You’ve selected a highly rewarding, super lucrative, and totally fun career in the oh-so-cool field of… real estate.
If you’re brand new to this world, you probably have a ton of ideas about how things are gonna go for you. I mean, in no time at all, you’ll be driving your brand new Aston Martin to go pick up your big ol’ crystal Agent Of The Year award, right?
Then you’ll cruise back to your own palatial estate and roll around on a bed of money while laughing at all the folks who have to work a full 40 hour week. 9 to 5? Ha. Real estate agents only work on their OWN schedule AND they practically make bank around the clock.
Er, sorry. Not so much.
There’s a lot for you to learn, young grasshopper. That’s ok, even seasoned pros fall prey to these misconceptions sometimes. That’s why we made this post to tell you the honest truth about…
What No One Tells You About Working In Real Estate
Here we go…
1. Yes, the highs are amazingly high!
OK, this part is obvious AND true. There are so many benefits to this career it’s not even funny. You DO get to make your own schedule, and you CAN make loads of moolah. Also, you get to meet all sorts of great people, and you can wind up being the most popular person on the block — everyone knows your name because you banketed the neighborhood with those fridge magnets, right? Well, kinda. Staying top-of-mind isn’t always that easy, but more on that in a minute.
For now, just know that being a real estate agent can truly be incredible.
(Here comes the drop.)
2. The lows can be incredibly low.
When you’re just getting your feet wet and no one wants to even take your call…
Or when you’ve run out of listings and there’s no new business on the horizon…
Or when the fear sets in and you start thinking maybe this isn’t for you, and that that maybe you should just go be a barista at Starbucks…
It truly feels crummy.
Even worse, some agents add to their misery by not getting hip to one of the most undeniable truths about this biz, which is:
Your job is NOT just selling houses, it’s also selling yourself. Over and over again. If you miss that crucial element, you’ll be down in the doldrums faster than you can say Cinnamon Dolce Latte.
3. It can get lonely.
When you’re sitting all alone at an open house for hours, schlepping cups of joe at Starbucks sounds like a lot of fun! Not to mention, you’d also get to josh around with chummy co-workers.
Yep, quiet open houses can make you feel like you’re the last person on Earth. There’s also the hours alone driving around town, the silent hours up late scouring new listings, and the time spent twiddling your thumbs and just sitting there waiting for your appointment to show up.
In a nutshell, you’ll be alone a LOT, and there’s not a lot you can do about it, because no matter how friendly you are…
4. This business is cutthroat.
There’s no business out there more dog-eat-dog than sales, and real estate might just be at the top of the list. Many agents think this is a zero sum game and that any help they give you is an edge they lose.
Is that true? Well, to a certain degree, sure. There are only so many homes to go around, right? So on some level it makes sense that no one wants to tell you about their favorite resource for signage, or the name of the best inspector in town, or their secret for getting endless referrals.
On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are helpful people out there; you just have to find them. Sure, they might not be in your office, but they’re out there, I promise. If you give a little (like telling a fellow agent about your brilliant new idea for closing gifts), chances are good that you’ll get a little, too.
(Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a warm, supportive community of people who would answer your questions and cheer on your growth? Like some sort of tightly-knit inner circle of supportive peers? Hmmm… if only such a thing existed… 😉 More on that later, though…)
5. No long lunches… more like long hours.
One thing I hear from a lot of people who dip in and then back OUT of real estate is, “I got my license because I wanted to have more free time…”
Yeah, you make your own schedule, but if you don’t get real serious about 1) Time Management and 2) Boundaries, you’re more likely to find yourself chowing down a Lean Cuisine than sitting down to lunch with your BFFs.
Over time, you will get better at working your schedule, but there’ll still be some days that your only break is jamming a granola bar into your mouth while blasting Ed Sheeran on the radio while speeding to your next appointment. It’s just the way it goes.
6. You’ll have to get used to juggling
Multitasking is your new way of life, and if you thought you were good at it before jumping into the wide, wide world of real estate, get ready to become a Master Of Multitasking now.
Not only will you have multiple transactions to take care of (hopefully!), you’ll also have to remember the small nuances of each family and their wishes so you can find the perfect home for them.
Instead of your day planner saying, “2:00 meeting at title co.”, it’ll be more like…