So you want to know what it’s like to be a real estate agent?
First step, get a degree in exercise physiology. It’s a seamless transition, believe me, and the overlap is just about perfect…or not. Truth is I kind of fell into real estate halfway by accident, and halfway because it provided the quickest path to something that I had always wanted to do, own a business. While over time it’s come to be something great that I love, it’s certainly not for everyone.
Well, since I have a little bit of experience in the industry (10 years this year!) and since I’m also rarely short on opinions, I figured this might be as good a place as any to share just a few points to consider if you’re thinking about clicking the “enroll” button on your real estate classes.
#1 – You call the shots
Pro: Being in charge is great, if you’re into that kind of thing. Although you work at, or with, a brokerage, you really get to call all of the shots on how you want your business to operate. Want to only work weekdays? Good luck with that, but sure, you can. Want to focus on working with part-time yoga teachers that have a super grounded chi and a $900k budget (thanks for the realism, HGTV)? Also good luck, but yep, that’s an option. Whatever you want. The real estate world is your proverbial oyster.
Con: You’re. Your. Own. Boss. There’s a flip side to that coin too though, because guess who’s responsible when the $%#@ hits the fan?
#2 – Say goodbye to clocking in
Pro: There’s no one that’s going to track you down if you don’t show up for work, and no one’s going to complain if you roll in a little late.
Con: Say goodbye to paychecks. Again, there’s a downside to breaking free from the traditional business model. You’ll get out however much you put in, so be prepared to work at times when other people aren’t. For instance, it’s currently midnight as I’m writing this. Also, health insurance. That’s a much longer (and depressing) conversation though.
#3 – Each day is different
Pro: Often times you don’t know what you’ll be doing in 15 minutes, or what challenges you’re going to tackle next. It’s great if you’re high energy or easily distracted…SQUIRREL!
Con: Depending on the day, hour, or minute, you could be anything from a financial advisor, mathematician, marriage counselor, marketing consultant, cheerleader, or shoulder to cry on. Sometimes it’s confusing and sometimes it’s exhausting.
#4 – It can be an emotional rollercoaster
Pro: *Pardon the sappiness* Buying or selling a house often times really is the biggest transaction that people will have in their lifetimes, and walking clients through that process in a way that truly makes a difference is undeniably satisfying. Can people buy/sell property without agents? Yes, of course, but if you’re doing this job well (ie: a lot of agents aren’t) I genuinely feel like what we add to the experience is irreplaceable. It can also be a great spike of adrenaline getting a tough deal put together.
Con: A real estate transaction is an inherently fragile thing, and sometimes a ton of work and energy ends up falling apart because Sally Seller looked at Billy Buyer the wrong way (names have been changed to protect the innocent), or because an inspector decided that one blade of grass was too long, obviously indicating major structural damage that could cause the house to collapse aaany minute, or because the wind blew the wrong direction one day, or any number of other scenarios that get overblown because tensions and the perceived stakes are elevated. You’ve got to learn to—or try to—roll with the punches.
So there you have it. Real estate provides truly endless opportunities in a way that most careers can’t, but it’s also a volatile, chaotic, and stressful work environment that not everyone is best suited for. If that doesn’t scare you off though and you’re still interested in testing the waters, give me a call. I’d love to discuss more!