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question for re agents

Posted by palomalou (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 14, 11 at 20:30

This is not the right place for this question, but don't know what that might be. I know several agents frequent (or infrequent) this board, so I'll give it a whirl.
I have been over 20 years in a job I hate in a part of the country I loathe. I finally have enough years for retiree health care, and would love to move to my desired area and become an agent. Residential real estate has always fascinated me, and I looked into it several years ago, but nobody would ever have sold me open-market health insurance, so that was a no-starter.
What prospects might await a late-50s female who wanted to get into this field? Doable? I don't need to make a lot of money, but some would broaden our safety net, and I don't think I'm old enough to do nothing at all.
Thanks for any replies!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: question for re agents

It will cost you a bit of money to get started. You will have to take the required education in the state you want to be licensed in. You should be able to do this online. You can expect to spend several hundred dollars for the course. Then you will need to pass the state and national exams. Then you will need to decide on a broker to work for and join the local real estate board and MLS, in addition to joining NAR. In my area it costs about $600/year for the local and national boards plus a monthly fee of about $60. Commission splits vary from broker to broker, and many charge a monthly desk fee - in general the higher the desk fee the more commission the agent gets in the split. Then in order to get business, especially in an area that you are new to you, need to market yourself - all of which costs $$$.
An approach that you can take to find out if the RE business is right for you is to try to get hired as an assistant to a successful agent. You must have good computer and communication skills for this kind of work.

RE: question for re agents

I too thought I would like to be a agent many years ago, took some classes etc and found out it was not for me. I respect a good agent/broker because they really have to know rules, laws and how to really see what their clients do want and what they can pay.
The one thing you forgot is time--you are expected to show property at just about any time, any where to any one. My relative is a agent, not sure if she is a broker, and she has to be ready all the time, even at home. That sometimes is rough on the family.

RE: question for re agents

Do not let your fascination about real estate be the drive behind you becoming an agent. We do not sell houses... we sell ourselves. If you are not a likeable person, then forget it. You also need to be a personality type that talks to a lot of people and has a lot of friends and aquaintences.
You have to not be afraid of computer technology. This is where most of the marketing is these days, and also is where a lot of prospecting is done.
Don't think that we agents spend all day, every day showing houses or doing contract to close work. MOST of our time is spent PROSPECTING for the next seller or buyer. Clients do not walk into an office and ask to hire an agent. You have to find them, and establish a relationship, usually before they are even ready to buy or sell. We are not salesmen, we are prospectors!
Be prepared for the first 12 months to result in maybe only a couple of deals, or maybe none at all. The avg. income for all agents combined is only about $36,000. If you figure this on an hourly basis, you are probably at about $10/hr. (I don't have a calculator handy).
80% of agents will fail after three years.
On a positive note, being 50 years old is a plus. You should know many more people than a young person, and those people should be in a higher price range than young folks.
If you do make it sucessful, it is an awesome profession. It is very rewarding to help people with a huge transaction such as buying and selling RE. And being your own boss is the best part of all.
Good luck.

RE: question for re agents

The OP said I finally have enough years for retiree health care, and would love to move to my desired area and become an agent.

If you are moving to an area where you don't know anyone it will be more difficult to get started in a profession in which who you know is very important. As ncrealestateguy said you are really selling yourself. You do need to be the kind of person who can talk to people easily and network. I have had a RE license for 10 years, but since I seem to lack the "self promotion gene" I have chosen to work in the industry in support positions. After I got my license I worked for a successful agent as an assistant and that's when I realized that I didn't want the 24/7 life of an agent. And that's really what you need to do to be successful. The agents in my office that treat it as a real full time job are making money. The "hobby" agents are not.

RE: question for re agents

Thank you all for your insights. I actually know a lot of people where we will move--it's "home". But I appreciate your thoughts and experiences. Possibly an assistant position could be fine with me. We'll see what the future brings!

RE: question for re agents

I've also flirted with the idea of becoming an agent. I love buying and selling my own houses and am pretty good at it. I have experience in my own business including selling and decorating and I'm a self-starter and a go-getter. I'm also a people person. BUT I think I would get frustrated taking buyers to see house after house and they don't like anything, like this couple I saw on House Hunters one time. The lady admitted, "Yeah, I know, I want it all for nothing." Or getting a deal going, spending a ton of time on it, and then at the last minute it falls through for something stupid. All that work down the tube. It's a hard job. But it could be really fun too if you have the patience for it.

RE: question for re agents

BUT I think I would get frustrated taking buyers to see house after house and they don't like anything

Even more frustrating is not even having any buyers to show property to, or sellers to get listings from. You would not believe how much of a Realtor's time (and money) is spent prospecting for clients. At least in the beginning. And I don't mean the first few months - more like the first few years.

RE: question for re agents

Terriks wrote:
"You would not believe how much of a Realtor's time (and money) is spent prospecting for clients. At least in the beginning. And I don't mean the first few months - more like the first few years."

A sucessful RE agent NEVER can stop prospecting. Once you do, your pipeline goes dry. One of the hardest conundrums of this business is that when we get busy with clients, we tend to stop prospecting. After a few weeks of being busy with contract to close work, we look up and realize that the lack of prospecting for those few weeks has left the pipeline dry. This leads to the all too common problem of having a very cyclical income flow. A big problem if you are a single person with monthly bills to pay.

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