Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: May 19, 2020
Imagine working for yourself in a flexible career where you can set your own schedule with annual earning potential of $100,000 or more. There are so many reasons to choose real estate as your career. But there are always two sides to every story, and a real estate career is no different. Below is a straight-forward look at the pros and cons of a real estate agent career.
Getting Started in a Real Estate Career is Quick and Painless
Pros: In most states, you can complete the required training, become a licensed real estate agent, and start a new career in just a matter of weeks or months (depending on state regulations).
Cons: There is an investment in time, money, and effort required. Also, it comes with no guarantees. Passing the state real estate licensing exam is difficult and demands an understanding of complex topics and a varied skill set.
As a Real Estate Agent, You Are Your Own Boss
Pros: You’re an independent contractor and control your own book of business. You make the decisions. Couple together a good attitude and solid work ethic, and there are virtually no limits for the growth of your real estate business.
Cons: You’re an independent contractor and are on your own to learn the market and the business. You are in charge of building your lead list, maintaining your client’s needs, networking relationships, marketing your business, and managing the day-to-day office needs. It’s all in your hands. Many new agents fail to recognize how much work it takes to become a successful real estate agent.
Real Estate Agents Make a Good Income
Pros: Your income isn’t limited by an hourly wage or a corporate-dictated salary range. As a real estate salesperson, your income is largely dictated by the time you invest. Grow your real estate business by adding an assistant or get the appropriate license that lets you build your own brokerage. The growth potential is huge.
Cons: At first, your cash-flow direction will be out. Most new real estate agents need a nest egg to begin their careers. Getting your first sales to come in will take some time, and it will likely be a couple months or more before you cash your first check. Depending on the market you cover and existing relationships you can farm, it can be a feast or famine situation.
Real Estate Agents Work Flexible Schedules
Pros: You don’t work a mundane 9 to 5 job. Real estate agents set a daily work schedule that works for them. Much of a real estate agent’s time is spent socializing, meeting people, and building relationships.
Cons: Having a flexible schedule in real estate means you have to be flexible to the client’s needs. In real estate, you tend to work when everyone else is not. That includes weekends. If a client calls, can you drop everything and be attentive to their needs, even if it’s a time that you normally would be spending with your friends or family?
As a Real Estate Agent, You Help People With Their Largest Transactions
Pros: Real estate agents receive genuine satisfaction from helping clients find the perfect home or sell their property at a great price. This is an exciting time for both buyers and sellers, and they look to the real estate agent as the expert to help them manage their way through the process with excellent client services.
Cons: Real estate transactions generally are one of the most stressful times of a client’s life, and you will need to be confident in your skills and abilities when things don’t go as planned. If a client leaves unhappy, whether it was due to your efforts or not, word-of-mouth spreads quickly and can affect your referral network and, ultimately, your bottom-line.
Real Estate is a Great Business
Real estate really is a great career choice. This article isn’t meant to scare anyone away from real estate, but is offered to be an honest look at the real estate business from both sides of success and failure. It can be a very difficult career if the training and work ethic fails, but it can be a seriously rewarding career if you are self-motivated, hard-working, honest, and enjoy networking and helping people.
To view your state's specific Steps to Licensing pages and/or your specific state Real Estate Licensing and Continuing Education Requirements page, simply select your state from the list on the real estate education landing page.