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Should Real Estate be Your Next Career Move?

Couple buying house together. Realtor give keys to young man with excited woman behind him

Career changes are more common than you think. The average person changes their professional field five to seven times during their life. The move can be a way to explore new interests, gain flexibility, realign personal values, and of course, make more money.

If you want to operate independently and earn based on your results, real estate may be an intriguing career path. The field is growing faster than the rest of the job market, with nearly half a million jobs as of 2018. Here is what you need to know to see if real estate is the right career for you.

What Hours Do You Want to Work?

If the answer you want to hear is 9 – 5, you should turn around now. Real estate demands flexibility to the schedules of prospective buyers, open houses, and other meetings. These demands can mean plenty of early mornings and late evenings.

As a point of reference, 22 percent of real estate agents say they work 30 hours or fewer in the week. Conversely, 49 percent say they work more than 40. Being willing to manage an untraditional schedule is something that comes with the territory in the real estate business.

It’s also worth noting that a career in real estate also requires licensing and certification. There are dues and fees you must pay. So, you’ll need to make sure you can pay for and pass the various state real estate exams and licenses necessary for certification.

Do You Enjoy Socializing?

One of the great joys of showing off available houses for sale is the opportunity to turn visitors into homeowners. For many people, it is the realization of a life long dream. Coldwell Banker real estate salesperson Rosanne Fernandez says, “I like the feeling I get when a match is made…whether it is someone finding their first house, or matching a tenant and a landlord.”

Of course, making this match requires lead generation and plenty of open houses. Real estate listing agents have to be able to leverage social media, as well as, network with friends, family, and associates in addition to catering to potential clients. The constant demand for socializing and networking is an essential part of succeeding in the job.

Are You Willing to Have Uneven Income?

Similar to the hourly demands, the income stream is uneven, too. The real estate business is a grind that doesn’t always reward savvy marketing or compelling sales pitches. According to Redfin agents, 51 percent of them reported closing fewer than ten home sales in the past year.

Even if you are not raking in money, you have to stay relevant compared to the competition. Realtor Sarah Davis recommends real estate agents to “budget about $1,000 for these advertising start-up expenses, and as you grow in business, you can advertise more.” These necessary expenses can be large pills to swallow if you find it challenging to get your real estate career off the ground.

That said, the median income for a real estate agent is $45,990 as of 2017. That figure goes up to $71,950 for earners in the 75th percentile and down to $31,180 for those in the 25th percentile. Because these figures are median rates, it is unclear the age, geography, sex, or week hours of the agents making each salary.

For more career tips, check out the other great blogs on Career Geek.

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