Author Topic: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?  (Read 2113 times)

froggie

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Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« on: December 30, 2017, 12:48:42 PM »
Hiya, has any of you transitioned into real estate either pre- or post-fire?

I have been forced to reconsider my professional path and have always been interested in real estate investing. I bought my first rental SFH this year and I plan on purchasing more!
Since I have the time now to invest in a new path (and a reasonable $$ cushion), I was considering getting my RE license here in Maryland.
It would 1) facilitate my future investments in RE and 2) develop a full-time (and perhaps less full-time later on) career.

I am already familiar with BiggerPockets and my background is in marketing/business + I love data. Wondering how FI & RE agents mesh. With the understanding that I've got a frugal lifestyle and am willing to do the work.

Of course I realize RE does not pay off right away, and it's quite competitive in the greater DC area.

What's your story?
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Hargrove

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 08:55:47 PM »
I don't have direct experience, but I'm friends with a lot of people who floated or tried what you're talking about doing.

Real estate is a huge hustle with wacky hours and massive paychecks for top-earners. You can't get your feet wet with it - every part-timer I ever talked to who tried this failed or only covered the agent's expenses and certs. You're the best judge of your own aptitude for it - my biggest recommendation is, if you're going to do it, go full-time and live at the office the first year, minimum. Shop agencies a little and network before you jump in - they're all very different, and some offer referrals, some don't, some feed them to the most "on call" agents (basically, the ones who live at the office).
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Michael in ABQ

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 10:46:57 PM »
I work in the commercial real estate industry and the 80/20 rule is very evident. I happen to work with a lot of the 20%. There are some other commercial brokers who's names I see very rarely. Albuquerque is a relatively small market so there's maybe 20-30 people who do most of the deals and then another 100+ scrambling for the rest - most of which are smaller deals.

I came across a website that had a breakdown on real estate agents as far as average income, hours worked, homes sold, etc. on another forum several months ago. I'll post it if I can find it.

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froggie

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 04:37:19 PM »
Well, it's official, I have signed up for the online MD course, and I have a few meetings with potential realtor brokerages lined up. Doing lots of reading and research already.
Excited to see what comes next!


I came across a website that had a breakdown on real estate agents as far as average income, hours worked, homes sold, etc. on another forum several months ago. I'll post it if I can find it.

I hope you will, thanks Michael!
When you stop expecting the world to be sensible, suddenly it all makes sense.
-- David Caine (Raptitude)

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 05:03:54 PM »
I found the link but apparently the information is no long publicly available. http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=353550

There is this report from NAR though. https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/member-profile $15 for the full report if you're a member of NAR, $150 otherwise.

A few tidbits:

Quote
The median gross income of REALTORS® was $42,500 in 2016, an increase from $39,200 in 2015.

REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $78,850—up from $73,400 in 2015—compared to REALTORS® with two years or less experience that had a median gross income of $8,930—a  increase from $8,500.

Ouch. That's pretty tough to survive on.
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SC93

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 06:21:51 PM »
= $1.38 an hour. :(

Farmgirl

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 07:35:09 AM »
Here's my story....
I took the RE crash course ($500) and passed my test first try with only 1 question wrong (I'm a good test taker).
That didn't help me though.  I got my license in 2009 (what was I thinking).

Then I had to pay another $1500 in dues and access to multiple listings and such.
Plus, it was $125 a month to keep my license at the broker's office.

I showed houses, sat at open houses, sat at the desk and waited for calls, but to no avail.

Everyone was "upside down" on their houses they wanted to sell, and while I loved showing houses, I couldn't sell my way out of a paper bag.

So I gave up.  Had to stop the cash bleeding.

Went back to a cube job in accounting, tightening up our budget and hoping to at least go part time in one year.

I really liked it though.  Maybe now things are better and it would be easier for a newbie.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 04:06:12 PM »
I got my NC RE license in 2013 between undergrad studies and grad school.  I'd bought my first property in 2011 (house hacking) and decided after giving it a shot that I wanted to buy more properties eventually, so I mainly went for the license just for the knowledge and saving myself the commissions.

Fast forward after grad school, got my Master's in business but had a really terrible time finding jobs (lots of education but no "corporate" experience).  A few friends from school had expressed interest in buying a house so they talked me into helping them and I did since it was some income.  Ended up taking a few different corporate/start up jobs but faded out after a short period because I just hated it. 

Jumped into real estate full time in 2016 and the last 2 years have been amazing.  I'm not nearly a top producer in our market but I am a top producer at the firm I'm affiliated with, so I do well enough to eat and save some money.  Business is booming right now.  However I am not relying on it to be booming forever... so I started up property management to smooth out the income ups and downs, and to hedge against a downturn. 

Even though I still sell a lot of my focus lately has been on building my own firm which I incorporated last year.  Hiring, launching property management, juggling all that with a family and real estate investing goals has been challenging but I love the hustle!

If you have money saved up I think it's definitely worth it.  RE licenses are so flexible too.  Yes there are a lot of costs involved so I'd either go full time OR just be a referral agent.  You can hang your license with a firm and just refer any leads to agents there for a 25% cut of their commission... until you're ready to go full time. 

If you have more questions about it PM me! Can't speak to anything that MD does specifically but I can tell you more about the general life of being a real estate agent :)
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coopdog

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 07:25:42 PM »
I've been a RE agent for 17 years. My observations in no particular order:

Extremely low barriers to entry which means new competition coming to the market every day. You can't throw a dead cat around my area without hitting a real estate agent. Double so in a down economy when people are losing their jobs.

You're expected to be available nights and weekends (at least for phone calls). Thankfully, most clients respect your time, but not all do.

If you ever want to go on vacation, you'll need someone to cover for you. 

It seems like everyone wants to do a "commissionectomy" on me at some point. I'm always having to protect my interests.

Agents in high value areas don't make more money on average. There are just more agents.

Half the deals you will do all the work, but it will not close for some reason and you won't get paid. You just don't know which half.

When you do get paid, you have to pay your broker (or rent), your gas, cell phone, insurance, marketing and advertising, assistant (if you have one), etc.

Michael in ABQ is spot on. Most agents don't make anything for several years. Then they make very little. It's more like 90/10 in my market. Especially for the residential folks (I'm mostly commercial and land now). Most wash out within 5 years.

Having a very identifiable or unique last name is one of my greatest assets. Well over half the time I introduce myself to someone, they say "Oh I see your signs around."

For you, it may be worth it to have the license just to have MLS, let yourself into prospect houses, sell your own flips, etc.

If you stick it out and bust your butt, you can make really really good money. But I'm telling you it will take a min of 5 years and that would be lightning speed.








« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 07:34:39 PM by coopdog »

froggie

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Re: Becoming a Real Estate Agent?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2018, 04:21:12 AM »
Just posting to update - since my post, I've gotten my license and affiliated with a real estate firm near me that has a good share of the market and good training so far. It does not hurt that I am getting some mentorship from a friend who is also there. I'm working on my first listing - a relationship from my old job - and learning a ton.

Sure there are a lot of other agents out there, but I've already figured out that many of them don't really know what they are doing... and those who are successful and ethical in my office don't mind helping the newbies if they do the work.

It's a long road, certainly, but I hope it will lead somewhere before 5 years or else it's just an expensive hobby.
So far just under $1,900 in licensing costs, start up fees, membership dues, etc.

I've joined my neighborhood association (recently moved here so this was bound to happen eventually) and intend to become the trusted resources for real estate in my own community.

I'll report back!
When you stop expecting the world to be sensible, suddenly it all makes sense.
-- David Caine (Raptitude)