As an ex-real estate agent, I can be completely honest with you. I sold residential real estate in California during the boom years. I made lots of money and lifelong friends, but I didn’t love it. Eventually, I changed career paths, but I got a good look at real estate from the inside.
Love it or RUN!
Residential real estate is a full-time job, as in 24/7. The soccer mom who works a couple of hours a day and makes millions is an urban legend. If you’re going to put that much of yourself into anything, you should love it.
Sign up with the right broker.
Your satisfaction in your career will depend on who you’re married to. The right broker isn’t the one who promises you the highest cut and the best desk. It’s not even the one who lists the most houses in your area. The right broker should challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and do the hard things, but the hard things shouldn’t compromise your values or your ethics.
Stay out of the office.
You don’t make money in real estate by osmosis. Don’t be tricked into covering the phone and hanging out in the office from dawn to dusk. Your broker likes having an agent on hand, but those agents are not the ones making money. The potential clients and properties don’t drop by the office. You have to go find them.
The millionaire soccer mom is an urban legend, but the top selling agent who’s broke is not. Some agents say they need the flashy car, designer clothes and expensive lunches. They may win all the awards and get the big listings, but chances are they don’t pay off their credit card at the end of the month. It really doesn’t matter how much commission you make if it costs you more to make a sale.
Get a coach.
One of the smartest things I ever did in all of my life was sign up for coaching with Buffini and Company. I say “in my life,” because the impact of their coaching transcended my real estate career. You can go broke being successful in real estate. A good coach will keep you on track. The best ones will even tell you to get out of real estate if it’s not right for you.
Follow these hints and you’ll make money in real estate. Whether you love it or not is another story.