So you want to become a Realtor? Looks like easy work doesn't it?
After all, on a daily basis, we are touring multi-million dollar waterfront homes, socializing with our associates at cocktail parties, rolling around in our luxury cars picking up commission checks left and right, enjoying lunch with fabulous clients, and all of the other fun activities that fill up our day. Sounds like a nice life right?
Ask just about any Realtor if this is their typical day and you will get a much different answer. Better yet, ask someone who tried being a Realtor but who eventually threw in the towel. They will describe the difficulties of this profession.
Sure, a few successful agents live the glamorous life described above but this isn't reality for most of us. In fact, a recent article lists real estate agents as the #1 most stressful and depressing job in the country.
So What Do Realtors Earn?
Below you will see the annual income of Florida Realtors in 2013. This was put together the Florida Realtor Association.
As you can see almost 80% of the agents out there earn less than $49,999 a year. Now, keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed paycheck. Which makes a HUGE difference in your stress levels. A regular paycheck every two weeks is FAR less stressful than waking up every day not knowing where your next pay check is coming in. If Realtors seem neurotic to you, this may be why.
This is the median net income for the typical Realtor in Florida. This averages $546 a week. Of course, a Realtors income can be very up and down. You can have four closings in one month and then nothing for four months.
How does this stack up with other professions? Here are some average salaries from payscale.com.
Office Manager - $41,071
Operations Manager - $56,241
Executive Assistant - $45,351
General/Operations Manager - $56,196
Registered Nurse - $54,171
Administrative Assistant - $34,285
Human Resources Manager - $57,704
10 Tips to Being a Successful Realtor
I certainly don't know it all and am still learning but there are a few things I figured out about the real estate business.
Tenacity - this is the more important trait to have. Especially, when you are first starting out in this business. You need to be a grinder - watch this video. Tenacity is what keeps you working when things are consistently not going your way.
Hard work - When you are first starting your real estate career you need to work hard. There is just no other choice. Be prepared to work days, nights and weekend.
This is a business - You are starting a real estate business. Treat it as such. There are a lot of moving parts to a successful business. You need to be the sales person, accountant, CEO, IT person, receptionist, database manager, graphic designer, marketing manager and administrative assistant.
Become a sponge - Absorb, absorb, absorb. The faster you learn this business, the faster you will start making money. There is a lot to learn so be prepared. Learn from successful agents. Mimic them, shadow them, interview them, or join a company that provides good training. See #5 if you think you don't need training.
Be humble - The real estate licensing school really doesn't teach you how to be successful. When you pass your test you really don't know squat. You knew enough to pass the test. You didn't learn how to run a successful real estate business. Be humble and realize that the learning just began.
Take Inventory - Be realistic and take an inventory of yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Find people to compliment your weaknesses or try to eliminate them. If you stink at organization or paper work then get an assistant. If you are no good at prospecting perhaps find a partner that loves it and team up with them. Being realistic with yourself so can pinpoint and fix the holes quickly.
Prospect - Realtors will spend their days pushing paper, surfing Facebook, chatting with other Realtors, seeing new listings, poking around MLS and everything else to avoid prospecting. Block off time every day or several times a week to generate new business. YOU ARE IN SALES.
Adequate start up capital - Remember that you are starting a business and money does not come in right away. In fact, it could take several months. Make sure you have enough living expenses for 6 to 12 months. If you need a sale tomorrow to pay your rent then don't get in this business until you have saved up a nest egg. One of the biggest reasons people fail in any business is because of inadequate capital.
Real Estate 101 Works - Agents are always trying to be sold on the latest technique to make money. It is a big industry. Don't spend too much time searching for a magic bullet. The most successful agents are the ones who do the basics very well.
Cream Rises to the Top - Luck does play a role from time to time. Some agents sell a bunch of homes right from the start. Luck will eventually run out and then skill and hard work need to take over. If you want to make an above average income you need to become an above average agent.