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Real Estate Agents

Merkin Man

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Williamsville, NY
I'm usually long-winded, so I'll try to keep this short and cut straight to the point...

I am looking to get out of my current job. It pays "well" and has "good" benefits. My problem with it is I truly feel it has a major negative impact on my life. Better yet, it drains a little more life out of me each and every day I go to work. Today being no exception.

My long-term goal is to have enough passive income by the time I'm 40 - which is now sadly only 8 years away, to be able to retire. I don't want to stop at 40. I just want to have the passive income streaming in by then that I could retire if I wanted to or had to. Who knows what life will bring...

In the short term, I want to get into one or more 'S' type endeavors while I work on building up enough capital to start investing in real estate and a business idea I have had on the back burner for a couple of years.

What I have been considering lately is getting my real estate license and becoming an agent. I think this would be semi-classified as an 'S' quadrant job. One of the reasons I will invest in real estate is because I flat out love real estate. While investing is my long-term goal in real estate, I've been thinking that becoming an agent would allow me to work directly with something I am passionate about, learn a lot more than I already know about it, pay me well (hopefully) and also introduce me to contacts within the profession that I would be able to later call upon when I entered the investing side of the market.

It's funny, actually. When I was 22 and still in college, I jumped at the chance to have a good government job. Infact, I was so enamored with working under the security of the government, that I transferred from one government job to another when I was 27! Now at 32, it is that job that eats away at me.

What I would like to hear are opinions, both from any real estate agents that we may have on these boards, as well as from the professionals who are in the fast lane who likely were at one time sitting in a similar position as I am.

What I know is this: I have been thinking and procrastinating far too long to continue down that path. I need to make a change, and I need to make it now.

Thanks in advance to those who reply.

Andy
 

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Runum

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Andy I don't know if being a RE agent will help you or not. I do applaud you though for taking some first steps and developing a plan of action. Hang in there man, good things are yet to come. Also, try not to burn any bridges. I have found in RE you never know who knows who and who you will have to deal with. Good luck with your plans.:cheers:

Greg
 

yveskleinsky

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Jul 26, 2007
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Go for it! You can be an agent and work around your job for the time being- if you need to. When I first got into real estate I really underestimated the amount of time and effort I had to put in. You will need to learn how to sell- which is a great skill to learn. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose so move forward on getting your license! Worst-case scenerio it doesn't work out for whatever reason, and you're out a couple grand. Pretty cheap education in my book! :)
 

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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I like the idea. I think it could go a long way in helping you down the road. Your learning curve can be shortened by gaining the knowledge now, instead of when you begin investing.

What kind of clients do you intend on catering to? I would recommend, at least a few times, brokering some deals on investment properties - particularly those you'd consider yourself (whether that be SFRs, multis, or large apartment complexes I don't know) for the future. You could even offer some of your clients a bit of a break on the commission if they agree to take you with them on their investment journey. Doing this, you could perhaps get a future client and also gain large amounts of knowledge. Good luck! I like the decision and think you should go for it...congrats on taking action.
 

tbsells

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Jul 27, 2007
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Ohio
I have been a real estate agent since I graduated college. I'm an anomoly in the field. Its highly unusual for a person to start selling real estate at 21 years of age and make a career of it. My finance degree just wasn't worth what I thought it was in the marketplace. I was offered a "good" job at P&G as a brand manager for $22K a year plus a company car (in 1990) and told that I would be relocated worldwide several times until I was between 35 and 40. Then I would be brought back to HQ in Cincinnati and work my way up quickly! At this time, that was a good offer. Many of my friends wanted that kind of offer and couldn't get it. It sounded like hell to me. No thanks! I wanted to find something else I could do to control my own income and address. Real estate sales was it. It has been very good to me. I have made far more money than I could have made in the corporate world and never been forced to relocate. I have had time to do things I truly enjoy such as coaching my kids in soccer and basketball. I have also worked my butt off. I can schedule myself to be at games and practices but I still have to make the sales if I want to get paid. Perhaps the most important thing is that I have learned to invest. I have in depth knowledge of the product, the process, the financing, etc. Most of the time I was getting paid while I was learning this very valuable information. So, I say go for it. You stated real estate was your passion and working as an agent is a great way to learn the business. I would recommend the following:
1) Attend a career night at a couple large brokerages in your area. See what they have to offer. Many offer tuition reimbursements, training and alot of help to get you started. Its usually best for a new agent to affiliate with a big well known brokerage. The name recognition (theirs, not yours) will help when you are new.
2) Don't quit your day job yet unless you have substantial savings to live off of. Its very hard to make money in real estate for at least the first 6 months. You will be learning alot, training alot and not very confident in your abilities. It will show and you most likely won't make much money for a while. Don't be discouraged but don't think your going to make what you are used to making for a good while.
3) Consider the downsides to self employment. Health insurance is expensive and offers poor coverage compared to traditional plans. You will not have a 401k or employer sponsored pension. You will not have paid vacations, christmas bonuses and other nice things that you may have gotten accustomed to. You can provide all these things for yourself but it requires planning and money.
4) Perhaps the most overlooked thing is this- Its hard to get a "day off." Real estate sales is a service business and people expect you to be available when they want you. You don't get days off like you do now. If you are making money the phone will be ringing all the time, especially on evenings and weekends. Its hard to say no. It gets burdensome for me. I don't mean you will have to work 8 hours a day but the day completely off is not realistic either. I was scheduled off yesterday. I probably had about 12 to 15 calls that I had to answer and problems that needed my attention off an on throughout the day. This in spite of the fact that I have a very good assistant who does alot for me. So, I was at home with my wife wearing shorts and a t-shirt but on the phone and ticked off much of the day. I would probably have been better off at work. Its a problem in the business. But, it doesn't seem to become an issue for several years.

Overall, it is great career. I am currently trying to transition myself from and agent who also invests to an investor who also sells. Within a few years I would like to drop the sales part entirely. But thats just me. I've done it for a long time and the service aspect is starting to wear on me. Good Luck!
 

willymo

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Jul 25, 2007
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I totally agree with tbsells. Especially the advice about being a new agent. I have been licensed for all of 3 months and I'm still going through trainings on how to hold a listing presentation, dual agency, and numerous other topics. But I love it because it takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me network with people and organizations.

Hey tbsells have you read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller because it might be time for you to hire a buyer or listing specialist to free up more of your time.:thumbsup:
 

tbsells

Contributor
Jul 27, 2007
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Ohio
I have read the book and its definitely time for me to do that. It probably was time several years ago.
 

andviv

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willymo, how's the b/more market doing do far? I've seen a lot of activity in rehabbs and I think the city is about to bloom again.
I've been posting a book review of another Keller's book, The millionaire rel estate investor. I like his style so far. Would somebody please post a book review for this other book?
 

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