Is Being a Real Estate Agent Worth It

There is plenty of excitement surrounding becoming a real estate agent. You can thank real estate television shows for all the hoopla. Why? Not only do these shows make it look easy, but they also make it seem like there is plenty of money to be made in this industry.

Undoubtedly, you can make plenty of money in this industry, which can be fun. However, the picture that most television shows paint differs from the reality for most real estate agents. Instead of joining the crowd and getting into real estate for all the great things it can bring to your life, it is best to determine your reasons for becoming an agent.

Is being a real estate agent worth it? Yes, but becoming a real estate agent is hard. It may be worth it for some but not for others. This article will explore why you should or should not become a real estate agent in Florida.

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make

Potential earnings are a good starting point since it is a significant driving force for people to make a career change to real estate. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, full-time real estate agents nationwide make an average of $52,030. Full-time real estate agents in Florida can earn between $45,226 and $193,403. Based on the numbers, this could be a lucrative career. However, looking at real estate only in terms of earnings is not a good idea. Let's look at a few more factors that could make real estate a good or bad choice.

Advantages of Being a Real Estate Agent

Besides making a good living, here are some other advantages to being a real estate agent.

Control Your Schedule

If you're tired of being at the mercy of a time clock, choosing real estate could be a promising career because you set your schedule. But just because you control your schedule doesn't mean you have the freedom to work whenever you choose. Remember, you are at the mercy of your clients’ schedules. So, even though you have plenty of flexibility, you will still be better off than working a 9 to 5. In fact, you may be on call much more as an agent than at a traditional job. Buyer beware.

Pathway to Entrepreneurship

Have you ever thought about owning your own business? One way to do it is by becoming a real estate agent. The good thing about becoming an agent is that this form of entrepreneurship is structured. So, like in a franchise, you will have people around you who know the business and may be willing to show you how to succeed. You won't have to start from scratch or seek angel investors like a traditional small business.

Unlimited Earning Potential

Another good thing about being a real estate agent is that you're not limited to the average earning potential. Many seasoned agents can make six and seven-figure earnings per year. What you put into the role is what you get out. So, like the people you see on television, you can earn big bucks.

Build Strong Networks

When working in real estate, you have the potential to build solid and long-lasting networks that may last a lifetime. Not only will you build a solid customer base through your sphere of influence, but you will build strong networks elsewhere. You will develop strong relationships with fellow real estate agents, home appraisers, contractors, home inspectors, stagers, attorneys, and other professionals who may or may not be related to the industry.

Disadvantages of Being a Real Estate Agent

There are so many great things about being a real estate agent. However, here are some less-than-stellar things you may experience as an agent.

You Do Everything

Once you get your real estate license and become an agent, you'll be surprised at the enormous work you'll be responsible for. Keep in mind that you are a small business owner. So, you'll be wearing many hats. You'll primarily be responsible for making revenue for your business by helping clients buy and sell homes. However, you'll also be responsible for marketing, accounting, administration, social media, website maintenance, lead generation, and many other tasks. You can hire people to handle these things as you increase your earnings. However, hiring people before you amass substantial income as an agent isn't wise.

No Safety Net

If you've worked in sales, you may have worked in an industry that provides a base pay for you. While base pay may not be much, it still provides a safety net. Unfortunately, real estate doesn't offer such safety nets. In most cases, it will be 100 percent commission. So, if you need money to pay your bills as you wait for commission checks to roll in, you'll need to use your savings, take on other work, or rely on the income of a significant other.

Long Time Before Getting a Return on Investment

Becoming a real estate agent is costly. You may spend over a thousand dollars on education, licensing, background checks, startup costs, and broker fees. Unfortunately, it could be months before you get your first check and years before you break even and get a return on your investment.

Competition From Within and Around You

Another disadvantage is that you will compete with other real estate agents within your brokerage and outside of it. Although you and your colleagues will usually operate as a team, most of the time, you will compete for leads against seasoned real estate agents.

Setbacks May Not Have to Do With Your Sales Skills

Once you get into the swing of things and start selling consistently, you may find that problems with closing may not have to do with your inability to sell. Some of your deals may fall apart due to things out of your control. For instance, the lender may decide not to fund a deal. Or the buyer or seller may change their mind during the closing process. So remember that just because you're good at selling doesn't mean you'll get paid. Unfortunately, failed deals will be part of the process, and there is nothing you can do but start over.

High Failure Rate

Another disadvantage with real estate is that there is a high failure rate. Many agents fail their first year as an agent. According to real estate coach, Tom Ferry, 87 percent of agents fail after the first five years.

Summary

The bottom line is that pursuing a career as a real estate agent is certainly worthwhile. However, most people are lured into the industry by the promise of lots of money and freedom over their schedule. While these goals are certainly possible, this career is challenging for many. It is a good idea to choose this career only after evaluating your career goals and not because you're following trends.