Author Topic: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?  (Read 2301 times)

cash2001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« on: May 02, 2018, 02:33:18 PM »
Hello- I am in a situation where I am trying to figure out if I should quit my low-paying but flexible full time job doing real estate sales support in order to give it a go becoming a realtor. I am 32, married to a man with a good stable job but we live on an island with notoriously low paying jobs because we love the lifestyle and our home that we bought here. I have been at this job for 3 years and although it allows me plenty of time for side hustles and flexibility, I do not see any growth potential or higher income potential (40k/yr). I realize that if I quit and fail as a realtor, it could take me a very long time to find another steady paycheck job because of our island location.

It seems like I would have to work my ass off for possibly a very small income for a year or two to build my business and get my name out there which I am willing to do but I have never worked strictly commission before and it is a scary leap. We have plenty of savings and my side hustles for mortgage/bills in the time that I would be making this transition but yet I STILL keep putting it off because I have a great and easy boss, the ability to work from other places from time to time and work from home quite a bit.

I essentially want MORE freedom, MORE money and MORE passion for what I spend a chunk of my daytime hours doing. Many days I am bored with my work but realize how good I have it (as far as my weird location goes anyway, I used to live in the city and it is not my thing anymore). However, changing trends in the real estate industry (redfin etc) are scary and I have never completely worked for myself (ie: commission) but would like to make a decision and stick with it. Thanks all for your thoughts!

snogirl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 03:06:58 PM »
Is being a realtor your passion? Just for a moment forget all the pros and cons and ask yourself that. What are you passionate about? Granted the new career my channel you quicker to what your long term goals are. You'll never know until you try. Can you do it part-time? Or is it all or nothing? Wishing you the best in your decision. Believe in yourself & follow your dream!

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk


FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1323
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 03:40:32 PM »
The answer to your question depends on two types of info that only you can provide: Your individual preferences and your assessment of the odds.

Let's assume a 0-10 utility scale with 10 as the highest preference. Your status quo has a certain utility to you with 100% certainty (since it's already in place), let's call this S. Becoming a realtor has different possible outcomes, each with different utilities.  Let's assume a best case outcome, called R, where you become a realtor, enjoy it, and have a long fruitful career. Let F be the outcome where you try and fail... you've spent time and money on classes, maybe even got the required credentials, but can't make it as a realtor and have to spend a few years getting back to your current status quo level.

How would you rate these different outcomes? There's no absolute "right" answer, this is very subjective and specific to your preferences.

For example, let's say you decide:
S=5
R=8
F=1

Now, what is your best estimate for the odds of being successful in your area? Doesn't have to be perfect, but is it 50/50, 20/80, 90/10... this is not a place where you want to let your ego get the best of you. It's one thing to deceive others, another thing altogether to deceive yourself. Be realistic.

Let's say you determine, to the best of your ability (e.g. after looking at market conditions, talking to other realtors, how many realtors there are relative to homes on the market, your personality fit for the job, etc.), that odds of success are about 40%. If so, then the expected payout is 8*.4+1*(1-.4)=3.8, which would be less than what you rate the status quo so don't do it. You can plug in different numbers to get different outcomes. With the values of S, R and F above, the probabilities of success would need to be about 57% or greater before it's worth taking the risk.

The real value of this exercise is to get you to stop, break things down into component parts, ponder your own relative preferences, and to do the due diligence in evaluating the odds. Maybe your island is underserved and everyone is frustrated with the lack of good options for hard working realtors, which would make the odds of success very high (90% or more?). Or, maybe the market for realtors on your island is saturated and super competitive, which would make the odds much too low.

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 04:10:29 PM »
check your market. being a realtor is a roller coaster. do you like risk? Do you watch those Alaska fishing shows and think "oh man, I'd love to do that!" My guess is that is what being a realtor is like. If you catch a City and build a network before it catches fire, i.e. were in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Seattle, Oakland, Phoenix, Cleveland, Brooklyn 8 years ago and rode the wave, you're driving a Bentley. It's like gold panning, do you want to be in the river or do you want to sell the pans?

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9616
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 04:43:31 PM »
How large is your island?  How many residential properties?  How many of them went on the market last year?  How many realtors are there currently?   How many sales did the top ones get, and how many people had no sales?

I personally would not do it in a limited market if I needed the steady income.  I'm considering it here in Seattle, because I am FIREd and don't really need the money but I am a bit of a real estate junky.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1697
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 07:22:04 AM »
Being a realtor is NOT a flexible job.  It's a be available 24/7 job.

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1166
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 07:59:25 AM »
Being a realtor is NOT a flexible job.  It's a be available 24/7 job.

^this!

If you don't pick up that call, potential clients go to the next agent on their list.  I know that agents "assume" that customers looking for a house will only work with 1 agent.  I've never worked with less than 3 when looking for a house.

You do have to do it full time and be available 24/7.  We looked at a house with an agent once at 11:30pm.  We were set to bid at 8 am when the selling agent's office opened.  Someone else looked at midnight and immediately put in a bid, it was accepted and we lost out.  But think of it.  2 agents were up and working around midnight.  Perhaps one had to attend an 8am closing. 

You said you're on an island.  How does that limit the market?  I mean if it's Oahu, big deal....there are plenty of real estate transactions.  But if it's Nantucket and you plan to stay on the island.....you're going to starve.

You can't do this part time......at all.  A co-worker did that.  Working after his regular job and on weekends.  He got the courses out of the way and got his license and sat in the office taking messages and answering the phone for a year.  At the year point, he had earned $0. 

Tom Bri

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: Small Town, Flyover Country
  • More just cheap, than Mustachian
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 08:37:23 AM »
I did it for two years and while it was fun and interesting, I didn't make much money, partially due to timing, this was 2006-2008 as the market collapsed. However, some people who started about when I did are still in it. The difference was that they had a lot more local connections than I did. They were very social, long-time residents and well known locally with lots of friends. Also, they had supportive families.

Real estate is a people business. You have to be willing to go any time to any social function, talk to everyone and put yourself forward. But, you also have to be hard-headed and go for the paycheck at the same time.

I suspect I failed in large part because I don't have the right personality. I am not particularly social unless forced to it.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1662
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 12:10:55 PM »
Here's the pertinent question:

Do you enjoy and are you talented in SALES?

You may not like the analogy, but it's valid:  Would you enjoy and would you be good at selling used cars?  You can be a "relative moron", by that I mean have limited knowledge of real estate, business, ethics, etc. and be a GREAT successful realtor (because you can "sell ice to an Eskimo").

You can also be a very knowledgeable, well spoken, ethical, great communicator who is very likable and be a FLUNKEE in sales volume (me in the early 90's).

MommyCake

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
  • Location: NJ
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 10:05:28 AM »
I just got my license in NJ. I wouldn't quit your job - try to do it while still working the FT.  It takes too long to make any money, as others have said.  I am doing part-time as a side gig around the schedule of my FT job.  If I like it, I plan to quit my FT in 3 years or so.  This is why it takes long:  real estate school.  real estate exam.  wait for license/sign up with a broker.  training at broker agency.  training for county board of realtors.  training for mls.  This process is slow.  Right now I am at a point where my hands are basically tied, waiting on training dates.  This additional training after getting licensed was something I didn't know about before.  I am very happy I still have my full-time job.  Since you already work in real estate and the job is flexible, they may allow you to come on PT.  I would talk to them about it.  If your job is what I think it is, it would actually even be beneficial to them if you were a licensed sales agent.  In NJ at least, unlicensed assistants cannot do a lot of things, for example answering questions about a house (how many bedrooms,etc).  You would be more valuable to them as an assistant if you were licensed, it seems.  I would definitely let them know what you're thinking about and see what options they give you.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1662
Re: Should I quit my job and become a realtor?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 01:21:56 PM »
"This is why it takes long:  real estate school.  real estate exam.  wait for license/sign up with a broker.  training at broker agency.  training for county board of realtors.  training for mls.  This process is slow.  Right now I am at a point where my hands are basically tied, waiting on training dates.  This additional training after getting licensed was something I didn't know about before." 

Then, you have to learn to CLOSE enough to make a living AFTER everyone trying to "pick your pocket" (sellers want a discount, other realtors want a referral fee, relocation companies claim their cut, other realtors claiming "it's their client not yours..."), double social security (you pay both sides), auto expenses (huge), income taxes (paid quarterly) and other expenses...

It's an interesting, at times fun "job" where you sometimes experience euphoric satisfaction.

NO, don't quit your job!