I was in my last day of class and began talking with another classmate. The class we were in the midst of was one of the training sessions our real estate office puts on to get new agents familiar with social media, how to navigate our real estate website and the proper way to fill out the mounds of paperwork.
The woman I spoke with had just gotten her license. She was a month and a half behind me in her training. We talked about how overwhelming it is to begin a career in real estate. We have both been surprised at just how much there really is to learn.
The woman was anxious because she was lost and didn’t know what she should be doing in the office. I explained to her that although the employees are fabulous and will go to great lengths to explain anything you might be struggling with, it is still up to you to create your business.
What she didn’t understand and honestly I didn’t either when I pursued this career is that it really is your own business. You are an independent contractor. You alone decide how hard you will work and how many days you show up to the office. You have to be something of a go-getter. If you aren’t the type of person that can plan each day and figure out how to reach out to people and drum up some business, this career won’t be a good fit.
This woman talked about how she needed someone to assign her tasks, watch over her moves and, oh yeah, they must have humor since that is how she communicates. Tall order for this business, honestly. My office is great in that we have a manager who explains things really well and has a terrific amount of patience. There are programs set up to guide you along and help show you what your next move should be. This is why I like the office I chose so much. Sure I’m good at putting together my goals and going after them. I do need some guidance on what my next move should be though.
I felt bad for this woman. This is going to be a part-time job for her to supplement her income. No one ever says this, but unless you have been in the business for 20 years and just want a hobby, real estate is not, by any means a part-time gig. You have your own business. This means you prospect, show homes, do paperwork and advertise. It also means that you are in charge of all administrative tasks and are doing all of the responsibilities usually assigned to an assistant or a secretary. Look, this is a full-time, 24hr, 7 day a week job if you want to make a decent income.
Real Estate has always been a bit of a mystery if you are interested in becoming a Realtor. There is no book on the ins and outs to the profession. There is definitely a misconception about how hard the work can be and what amount of effort goes into being an agent.
If you are thinking about a career in real estate, you need to be a people person, a therapist, a secretary, and a trusted advisor. At the same time, you need to understand your limits. You are not an attorney, contractor, assessor or banker. If you can juggle the roles you are and make sure to let the client know to get professional assistance in areas you aren’t, then real estate might just be your niche’.