going training at all levels increases the ability for real estate agents to serve their customers, and to succeed in a real estate career.
Real estate license requirements vary by state. If you’re interested in learning about licensing requirements for your state, we recommend that you contact a local RE/MAX Associates office. They can go over what you need to do to get a real estate license and advise on education options.
Investing in Your Real Estate Career
If you’re considering a real estate career, or still new to the industry, you need to keep in mind that in real estate, your success is in large part driven by how much “investment” you’re willing to make. The investment is primarily in time and effort, but you may need to invest some money into your career. Here are some things you’ll need to consider.
While we believe that almost anyone can succeed in real estate, it doesn’t mean that success comes automatically. You do have to put effort into your work, just like in any career, to become truly successful. The following advice will help you to think about what you need to do to better serve your customers, and to grow your real estate career.
You will probably work evenings and weekends. You can make your own hours to some extent, it’s important that you manage your customer’s expectations with regard to your time and availability. There will be many occasions when you can only show a home or take a listing appointment in the evening, or when a weekend is the only time you can write up an offer.
When all is said and done, many full-time agents often put in more than 40 hours a week, due to the time spent working on weekends and evenings. Even so, their schedules are more flexible than salaried workers. Part-time agents often spend the bulk of their time devoted to weekend and evening work, but serve a tighter circle of customers.
Regardless of whether you plan to be a full-time or part-time agent, you need to be aware that to be successful, you need to be available when potential customers can make time. If you’re committed to success, you’ll need to occasionally compromise your time, to best serve your customers.
Success in any field comes to those that make an intelligent effort to succeed, and real estate is no exception. You need to make the most of the time you invest, by working to understand and assist buyers and sellers, staying on top of industry news and market conditions, thinking about new ways to reach potential customers, staying sharp through ongoing training and more. Your real estate broker will assist you in many ways, complementing your efforts, supporting your work and providing direction. But you’ll need to be proactive in your work, particularly if you wish to provide Premier Service.
As an independent contractor, you will need to invest a certain amount of money in yourself to get started, and to maintain your business.
Typical real estate agent expenses include:
- Real Estate Education and Licensing
- Real estate license education tuition and fees
- Licensing exam fees
- Optional training to increase your skill set or gain special certifications
- Real Estate Professional Fees
- Any local fees for business licensing
- Local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fees
- Fees to join and maintain your status with a local Board of Real estate agents
Real Estate Agency Fees
Depending upon the local broker, agents may be charged monthly or “pay as you go” fees to defray the cost of technology, office services, postage, phone calls and more.
- Personal Business Expenses
- Expenses to own, maintain and fuel a vehicle suitable for carrying potential buyers and sellers (qualified RE/MAX Associates Agents can take advantage of the GM Supplier Car Discount program)
- Additional auto insurance to cover increased liability for business passengers
- Depreciation on your vehicle through Increased mileage
- Errors and omissions insurance coverage, to help protect you from claims if your client holds you responsible for errors, or accuses you of failing to perform as specified in a contract
- Cell phone, computer, software, and other “home office” expenses
Plus, don’t forget that you’ll need to invest in maintaining a professional appearance. While “business casual” or even shorts and sandals are accepted real estate attire in some markets, you can’t go wrong by having a well maintained professional wardrobe, and the accessories (portfolio, planner, writing utensils) to go with it.
Start Your Real Estate Career with RE/MAX Associates we’re serious about helping you realize the productivity and earning power you deserve. Come grow and prosper with us! It all begins with a phone call. Simply contact your local RE/MAX Associates Office or call us at 1 (866) 797-4622. You may also get a jump start on the process by completing the form below. We are looking forward to hearing from you!