A few times a week I get told from someone new that they want to be a Realtor.
“I want to have free time with my kids”
“I think I can make a whole bunch of money part time”
“I love looking at new houses”
“I love watching Property Brothers”
“I’ve always been great in sales”
So…if you really think you want to be a Realtor….let me tell you a few things to help you with your decision.
Free Time? You work when someone calls you. That could mean Monday through Friday from 8 to 5….AND Saturday and Sunday….AND nights and weekends. Because you have to be available when your prospective buyer or seller is available. If you aren’t available, someone else is. If you list a house…..when you get an offer (you are going to sell the house, right?) you have to respond immediately. If the buyer has to wait until you are back in town from the beach they may change their mind and move on to the next house. If you have a buyer….the minute you get on a plane is when the new house that is perfect for them pops up on their iphone…..and if they don’t go look immediately, it’s already gone when you return. So plan on being available from about 8 in the morning until 9 at night….I have been known to work as late as midnight negotiating offers. It’s a fact. And if you have another job….I hope they don’t mind if you are missing for several hours in the middle of your shift. We work 7 days a week…..nights and weekends and holidays (or should I say especially holidays). It’s NOT a part time job.
Money: Half of the Realtors make zero. That’s a fact and a national statistic. The agents that net over $40,000 spend over $40,000 to make it. If you don’t have a bankroll to start your business you probably aren’t going to make it. Every 3 years thousands of Realtors don’t renew their licenses. San Antonio has almost 15,000 agents….and last year approximately 30,000 homes were sold. Half the agents didn’t even sell ONE house. Plan on spending money your first year and maybe…not making a profit. 95% of all the real estate sold is sold by 5% of the Realtors.
Property Brothers: being a Realtor is NOTHING like the shows on TV. We have to be computer literate (actually it’s better if you are a computer guru), good salespeople, friendly, good listeners, maids (I swept the floors in one of my vacant houses yesterday…..the seller doesn’t live here so SOMEONE has to), home stagers (more money to buy things you move from house to house and store when you sell the house), furniture movers (remember you stage houses….those of you with weak backs? Forget it), photographers (and own a $3,500 camera or pay someone $300 to $400 every time you list a house to take photos you hope you love and you hope the seller loves because if the photographer has to come back its more money), familiar with home repairs so you can negotiate money or repairs when the home inspector gives a list to the buyer, know a lot of good contractors, have a nice car (preferably a luxury car) with a big trunk for your signs and plenty of room to take smaller items to and from houses and own a truck so you can move your staging items from house to house, be VERY familiar with neighborhoods, have additional insurance on your car for your errors and omissions insurance (in case you get sued….but then add another $5,000 for the deductible if you do get sued), buy your own health insurance at a ridiculous price since you are self employed (mine costs almost $1200 a month and it is basically catastrophic insurance as it doesn’t cover much and has a $15,000 deductible), buy lots of candles and plug ins for empty houses so they smell good when they get shown, have no retirement benefits unless you save the money yourself, have no vacation days off and also be VERY careful when you buy your own investment properties as the seller may have seller’s remorse later and decide you took advantage of him or her and should have paid them more. Opening houses is just a small part of what a Realtor does.
These are the things most people won’t tell you about….but the more you know about a prospective job the greater chance you have of being successful at it.
If you’ve read all the above and still are interested give me a call. I might want you on my team!