So, you want to work in real estate? This guide will explore the pros and cons of this line of work and some things to consider when trying to get started as an agent or developer.
The Pros and Cons of Working in Real Estate
Like any job, working in real estate has its pros and cons. One of the great things about real estate is that it’s a relatively low-barrier-to-entry profession. In most states, all you need to get started is a high school diploma (or equivalent) and a license from the state Department of Real Estate.
Another plus is that there’s no shortage of demand for good real estate agents. Whether it’s first-time homebuyers entrusting one of the most significant purchases they’ll ever make to you or businesses looking for commercial space, there will always be people in need of your services.
On the flip side, one downside to working in real estate is that it can be unpredictable. For example, when the housing market crashes or interest rates rise, the number of people buying or selling homes decreases sharply—and so does your income.
Another thing to remember is that real estate requires a lot of hustle. You’re essentially running your own business, which means putting in long hours (and often evenings and weekends) to build up your client base and earn referrals. It’s not uncommon for new agents to work 80 hours per week or more when starting out.
Guidelines for Prospective Real Estate Agents
Here are a few things to consider if you are considering entering the real estate field.
Are you a people person? As a real estate agent, you will work closely with clients, often during stressful times in their lives. You need to be able to relate to people and understand their needs.
Do you have good communication skills? Real estate transactions involve a lot of paperwork, and there is often a great deal of back-and-forth between buyers, sellers, agents, lenders, and attorneys. You need to be able to communicate both verbally and in writing to avoid misunderstandings.
Are you organized? A successful real estate agent needs to be very organized. You will be juggling multiple clients and properties at any given time and need to stay on top of all the details. Strong time management skills are essential.
Do you have thick skin? Not every transaction is going to go smoothly. You will face rejection from time to time and need to be able to handle it without taking things personally.
Do you work well under pressure? Junior real estate agents often work long hours, including weekends and evenings. There may be times when you have several deadlines converging at once and need to be able to handle the pressure.
Are you self-motivated? Because real estate is a commission-based business, there is no guaranteed salary or paycheck waiting for you at the end of each week/month. You need to be motivated enough to keep going even when times are tough, and deals are slow.
Guidelines for Prospective Real Estate Developers
Who will be on your team? This team should include an architect, a designer, a construction manager, and an attorney. You’ll need these professionals to help you navigate the often-complex world of real estate development.
What is the right property for you? Once you have your team in place, the next step is to find the land you’ll be working on. This property should be located in an area that is growing or has growth potential. It should also be large enough to accommodate your plans as a commercial or residential development service company.
How will you get funded? Once you’ve found the perfect property, securing financing is next. This can be done through private investors, banks, or the government. Once you have financing in place, you can begin the process of actually developing the property.
What are your plans for development? This process can involve tearing down existing buildings or constructing new ones. The important thing is that you stay true to your vision for the property. If you do that and have a good team, your real estate development project will be a success.
Working in real estate can be extremely rewarding, but you should know that it’s not for everyone. By taking into account the pros and cons as well as some tips on getting started as an agent or developer, you should now have a good idea of whether a real estate career is right for you or not.