Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: November 2020
Real estate is an attractive career path for many reasons. In addition to being your own boss, the flexible schedule allows you to set your own hours, and salary potential is virtually unlimited. But, success in real estate isn’t as simple as earning a license and collecting checks. Hard work and self-discipline are essential to building a successful real estate career, and it’s not the right fit for everyone. We’ve developed this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you have what it takes to make it in the North Carolina real estate business.
You Can Be Up and Running Very Quickly in Real Estate
Pros: A 75-hour prelicensing course can be completed in as little as one month. If you scheduled your exam soon after you completed the exam prep course, you could earn your broker’s license, hang it with a broker, and begin practicing real estate quite quickly.
Cons: The North Carolina Broker Licensing Exam is not easy. There are two parts to the exam (state and national), and you must pass both parts with a score of 75% or better. You will need to invest time, money, and effort into your education and exam, and there’s no guarantee that you will earn your license on the first try.
As a North Carolina Real Estate Broker, You’re Your Own Boss
Pros: You’re in charge now! As an independent contractor, you control your own book of business, and you call the shots. If you’re prepared to work hard and keep your chin up, you have a serious opportunity to grow a substantial business for yourself.
Cons: You’re in charge now! There’s no safety net in real estate. You are 100% responsible for your successes and failures. It’s up to you to learn your market and carve out your niche within it. Developing and cultivating leads, serving clients, networking, marketing, and daily office management are your responsibility. New agents often aren’t prepared for the volume or variety of work they are faced with when trying to get their North Carolina real estate career off the ground.
Your Salary Potential as a North Carolina Real Estate Broker is Unlimited
Pros: You’re no longer limited to the hourly wage or salary that someone has placed on your position. The harder you work as a North Carolina real estate agent, the more you can earn. If you are successful as a broker, you will later have the opportunity to spur additional growth by hiring an assistant, and eventually earning your BIC license and building your own brokerage. There is no ceiling on your salary potential.
Cons: You’ve heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” Unfortunately, as a newly licensed North Carolina real estate agent, you will need to spend money right away, and you may not make any for several months. Your odds of being successful in real estate will depend on your ability to prepare and put away a safety net of cash. You should expect a period of six months to a year where you are developing your client list and still anticipating your first commission checks.
You Can Set Your Own Schedule When You Work in Real Estate
Pros: There’s no time clock to punch when you work in residential real estate sales, so you have the opportunity to work with a flexible schedule. Each day is different, depending on what needs to be done. Many real estate agents with children appreciate the ability to attend school and sports functions they wouldn’t be able to go to if they were employed in a profession with traditional hours.
Cons: The schedule you set will likely play a big role in your ability to attract, serve, and retain clients. Most of your clients do work traditional hours. You will likely need to make yourself available to work some evenings and weekends if you want to build a reputation for exceptional client service. Time you might normally spend with family and friends may need to be sacrificed in order to serve your clients.
You Will Make a Difference in Your Clients’ Lives
Pros: There’s something incredibly rewarding about sitting with your clients at closing. As your sellers hand off the keys to a home you helped them get a fair price for, or your buyers accept the keys to the home they will raise a family in, you can take pride in the role you played. You helped them navigate the entire process and emerge on the other end of it, reaching their desired result.
Cons: Few things rival the emotional rollercoaster of buying or selling a house. Your clients will go through highs and lows, and they will rely on you as the one constant throughout the ever-changing process. In a business where word-of-mouth reigns supreme, it will be important to remain calm and continue to drive a positive experience that will turn your client into a raving fan.
Real Estate is a Great Career Path
Real estate professionals truly have exceptionally rewarding careers. But not everybody is cut out to put in the hard work and perseverance it takes to get there. Like all career paths, there are positives and negatives to consider. This article is intended to give you an honest look at a North Carolina real estate career and equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
What does it take to earn your license? Our Steps to Licensing page details everything you need to know about completing your North Carolina Broker prelicensing education, preparing for and passing your exam, and finding a real estate brokerage to work under.