When the U.S. stock market crashed in 2008, the world of real estate was shattered. Even as late as 2016, the industry felt the aftershocks. Still in recovery, the real estates errors and omissions market had to contend with new potentially lethal exposure due to cyber, energy, regulation and the relatively new concept of realtors-cum-developers and property managers.
Prior to 2008, the market was ripe. No one could imagine it being a field in which you could lose money. Everyone wanted in, no matter their knowledge of the market, because it seemed like an easy game. And that was the problem; it was a bubble that was bound to burst and the spectre of subprime mortgages led to a collapse that no one could seemingly recover.
Since, and even before, real estate agents have been eyed as lecherous, even traitorous. In the early 80s horror film Poltergeist, it’s the shady real estate agent’s fault for the hauntings. But in reality, there are benefits to being a real estate agent.
There’s much to consider should you want to go into the field, so here are just some real estate agent pros and cons:
Pro: Flexible Schedule
One of the best real estate agent pros is your flexible hours. Depending on your clientele, and as long as you’re making your quoata at a firm, a real estate agent’s schedule is entirely up to them. They can set up their day in-between Open Houses and after-school rushes, or put off showing homes should family emergencies occur. You are largely your own boss, never feeling that pesky need to punch the clock from 9 to 5.
Con: Flexible Schedule
While there are benefits to being in the coveted position of setting your own schedule, this may mean you wind up working more. If, for instance, you have a shortage of clients or properties, you may have to push yourself even harder to get the deal completed.
Many clients also have day jobs, meaning they want to take meetings in the evening after work, often interrupting your home life. This is why it’s crucial, if you set your own schedule, to manage your time effectively.
Pro: Unlimited Income Possibilities
On average, real estate agents pull in 25 per cent more income than other workers. There is also no cap on just how much income one can acquire. A gifted agent can flip house after house, and since you’re in charge of your own transactions, there’s no limit to how much you stand to make. Essentially, the stronger your business and personal skills are, the more likely you’ll be to succeed.
Con: Unlimited Income Possibilites
While it’s true you stand to make millions, there’s absolutely no safety net for those dreaded slow periods. Since the job is based on commission, you don’t automatically get a paycheck unless you are using a commission advance service. This is why, especially in the early days of your career, it’s wise to create your own safety net.
Pro: You Will Be Seen As a Community Expert
A good agent will study trends, learn about economic fluxuations and crime statistics in virtually any neighbourhood they consider their domain. Soon, you’ll find friends and family coming to you with questions about a certain part of town and you’ll be able to provide helpful, informative information without ever sounding like a know-it-all. You will be a trusted source of information.
Con: You Usually Only Have One Transaction Per Client
This is not a job in which you make long-term work relationships. Occasionally, you may wind up befriending a client, but typically your relationship only lasts until they sign on the dotted line. So it can start to feel like a lonely job, never really coalescing into significant connections.
But there are advantages that are far from tangible. It’s a great deal of hard work, takes a realtor’s license to do legally and a genuine passion for property to make a really great agent. There are pitfalls, without question. But there’s one aspect of the job that should be and, for most, is paramount; the final selling point, all negatives aside. And that is simply and plainly this:
Pro: Making Someone Else’s Dreams Come True
This is a job meant for people who aim to please, and for such people, nothing is more gratifying than walking through the transom of a new home with a young couple and see the glimmer in their eyes; you can practically see them mentally placing furniture, throwing parties, raising a family as their eyes dance around the canvass of a living room. An agent gets to be a part of one of the biggest decisions of someone else’s life. Now imagine doing that day in, day out for years. It’s inexplicably satisfying.