L.R. asks from Portland, OR on September 02, 2011
Starting a Real Estate Career?
I'm hoping to hear from some real estate mamas (or dadas) about whether I'm crazy to be thinking about starting a career in real estate in this down market.
I've been in medical sales for several years now, and while it's a good job, it comes with a lot of pressure and stress, and it's wearing on me emotionally.
Real estate has always been my passion. My perfect Sunday is heading out to see open houses, even though I'm not in the market. I'm on RMLS all the time, finding great houses I think friends or family would like, and emailing them to them. I even went to real estate school about 15 years ago, but wasn't in a position then to go without steady income for the months it might take to ramp up my business, so never actually completed my license.
Fast forward 15 years...I'm married with a kindergartener, my husband makes enough to support us while I'm getting started (it'll be tight, but we can make it work), and I'm thinking now might be the time to make the move to real estate.
What advice, encouragement, or warnings would you all like to give me?
J.P. answers from Chicago on September 02, 2011
I'd say if you don't mind working for free ...... then go for it. People who have been realtors for MANY years are probably doing alright but they have many referrals to count on from previous years. My husband is in his 6th year and he is not getting many closings even though we have friends and family, they don't move often and they don't always use family to begin with. Needless to say.... then there are not many checks coming our way.
It sure sounds like a great job, doesn't it? But in reality, my husband takes people out and shows them so LOTS of houses and then they decide sometimes to stop looking. You'll do TONS of research for people and then their ideas change and the deals slip through and the houses go back on the market and you'll have to start all over again or maybe even just lose the client. The market is in bad shape and I just talked to a loan officer who said so many people are getting denied on loans. There's a lot to deal with with foreclosures and short sales and they make up A LOT of the properties on sale right now.
Here's a link to a question similar to yours that I answered back in June. You may want to read all of the responses. http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/18142064826908803073
2 moms found this helpful
K.F. answers from New York on September 02, 2011
I had my license in RE. I kept my license for 2 years. In that 2 year time frame, I didn't close on 1 deal. I have had both family and friends close on homes in that time period and they all knew I had my license but didn't do the deal with me. Some of them I had even taken out and written contracts for many places yet to closing occured because no offers were accepted. Ouch!!! That was very painful for me.
While I love the business and adored the second company I signed up with, for me real estate was a very expensive hobby. If you are not making money or closing deals, the fees are high and must be paid even when you aren't making money.
I'm still passionate about real estate but I have to find new ways to satisfy my real estate passion because being an agent didn't work for me. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you. Taking the classes and passing the tests was easy for me. Finding a good company to work for was not difficult either. It was getting clients through closing that was problematic for me. I had loads of qualified lookers but no closers.
2 moms found this helpful
A.R. answers from Houston on September 02, 2011
My opinion, don't. My husband works like a dog and has wild, unset hours. My personal favorite are the cling wrap clients who call at midnight and want hand holding. Sure he can get them off the phone fast but he probably won't keep them as clients. Then due to financing restrictions and such, he has a monumentally difficult time getting deals to close despite doing everything in his power. He has had more than one client take over a year to close deals. It's a buyer's market which really means you have a bunch of tire kickers who want something for nothing and sellers who are most likely upside down and can't come off their prices. At the end of the day the money really isn't that great after you take out taxes, cell phone costs, gas, agent fees, etc. What he does make is not worth talking about. I calculated what he makes per hour and it's ugly. If you like real estate, then look at other positions (appraiser, inspector) which draw a steady income. It's not a field I would enter into lightly. I see how stressed my husband gets and it's not worth it.
1 mom found this helpful
S.W. answers from Amarillo on September 02, 2011
I hope you have about $5,000 in the bank to start this venture -- you have annual MLS dues $300 or so, month MLS dues, rent space at the realtors (floor or office), advertising, gas and oil, auto insurance, clothes, lunches, training and competiton between agents from your agency and other agencies and do you have a separate checking/savings account for your business for income tax purposes? Are you available 24/7 to meet with clients? Do you have a on call babysitter who will be able to watch your kids at the drop of a hat? Will you be able to give up your Sundays for the open houses? Have you talked to a realtor in the current market that you know about sales and what is/is not going on in your area? How well do you handle stress? Are you willing to give it 5 years to make a go? Can you make it on the one income knowing that your dues are due and there is a family financial crisis -- which do you chose?
If you answered no to two or more of the questions above than this is not for you. The glamour and glitz of being inside a new or previously owned home is great but the mountain of paperwork and behind the scenes is another story.
You say that "it'll be tight, but we can make it work," is not something to take lightly in this business. If you are not there full time day in and day out you will not make it and this is how people get weeded out of the business because they cannot keep up with the changes in the industry.
Good luck to you in your decision.
The other S.
K.B. answers from San Francisco on September 02, 2011
I think if you are passionate about it and really love it, then there is no wrong time to take the plunge. Houses aren't moving fast and crazy, but they are moving and people are still working.
M.. answers from Detroit on September 02, 2011
I appraise houses. Its a good time right now because interest rates are low and sales are picking up. It sounds like you have a passion for it, I think you will do great. The only reason I havent gotten my license yet, is because 1. I have 3 kids and no time for it. 2. The monthly fees are high, if your not bringing anything in, its hard to keep up with it. If I had more time to dedicate to it, I would do it.