That is the Question…
The decision become a REALTOR® is not one to be taken lightly. The licensing course and the associated fees are costly and you can be almost certain you will not break even in the first year of the business. Becoming a REALTOR® is not a hobby you pick up in retirement, or a part-time job you do on the side; it is a full time career that requires full dedication. Once you complete and pass the licensing course and join a brokerage, theoretically you can practise in the trade of real estate. However, it takes time and many transactions to really feel like you know what you’re doing.
Think about it this way…would you want a brand new doctor, just out of med school, performing a splenectomy on you if she’d never actually assisted in or performed one before? You’d probably not be totally comfortable with it. What if there’s complications she has no experience with? The outcome could be disastrous! So is the case with each and every real estate transaction. None are the same, some are more complicated than others and require the expertise of a seasoned professional.
I know it’s a catch 22…how will a REALTOR® (or a doctor for that matter) ever gain experience if they don’t practice and perform the duties required to gain the experience? Fortunately for us, med students are not thrust into their vocation without years of practice and experience. This is not the case with new realtors®. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by one of the top agents not only in the company, but also in the real estate community.
My advice to new REALTORS® would be to align yourself with such a person, who has been practicing successfully and would be happy to mentor you. I’d take it a step further. Before you even take the licensing course, set up a meeting with a practicing, successful REALTOR®. Pick their brain, find out why they went into real estate, how long it took for them to establish themselves, and if they’d be interested and have the time, to mentor you. Then decide if you have the time, and resources to devote to launching a career in real estate. You should have enough money saved to live off of for at least a year or the financial support of a spouse who can pick up the slack while you are building your business.
I love my career in real estate! I’ve worked with hundreds of buyers and sellers, and I’m making a good living. In the past two years alone, I have had over 50 sale transactions and each one has been a fresh learning experience that makes me a better REALTOR®.