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Taking the Plunge: Becoming a Real Estate Agent

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By : M Shane    99 or more times read
It can take a leap of faith to leave your day job and embark on a solo career as a real estate agent, but with planning and preparation, you will find that it is a rewarding experience to work on your own. What this article is about is not the legal nitty-gritty, but the practical considerations of starting your own business in real estate. If you’re going into business with a company, some of these issues may not be a concern for you, but if you’re going to be largely on your own, you will want to take these things into account.

The first thing that you will have to deal with when you start out in real estate is isolation. Oh, you’ll be dealing with clients – you hope – and regularly getting together with colleagues – ideally – but a large part of your time will be spent on paperwork, tracking things down on the MLS and the many petty administrative details of managing your own finances. You will spend a lot of time in the car and very little, comparatively speaking, with clients.

Your social life may well fade into non-existence in the early days. When other people are getting home and relaxing, you may just be beginning your home showings and meetings with clients, as you will be scheduling your time around theirs. Established agents often have the luxury of scheduling their time to pursue extended leisure, but for now, your weekends and evenings may well be given over to the pursuit of leads, not the next drink at the bar. If you have a spouse and children, you may become a stranger for a while if you don’t budget your time effectively.

Your expenses may pile up in the first few months, which is why you’ll find that most advice about starting out involves saving a half-year’s worth of expenses before you embark on the agent path. Many new agents find that home sales are scattered rather thinly on the ground – while 3% of a six-figure home is impressive when you initially get it, it may need to feed, shelter and clothe you and your family for the next several months.

Many agents quit in their first year to pursue a job with a steady paycheck. It is often because of the above reasons or they found the job didn’t suit them or they found that they liked working for someone else better for them than having to be everything to themselves – CEO, XO, accountant, secretary, coffee supplier, errand runner…

What do you get in return for this? You get the freedom to schedule your life as you see fit. You get to help people make what may be the biggest financial decision of their lives. You can end up making a lot of money if you establish yourself as a reliable, professional businessperson. There are a lot of great reasons to become a real estate agent – just make sure that you are prepared for the challenges as well as the possibilities.

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