2023 Might Be Your Year To Become a Real Estate Agent. Here Are the Pros and Cons.
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Is it finally the right time to pursue your goal of becoming a real estate agent?
Fresh off the heels of a global pandemic and the Great Resignation, a lot of people have taken a moment to re-evaluate their lives and truly ask themselves if they’re truly living the best version of themselves. And the answer is that none of us want to work at a dead-end job until it’s time to retire. If you’d had the desire to become a real estate agent, this is your sign to do it.
However, before jumping in head-first, there are a few things you should consider. In this post, we weigh the pros and cons of becoming a real estate agent in 2023 to help you decide if this is the right move for you.
Let’s get started.
Let’s start with the benefits of starting a real estate business.
One of the biggest benefits to becoming an agent is that you have an uncapped earning potential. Whether you make $10 dollars or $10 million dollars, it's all up to you - which we think is a pro, but might also be a con depending on what you're looking for. Ultimately it's all about how much hustle you put into it.
Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? When you become a real estate agent, you're also opening your own real estate business. That means that you are your boss – you make your own schedule and call the shots. In the end, you have no one to answer to but your clients.
Real estate is a very social profession. If you love people, being a real estate agent is the perfect career (or if you don't love people, maybe this is a con!). You will meet new people all the time and sometimes develop lifelong bonds with them. You get to meet a variety of people because you're always working with someone new.
Desk jobs are great for those who want them. But as an agent, you can work in multiple locations, not just your office. You get the opportunity to travel to different locations and you’re constantly seeing new spaces because you’re always showing different properties. Additionally, you can meet with clients outside of your office, if you crave a change of scenery. Meeting spaces include your client’s office or home, or neutral ground, such as restaurants or coffee shops.
When you work as an agent you can arrange your day whichever way you see fit. This is why a lot of agents work part-time – they can juggle their full-time job and manage to work as an agent on the side.
Good real estate agents are often pillars of their communities. That's because great real estate agents take pride in the areas they represent. They also take a vested interest in introducing themselves to and getting to know the network of neighbors and shop owners who live and operate in that community.
For many, being a real estate agent is a part-time job. Running your own real estate business could offer a stream of income that can support your full-time job and give you a sense of financial security, or a sense of control over your future.
One of the biggest benefits of working as a real estate agent is you have the opportunity to help your clients meet their goals. Many of your clients will have the dream of becoming a first-time homeowner. With your expertise and skill set, you can make that happen. You'll be able to assist your client in fulfilling a lifelong dream. What a special moment.
Do you have any plans to become a real estate investor? When you earn your license as an agent, you’ll have developed the skills necessary to find the perfect investment properties. If you're active in your market you can develop a network to get you special access to see properties before they even hit the market. Or you can use the expertise you've developed helping clients to your advantage to spot diamonds in the rough and set up another stream of income.
Working in real estate will help you develop several soft skills that you can use in other areas of your life, including different careers if you choose to make a jump. Some of the top skills you'll develop as a real estate professional are communication, negotiation, and patience.
If you like working on your own and on your own terms, you’ll love working as a real estate agent. Even though you’re always around other people, you can take true ownership when you work in real estate. The work you do will be solely dependent on you.
In real estate, no two days will be the same. If variety is what you’re after, you will find it as an agent. Some days, you’ll spend all day showing off immaculate properties. Others, you’ll spend networking and meeting movers and shakers in your community. Even if you try, you’ll never find duplicate days in real estate.
Now that we’ve looked at the biggest benefits of becoming a real estate agent, here are a few potential downsides to consider:
Real estate requires a lot of patience (and hard work, contrary to what you see on TV). You’ll find yourself hurrying up to wait. For example, you’ll rush your client to place an offer on a property, but then, after accepting, you’ll wait for weeks before the property is finally closed. Or maybe their offer won't be accepted at all, and you'll be back to the drawing board. You also have to exhibit patience when dealing with difficult clients, particularly those who’ve never purchased or sold before. They’ll have a lot of unrealistic expectations and you’ll need to provide a realistic counterbalance to help them through the process.
When you’re working on a commission basis, you don’t have a steady income. You’ll have to perfect your budgeting skills so that you’re able to remain comfortable between commission checks. Having a savings fund and regularly contributing to it is a must when income is unpredictable. Remember that sometimes deals can take longer than expected to close, or fall apart at the last minute.
The drawback to working whenever you want is the possibility that you'll work so many hours that it becomes damaging to your physical and mental health. This is especially true if real estate is your part time job and you’re working full time elsewhere. It’s easy to burn yourself out by working nights and weekends to satisfy the demands of your clients. You’ll have to be careful to make “me” time a priority.
If you don't like hearing the word “no,” you won't like being a real estate agent. Rejection is a big part of the job. You've got to be the type of person who's able to bounce back or you won't cut it in real estate.
A lot of people are attracted to the idea of commission checks and being their own boss, so you won’t be the only agent in your area. That means you’ll have to deal with a lot of other agents who are fighting for the same group of clients. The good news is that there are more than enough clients to go around. But you'll need to yourself apart by choosing a niche and working hard to develop unique expertise and value for your clients.
In addition to patience, you must be prepared for the day-to-day tension that arises in real estate. It’s a high-stress job because there are many moving pieces and things that can go wrong, and you don't have a steady paycheck to look forward to at the end of the week. You’re also depending on other people to do their job so that you can do yours. This may include waiting on stagings, photos, inspections, and/or appraisals. You’re constantly negotiating and dealing with clients who can't make up their mind. And you’re doing all of these things at once. It can be difficult when you first get started, before you develop your own rhythm.
Is becoming an agent the right move for you? If you are ready for an adventure, willing to roll up your sleeves and do what it takes, and if you like new challenges and meeting new clients, becoming a real estate agent might be the perfect career. Weigh the above pros and cons to decide if this is the right move for you. If the answer is yes, click here to get started with your real estate career classes.