Making the leap into a real estate career often means leaving your established career and jumping into uncharted waters. A career change can be scary for anyone. Luckily, there are many signs that can guide you toward that decision. We’ve outlined five indicators that will help you decide whether or not now is a good time to start a real estate career.
#1: You are ready for a change
In its 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that most new agents coming on board in recent years are transitioning from previous careers. If you’re tired of your current career path or just looking for a job with better earnings potential, now could be a good time to start a real estate career. While the state of the market shouldn’t determine whether or not you get into real estate, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to get in now, while the economy is on the upswing.
#2: You have always wanted to work in real estate
Some people are just drawn to real estate. Are you the type who notices house structure and is always looking at websites or magazines with the latest home designs? Do you think about helping families find their dream homes? Successful real estate agents are often those who have a deep passion for the home-buying process and the joy that clients get from finding their perfect home. If you’ve always wanted a career in real estate and think you have what it takes to develop your career, now may be the perfect time to get started.
#3: You are in a prime area for buying and selling real estate
Before you make your decision, learn about market conditions in your area. Do you live in a rural area, a small town, a suburb, a small city, or a metropolis? How many agents are working there? What would be your specialty? How many homes or commercial properties could you reasonably sell in your niche market? On the west coast, for example, where home prices have been soaring to pre-recession levels and real estate agents are in relatively short supply, agents are seeing huge increases in their earnings. However, if you’re in a small coastal community where the number of agents outweighs the number of homes for sale, the market share may not be in your favor. To determine if there’s room for you in your market, ask a local broker about the number of active agents in your community and how many homes typically sell per month or per quarter. Then do the math to figure out if now is a good time to start a real estate career in your area.
#4: You are dedicated
Real estate is one of those careers where your earnings potential is directly tied to the amount of work, effort, and dedication you put in. Sure, some real estate agents are part-timers and just hold a license to help the occasional friend or family member buy and sell. But to be a successful, top-dollar-earning real estate agent, you’re going to have to put in the time. Are you currently in a position to do that?
#5: You have the resources to sustain yourself as you make the career change
Many people are wary of the real estate profession because of the uncertainty of working on commission. If you don’t sell homes, you don’t get paid. If you end up going months without a sale in your first year, it can be scary. Do you have enough money saved up to sustain yourself as you transition into a new career?
Note, some real estate brokers, in some markets, pay a salary instead of a commission. Some agents prefer that, and some don’t. Ask several local brokerages about their compensation policies.
So, is now a good time to start a real estate career?
A real estate career can be exciting, challenging, and profitable for those who give it the time and energy it demands. If you were to poll agents in your area about the reasons they got into real estate, you’d get a wide range of answers. Before making this decision, ask yourself the following questions: Am I ready for a change? Am I passionate and dedicated? Do I have enough time and savings? If the answer is yes, all signs indicate that now is indeed a good time to start a real estate career. It’s just a matter of deciding you’re ready to jump.
Ready to make the leap and begin an exciting career in real estate? Find out what it takes to get your real estate license in our quick video below.