Buying and selling homes can be complicated business. This is why most people call upon the help of a real estate agent. These professionals can help sellers to secure a sale on their old home whilst helping buyers find the perfect new home. Some agents may also get involved in rental property helping to find tenants for landlords. Agents may also help to conduct viewings, come up with valuations and guide clients through paperwork required. If you’ve got a keen interest in real estate, you may have been considering this career already. Here are just a few pros and cons of the job to weigh up that could help you decide whether it is the job for you.
You don’t need any qualifications
You don’t higher education to become a real estate agent – whilst many employers may look upon it favourably, a degree is almost never mandatory. Estate agents do need to go through training to get licensed, but this is something an employer may be able to arrange if you are successful in an interview. There are courses you can take yourself in real estate if you feel it would put you at an advantage and help educate you.
You do however need to be able to drive
Because agents are constantly travelling around to view properties, being able to drive is essential. That said, you don’t always need to have your own car and some agencies may supply company vehicles to use whilst possibly paying for driving expenses such as fuel. Make sure that you have got a full driver’s license before applying, as it’s likely you’ll be rejected without one.
You set your own hours
Real estate agents often get paid for the hours they’re prepared to put in. You’re not tied to a nine to five schedule and you can pick the hours that best suit you. It’s a great job for working parents as a result, as you can take time off to drop off or pick the kids up from school. This gives many people a sense of freedom.
Although you do need to be flexible to the needs of your clients
Of course, your clients may want to book viewings for certain times and may only be available on certain days (which could include the weekend). Whilst you can tell your clients that you don’t want to do these hours, it could cost you business. Finding the happy balance may involve making some sacrifices.
It pays to be a people person
Your whole job is spent with people, so it pays to be a people person. In order to encourage sales, you need to get clients to trust you and this involves being friendly and approachable. Sometimes you will deal with difficult clients – these could be sellers who are getting tired of their property still not being sold or these could be buyers who have high expectations within their budget. At these times you need to be a good negotiator whilst keeping your cool. Communication is key and for all the time spent talking to clients in-person, you’ll also spend a lot of time communicating via email and phone.
You can make a lot of money
One of the biggest perks of becoming a real estate agent is the paycheque that comes with it. You could receive thousands in commission on a single sale in some cases, especially if you get involved in 100% commission real estate. This can be a big pull factor for many people. Of course, you do have to work hard for this commission – if you’re not securing sales, you may only be earning a basic flat rate offered by the agency, whilst those taking the self-employed may be earning nothing at all unless you’re charging other fees.
Your income isn’t stable
Your income depends on how many sales you make. During a dry period when there are few buyers, you could find yourself financially suffering. Of course, there could be other times when there are lot of buyers out there and lots of properties to offer them, in which case you could find yourself having a profitable few months. All in all, you need to be comfortable with this volatility and you’ll need to be able to budget accordingly – for those months where you do make a lot of commission, you need to have the willpower not to spend it all at once just in case you’ve got a quiet period ahead.
Mistakes can be costly
Property is expensive stuff – for some buyers you could be helping them make the biggest purchase of their life. When dealing with these big transactions, it’s important not to make any big blunders, as these could be costly both to the company and your reputation. This could be anything from losing paperwork to getting your facts wrong when telling someone about a property.
It’s a rewarding and varied job
Being a real estate agent isn’t just another desk job – you’re constantly working in new environments and meeting new people. When you make a sale, it’s also incredibly rewarding and not just financially – you’ve just helped someone secure their next home. You’ll help young people get on the career ladder for the first time and you’ll help older people find their dream home to retire to. As for the sellers, you could be helping to take the property off their hands – some sellers may have been trying to sell their home for years and you could be the person to finally relinquish them of it.