What they didn't tell you!
Oh it's all roses and sunshine when you see the successful Barbara Corcoran on ABC's Shark Tank; or Fredrik Eklund wearing his million dollar suit on his way to his next multi-million dollar listing on T.V..
The rewards seem so glamorous, the lifestyle so independent, and everyone is so young and thin!
What they didn't tell you about becoming a REALTOR(R) is that what you see in the media is not the whole story.
I must confess, that when potential agents call me for advice, I always try to talk them out of it!
Don't do it!
Unless you read this first.
Here is the cold, hard truth about becoming a real estate agent- and it's not for the faint of heart.
1. "They never told me that 90% of my time was going to be looking for business", said every agent after two years and only two deals.
Welcome to your new career, which for at least the first five years is going to be a majority of hustling to find your next client. Or even just getting to know the names of people in case they might need you in the next few years. And staying in touch with every single person you know relentlessly (but without irritating them) so that you are 'top of mind'.
2. "What?! I have to become a social media expert??" Yes, you do.
Oh, you didn't take marketing in school? You don't like exposing every move you make every hour of the day on every single social media platform??
Of course, if you don't want to take on this challenge yourself, there are a multitude of companies/agencies/freelancers who would love to make $500-$1000 off you each month.
Oh, you can't afford that because you don't have enough business?
What a catch-22....... exactly.
3. "When they said I would make my own hours, that I would have flexibility, I didn't realize I would be on call 24/7!!" Precious.
Clients will expect you to respond to them at THEIR convenience, not yours. And if you don't like that, all they have to do is look for someone who will respond at their beck and call in the thousands of agents clamoring for their business in your city.
Deals are negotiated at all hours of the day and night! Showings take place on holidays and long weekend (yes, even Christmas is not immune to it!) Good luck taking holidays - you will undoubtedly be called upon to do a deal while leaving your happy hour behind. Murphy's Law.
4. "I love helping people buy and sell their homes" Oh, you do? Of course you do.
Unfortunately, that is only about 5% of what you are going to be doing out of the gate. I hope you like repetitive administrative tasks. I hope you like keeping forms updated according to the latest rules. I hope you have a big $ savings account so you can pay all your dues every year. I hope you love technology because you are going to have to navigate through numerous database options, mass email providers, electronic tools, cell providers, computer programs etc.... It really isn't a paper and pen business anymore (well, unless you are in the prairies working on carbon copy contracts - what's up with that?)
The twenty minutes you get to show a home, pales in comparison to the eighty hours a week spent trying to just get the business.
5. When I'm ready to retire on all my investments, I can sell my book of business!
First of all, you probably never did choose and properly use a CRM (Client Relationship Management System). Your clients have not been well-cared for and your systems fell by the wayside.
Second, the reason why you do have a mass of clients (if you actually do) is solely because of YOU! Oh, it's a cruel joke on the sales agent who spends 20 or 30 years building up great clientele, only to find out that they won't be passed off to a random suitor. No! They have five other friends of friends, family members, past co-workers who have been standing in line for their business, dying to take them away from you.
After a career of hard work, you are most likely going to be left with - basically nothing. Maybe a handful of referral fees.
Is this too harsh or are you laughing because it's true? I could go on and on - and maybe you could add your two cents too and we could create a comedy act for the real estate industry.
Nobody is telling new agents the truth about the reality of starting this crazy kind of career.
So there it is.
Pass this along to someone who needs it!
Let me know your thoughts! Maybe I will write a blog based on our next conversation :)
Invite me to your brokerage, I would love to speak to your group!