I’m not going to sugar coat it. Being a Realtor can be a tough job. “Sure,” you scoff. “You get to make your own schedule and show cool houses for a living.” If only it were that simple.
The last thing I want to do is try to discourage you from becoming a Realtor; however, anyone who gets his or her Real Estate License and enters this profession should do so with eyes wide open, and I hope I can impart to you some of the items I had to learn over time. Individuals who end up successful as Realtors tend to work very hard to master these challenging areas. I wish I could tell you that I’ve figured out systems and techniques to master all of these items, but that would be a lie. My hope is that by identifying and working on them, I’m at least headed in the right direction. That said, I do believe that you should know what these most challenging aspects are before you decide whether to get your North Carolina Real Estate License.
Challenge #1: No one is going to tell you what to do.
Sounds pretty awesome at first, right? But, think about it… there is no job description, no assignment from your boss, no one monitoring to make sure you have done your work by a certain day. Where do you start? How do you build your business? How do you organize your processes, locate resources, handle negotiations, or develop a customer service model? It is all up to you! Challenge #1 can be a fantastic part of the job, but it is a challenge you should think about in advance and evaluate whether you are well-suited for a job that requires you to be self-motivated and disciplined.
Challenge #2: You have to market yourself.
This is not something that comes naturally to everyone. I have seen smart, hard-working Realtors struggle with the so-called “simple” act of asking for business. It doesn’t matter how many connections you have or how many people you know if you can’t bring yourself to ask them to do business with you. When you become a licensed Realtor, clients aren’t going to just show up on your doorstep ready to do business with you. It is hard work to get clients and that work begins with telling people what you do for a living and why they should do business with you. Know your business proposition, know what differentiates you from the crowd, and know that you have to keep telling your story. Being a Realtor is a delicate balance of being assertive yet friendly, a master of both in-person and online communications, and a trustworthy listener.
Challenge #3: Your income can be unpredictable.
In exchange for unlimited upside potential, you have to say goodbye to a regular paycheck. If that thought alone gives you a panic attack, this is not the career path for you. You absolutely have the potential to make far more money in this profession than you thought possible, but it will not come in regular increments. Therefore, you will need to become an expert at saving when you close a big sale and budgeting even when it feels like you are doing really well. You can have three months of non-stop closings, immediately followed by lean times that come out of nowhere and last for months. Be conservative with your spending and stick to a budget.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the last thing that I want to do is discourage anyone from entering this great profession. You have the potential to help so many people achieve their dreams of homeownership. That said, it is important to know the challenges that come with a given job before you make a leap so that you don’t realize after a few months that it was not a good fit for your personality and lifestyle. Our goal at Carolina School of Real Estate is to help individuals become successful Realtors who thrive in this profession, and I hope that my thoughts here help you better evaluate whether this might be the right profession for you.
Stay tuned for professional development courses that we will be offering at Carolina School of Real Estate in the near future! Training in the Real Estate industry is NOT optional—it is necessary.