Pros and Cons of Becoming a Real Estate Professional

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Real Estate Investing

The life of a real estate agent or broker may be one that sounds like a great career choice to those who don’t understand their duties. True, it can be very emotionally and financially rewarding, but there are some stressful duties and hard work required to be successful in this business.

Setting your own hours, being outdoors and dealing with people on a daily basis sounds like a great deal, but real estate professionals are just like self-employed individuals or business owners: you have to hustle to make money, and no sales means no money in your pocket!

Real estate dealings are extremely complex, and a vast amount of knowledge is required to be involved in them on a daily basis. Legal requirements, disclosures, zoning, knowledge of the local market and negotiation skills all represent areas in which an agent must be well-informed and educated.

The life of an agent is extremely busy and may carry over into evening showings and weekend meetings, so if you like your time off from work, you probably shouldn’t work for yourself. Because sales makes the money in real estate, you are at the mercy of both buyers and sellers, with multiple deals either heading to or coming from a home loan lender; this means there is some knowledge required of the local banking community and how these mortgage loans are structured.

As an agent or broker, you must keep all sides to the transaction happy at all times – buyer, seller and lender – and be able to convince and negotiate with them on terms that may make or break the deal.

However, a real estate professional isn’t only involved at the start and finish of the deal. They are also responsible for preparing the property and staging it correctly in order to attract the ideal buyers in the area. Showings need to be attended and scheduled, and matching buyers with an ideal property are all part of the sales process.

You also need to be able to put out multiple fires along the way. Real estate is a sizable investment, and buyers and sellers alike can easily be upset if they feel the deal doesn’t happen how they feel it should. It’s vital for any agent to be able to console these customers and force them to move forward in order to keep the sales process moving.

Potential real estate professionals should also note and plan for slow periods in their business activities. There are definite downturns in the housing market at times, and very few if any sales may happen for several weeks while it’s still necessary to be constantly working on your sales activities.

Many agents, at least for the first few years, require a second part-time job in order to make ends meet. The median incomes for real estate agents range from $23,000 to $58,000, though some do make a great deal more. Consider your financial requirements, ability to acquire the necessary skills, and work environment carefully before choosing to join the real estate world’s forces.