Profile picture for NickinPburg

Advice on becoming a realtor with no money saved and working at a FT that I hate.

I will be obtaining my salesperson license within the next few weeks and I just wanted to get some advice on my particular situation. I currently work full time at a company that I cannot stand ethically. I want to jump right into becoming a FT agent once I take and pass my test. The only problem I have is that I don't have money saved up and from what I read I should before making this change. I am hoping to get some advice on what I should do and if anyone had any advice.

Background on me: Licensed salesperson in NJ (current, but inactive)
Waiting for my letter of good standing from NJ so I can schedule my PA exam.
Worked in property management for many years.
  • November 05 2013 - US
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Answers (11)

Work for an independent who will allow you to shadow a seasoned Agent, you can host open houses for the Agents who may have multiple listings and get buyers through it. Do your homework, look at Agents in Zillow for the town you prefer to work in and see those with high #'s of client recommendations. Remember in this business and any other Service Industry, people will love you but not spread the word - so if you see people who have a high # of recommendations, their past clients actually took the time to develop a Zillow account and typed out their satisfaction with the Agent - look for integrity, some good listings, a good mix of buyers/sellers etc. brainstorm with them.

  • November 08 2013
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Profile picture for NickinPburg
Thank you, everyone, for your advice! It really helped me take a step back and look at the situation from other angles. I will keep you posted on what happens in the future!

Thanks again!!!
  • November 07 2013
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You may want to think about working for a small active office where the broker is present full time for the agents. Just as a broker is interviewing you take note on how professional that person is and how active they are in the day to day operations. I would personally look for an "education junkie" that came up through the ranks. Look for a person that is aggressive yet not intrusive and a proven track record. 

If you decide to practice in the Hudson Valley of NY call my office for an interview.

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  • November 05 2013
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Nick.

   If you don't have any money saved, then you have got to be patient. Being a Realtor is expensive and getting to a closing table is harder and takes longer then you think. Remember you can go to the office everyday, put in 60 hours a week for 3 months before you finally get your first paycheck. Bottom line you need that full time job until you have enough. Plus that gives you the opportunity to buy the things that you'll need as an agent. (example: signs, business cards, GAS MONEY etc.)
 
On the bright-side look at that job that you hate, and remember that it is helping you to get in to what you really want. I was working 72 hours a week (no exaggeration) as a machinist and about 30 hours a week as a Realtor for a year before I took the plunge to full-time agent. It wasn't easy but I'm glad I did, and I think you would be too.  

Either way I wish you the best of luck!

John Stanley


P.S. Your not just looking to be a real estate agent... you are starting a business.

  • November 05 2013
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Nick! The Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence....  Surely you've head that expression and if you were smart enough to get your Real Estate License in the first place, then I'm quite sure you will be smart enough to read and heed the sage advice you're being given with these excellent responses. I scanned most of the responses so far and couldn't agree more...   you MUST protect yourself financially by either 1. get another job in a company that you are a better fit with (ethical)  2. SAVE SAVE SAVE ... 3.  Hook up with a long-term Realtor (part-time) who owns their own company ... he or she will probably love to mentor you and you can be helpful to them while learning.   4.  SAVE SAVE SAVE Good luck!!!!  John

  • November 05 2013
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I recommend that you go to work for another agent.  Advertise yourself to agents and see what you can drum up.  The best way to learn and get started would be to work for and train under a top producer.  Good luck!  This is the best job in the world, as far as I'm concerned!

  • November 05 2013
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My advice, I'm afraid, is to get another job.

Surely, Nick, you're aware that even if you had a cash buyer ready to buy the very first day you got your license hung somewhere, it'd take two weeks to close and get paid. Realistically, there is no income until you close a deal. Buyers typically take between one week and one year before getting into a contract on a property, sellers may take months before they are ready to list the property.

All the best,
  • November 05 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Unless you are a born salesman, have a rich roommate/spouse/partner or have some cash in reserve to pay the rent, you are treading dangerous financial water by quitting your job and jumping into real estate full time.

I would suggest you look for an assistant position or offer to sit on open houses for agents on weekends to get your feet wet first. You can also use your license in the property management field so you can get paid while you transition.

Full time agents do not get paid monthly. If they don't sell, they don't eat and even if they do sell a house the very first day they work it can take 30-90 days to actually see the first check.

Finding a real estate mentor or solid broker is a great first step. Networking in the community is also something you can do to get your face out there
  • November 05 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
Where in PA do you intend to practice?  I'm a PA Realtor.

Property management is lucrative in some areas and not in others.

Count on no pay check for at least 6 months.  If you are able to catch a buyer before the end of the year you may luck out and shorten the time.

Starting in January the mortgage regs change again and a huge number of buyers will find themselves unable to qualify.  This is not good news for the real estate industry.

Generating leads and how you generate them is crucial What Dan said is crucial.  Phones do not ring anymore - the buyers are on the internet.  Having an online personal presence is necessary.  Not some canned website.  You need to have something branded for you with an IDX.  That costs money every month.

I agree with Tim.  Start out part time and learn what you are up against before you give up a pay check and possible benefits.
  • November 05 2013
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Profile picture for Dan224
It really depends on your situation.  Do you have a large "sphere" in your area as local contacts are key.  I was in a similar situation to you.  I had a great full time job that I hated yet it was difficult for me to pull the trigger and make the jump to a full time agent.  While I didn't have a lot in savings either, I did my homework and made sure that I jumped on board with the right company and was prepared as to what I could expect.  Generating leads and how you generate them is crucial and that needs to be your main focus right out of the gate.  I won't lie, I took a big risk by giving up a cushy job for 100% commission, but in the end I have no regrets.  I absolutely love my job.  Often times there is no reward without risk, so be confident and knowledgeable in your decision, work hard and know that it will work out for the best.  Good luck in whichever path you decide to take.  
  • November 05 2013
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In real estate what you do today does not make you any money until it closes and that can be 40-60 days from the contract acceptance. To think you will sell a home in the first 30 days might be wishful thinking too, so it's hard to get the pipeline full of something. I have known new agents that sold 3-4 homes their first year as they try to figure out what is going on and how to show and sell. Listing is tougher since sellers want experience and you won't have much at first to brag about.

You might want to keep that job you have and get the license and inch into it rather than plunging right in full speed. Real estate is not an easy job to get started.
  • November 05 2013
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