If you don’t relish working a traditional 9-to-5 job, you might want to consider becoming a real estate agent. The number of members in the U.S. National Association of Realtors has continued to increase, reaching 1.4 million in 2019, all-time high, with more and more people discovering the benefits of this career.
While it may not be for everyone, it might just be the perfect career for you. Here’s why.
The Earnings Potential
Conventional job earnings rarely increase unless your boss decides to give you a raise or you get a promotion, which can sometimes take years. If you become a real estate agent, there is no limit on what you can earn. The money you make is directly tied to how much and how hard you work. For the homeowner, the cost of selling a house includes realtor commissions, so when you sell a $300,000 property, for example, you’ll typically earn around 3 percent or $9,000. Sell just one of those a month and your earnings are already over $100,000 a year. Of course, that doesn’t include expenses, which will be higher initially with costs for training, the licensing exam, business cards, and marketing. But once you’re licensed and experienced, developing a reputation that brings clients to you, you’ll have fewer expenses and greater earning potential.
A 9-to-5 job can make it feel like you’re chained to a desk, with little freedom, you may not even be able to take a break without asking your employer. A real estate agent is usually his or her own boss – you won’t have to worry about someone lurking over your shoulder all day. You’re essentially running your own small business. While you may have a broker to answer to, it’s not the same dynamic as employer/employee.
Plus, your “office” is mobile, most of your work can be done anywhere using a laptop or iPad and your hours will be influenced by the needs and availability of your customers. If you want to take a two-hour lunch because your brother is in town, or carve out time to go to your daughter’s play, you can. Of course, you’ll often have to work around your customers’ schedules for showings and meetings.
You’ll Get to Meet and Help Lots of People
If you enjoy meeting new people, you’ll have lots of opportunities to do it as a real estate agent. Your job will require socializing and networking, allowing you to put your interpersonal skills to work. You’ll also get to help people through one of the largest financial transactions they’ll encounter in a lifetime, something that’s exciting and stressful at the same time.
If a college education is out of reach, you won’t have to worry about going into debt to get your degree. To become an agent, typically, all you’ll need is a high school diploma or GED and to pass an exam. In some states, you may have to have some training and take a pre-licensing course but it won’t be nearly as costly or take as long as it would to earn your bachelor’s degree. You may be able to become a licensed agent in just 30 days.