In Answer to Your e-mail …..
Hi, ______________________, (this is where it gets personal)
So glad you got back to me. To answer your questions, Real estate is different from having an 8 to 5 job. I have been involved in some form of real estate since 1974 – a loooooong time. I don’t receive a paycheck every two weeks or a W-2; I receive a commission with every closing and a 1099 at the end of the year. I set and manage my own hours, my own vacation time, even my own lunch break. In short, like all other real estate professionals, I work for myself. Think of it this way — each real estate sales associate is a little mini-company, all its own. The amount of sweet moolah you make depends on you – on how much and how smart you work. Your income is in direct correlation to your ability and your professional confidence level.
Most real estate agents start out slow – to put the $$ in perspective for you, the average sales associate across the United States last year (this includes the part-timers) earned around $38,000 – the most aggressive sales pros average six figures. Compare this to other careers pulling in that magic number – they usually require an education level of eight years of graduate work – a doctor or attorney, for instance. Real estate is the only industry with so little invested, for so much return. My first broker gave me the best advice I’ve ever received – “if you put in two percent more effort than other agents, you will receive a 98% greater return.” And he was right. I have three new agents working with me at the moment – they are brand new to real estate. One of them has two short sale contracts on the board, the other two are working with clients already – they’ve been in real estate for all of about two months. I have another agent who has been in real estate for a little over three years – she has made $15,000 in the last three months – and that’s all hers. She is a great little worker and an asset to my team.
I always tell my newbies, when you get that first commission check, you’ll never look back. And every one of them, as they move into their career, has proven that to be true. It is almost addictive. The thought of rising to the challenge — your skills, your abilities, against any forces, to help that person, that family, come into home ownership is awesome. Very often it’s as much about helping a person find themselves, prove to themselves they can own a home, rise above past circumstances; it’s a great feeling to know that you are doing something worthwhile. I can’t count how times I’ve walked away from a closing table, feeling good about the fact that I helped someone.
As far as the current real estate market, it is picking up – I have twice as many new people calling about and coming into our real estate classes compared to a year ago. An uptick in new associates is always a good sign that the market is turning around. This is a great time to get into real estate – you will have time to take the course, pass the exams, take the post-license course (that is the course where you are taught how to sell – the first course, pre-license, is mostly about license law), and as the market begins to pick up, you can do a little skippy step along with it.
You seem to be a very analytical person, so let’s take it from that level – let’s say you have listed a property and you receive a contract for $150,000 through another firm. You have already worked out the commission details with your seller, and your brokerage firm will receive around 3% of the sales price as their part of the commission — that’s around $4,500 – in a typical real estate company you may receive around 70% of that – around $3,150 — one sale per month equates to around $37,800 annual. Keep in mind that you pay your own taxes, health insurance, etc. So you have to allow for your own personal expenses.
The question to ask yourself is, what contacts do I have through which I can advertise my services? Through my place of worship? Past work associates? Other social connections? Do I have good people skills? Do I have the motivation to get up every morning, get out and make it happen? In five years, will I have regrets over not having tried real estate? Over not finding out if I’m made of the right stuff?
After all these years, I can’t imagine doing anything else. But each person is different, and only you know your capabilities and how far and how high you can reach. My instructors and I can teach you and train you, but in the end, it’s up to you to accept the challenge – it’s up to you to take the ball and run with it. Changing careers is a scary thought – anytime you change boats mid-river you run the risk of ……… I understand that. We have people in our classes from the 20s up into their 50s – and it’s a frightening thought for anyone to step out into the unknown. Basic question: can you do it?
You seem to be the type of person who thrives on testing your limits – proving yourself — seeing how far you can go – if that’s the case, then real estate might just be your cup of tea — only you can answer your innermost questions — but if you want to talk further about it, explore your options, call or e-mail me.
We’ll leave the porch light on for ya ……