Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Updated on September 30, 2010
L.V. asks from Arlington, TX
9 answers

I am currently evaluating my career options (I stay at home right now, but I will need to contribute to the family income soon), and one of the options is to become a real estate agent. I have a degree, and I have good social skills, etc. However, I'm not what you would call a "bubbly" person. I have a few friends who are really good agents, and they are very bubbly, and that's just not me at all. Also I am evaluating whether to go residential or commercial, should I decide to do it. Any thoughts on that? Those of you mamas who are agents, can you give me the pros and cons? I was hoping to find a job with a little flexibility since I have two young children.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the input, mamas! I think I'd be pretty good at it, but I'm going to put this one on hold. I like lots of family time. =)

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answers from Chicago on

You don't have to be bubbly, but you do have to be out going and be a "sales" person. You should have a lot of contacts, because that is the way most agents build their business by working their networks. It is a tough business to get into right now, but if you have the right attitude and can invest the time (calling, marketing, etc) you can do well even in this type of market.

FYI- it does cost at least several hundred dollars in start up fees, to get licensed, board dues, fees etc.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I have some experience here. I was a full time working girl ... marketing manager with an MBA.... we ended up moving and I had to quit my job. We didn't have any kids at the time and I was burnt out on the corporate world... so decided to go into Real Estate. I got my license in Michigan. Did it for a couple of years and then we ended up moving overseas for DH's job.

Here's the thing.. you don't HAVE to be bubbly to be an agent. What you DO need to do is work your BUTT OFF. Seriously. I will not go back into Real Estate for several reasons. 1) You work very very hard for very little return. And much of your work never pays off. 2) You are on someone else's time schedule... not your own. Sure, those who have been in the business for years and years and have a ton of repeat business can set their own schedule, work only 9-5 or what not... but newbies.... not so much. You have to be "on" when everyone else comes home after work. People only look at houses after work or on the weekends. 3) you're ALWAYS waiting on someone else. Buyers, Sellers, Other Agents, Banks... there is always someone or something holding up the process or not returning calls, etc....

It can be a lot of fun... but it's a tough tough business. Honestly, this is not a job that will allow you a lot of time with little ones... not if you want to actually make money.

To make money you have to go out and beat the pavement... call on For Sale By Owners homes, look for old listings that went off the market and see if they want to be back on the market, talk yourself up to friends and family to gain business, and in many cases ... get really really lucky. You spend a lot of time learning the processes, sitting in open houses for other agents (the seasoned agents often don't like to sit their own open houses and it can be a good way for you to get your name out there with potential buyers), and just finding any way to drum up business.

I'm not trying to discourage you ... just give you the facts. This is how it is. If you can get through the initial newbie trenches and get some good business... then yes, it can be very profitable. But it's a lot of very hard work.

The other thing... many seasoned agents do NOT want to hire you as an assistant if they know you eventually want to break out on your own. They are afraid you will take their clients. I tried that approach... got shot down a few times.

If you can get on a team... that is good. You can be a specific buyer agent, or seller agent .... etc... If you really want to just work part time and have a good amount of flexibility then become a licensed assistant. Get your license, and then just pursue the assistant job. You can work it out with your agent how much time you will put in, what you're willing to do etc.... And also, you're not the one who has to handle everything.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I don't know what the housing market is like in Texas right now, but here in the Chicago area it is terrible. All the agents I know are struggling. Of course it won't always be this way, but it seems like a difficult to career to begin at this time.

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answers from Houston on

My hubby and several of our friends are agents. It's a tough market right now and the financing industry has considerably tightened their lending practices which only makes matters worse. All the agents I know agree it can be more a hobby than an actual income earner in this climate. If you would like or need steady money, consider becoming an assistant to a real estate agent. Some assistants are required to be realtors while others are not. I would hesitate to recommend this type of job if you need guaranteed income for your family. There are plenty of times we live only on what I make and times can get tight. As for being bubbly I have met all types of realtors and the most important traits are being outgoing and determined. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

You have already received a lot of the same responses I would tell you. If you truly NEED to earn money for your family, Real Estate is not a career you should consider. Both residential and commercial are seriously hurting! People should be buying and selling, there really almost hasn't ever been a better time but, our country is in a major recession. Jobs are scarce, people that have money are afraid to spend it, and the lending regulations are so tight, that people that should be able to get loans can't. As far as commercial, that has always been tougher to break into than residential. With fewer companies leasing/purchasing space, it can be next to impossible. You will also carry a large amount of expenses just to hold a license. Annual board dues, quarterly MLS dues, office bills, supra fees, showing costs continuing ed and that's before you even factor in your time, gas and marketing.

BUT, If you have money put aside to live on, then go for it. It can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. There are plenty of people joining the ranks. Just know that like any business building venture, there isn't an immediate flow of wealth and you will be working long hours to gain success. As for the flexibility, that will be on your end. You have to be available, when the clients are. I originally got into Real Estate under the same mindset, and I've never worked harder in my life. The difference is, I love what I do. (just wishing times were better!)

And for the record, you don't have to be bubbly. I wouldn't fit that mold either. But I am good at what I do, I just approach it differently. Real Estate can be a social game and it takes all types of personalities. Look into web based or internet companies as well. Some of them are paying base salaries (with smaller bonuses). This could be a break in place for you and when you build a business you can break away to a more independent brokerage.

Good luck to you!!!



answers from Norfolk on

I am looking to become a real estate agent one day. I talked to a friend agent to get some advice. She said the best way to get started is by getting your liscense and work as an assistant for a while to get experience. The reason why I am waiting to do all this is because you will have to be available 24/7 and you ususally work when other people are of work so in the evening and on the weekends. Its not the most family friendly job to have if you want to be a good real estate agent. Good luck with it if you decide to do it.


answers from Dallas on

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answers from Tyler on

Hey -
I didn't read all of the responses, but I did read "L. B." I think her response is pretty dead on. I have never been a real estate agent, but I am single professional mom and I have moved several times with my career. I don't want a bubbly agent. I want an agent who will respond to me and be available to me. I want an agent who will actually search for homes in my price range (not the range she THINKS I want). The main thing though was being available to me. I made an appointment with an agent for some Monday showings (I was flying in from out of town. I flew in on Saturday night with the plan to meet her on Monday). When I called on Monday morning to confirm our meeting time she said, "Oh, it's raining so hard that I thought your plane wouldn't make it in and so I have other plans now." A COMPLETE waste of a trip for me. So, I changed agents. It is a make or break job/world.

Good luck!


answers from Dallas on


I am a full t ime college student, just took on a part-time job for some income while I am growing my basket biz thru La Bella Baskets, it is surely but slowly picking up. I do not wish to be in corp America all my life.
As far as the real estate industry, I have a friend that is looking for Real Estate agents for his firm, preferably bi-lingual.

Good Luck in deciding what to do.


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