Profile picture for raca722

Dipping my toes into the world of real estate...

I am not yet a licensed realtor, but I am meeting with some local real state agencies to discuss some training options and scholarship programs. I want to gather as much information as possible, especially from real people.
1. Is starting in real estate something that can be done part-time/on the side, at least to start? I should add that I am lucky to have a full-time job that has flexibility as far as personal days and no real set schedule.
2. Are the fees worth doing it part-time?
3. If an agency is willing to train you for free, what is the catch?
4. Do agencies typically give you listings to help you jump-start your business?
Anything else I should know?
Thank you in advance!
  • March 11 2013 - Pittsburgh
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Answers (2)

If you want to be a real estate agent or broker, then you will be a commission-based salesperson. While you may get some leads from your company, it will be your personal responsibility to find actual clients who will close transactions.
  • March 11 2013
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Profile picture for Lael Pierce
Raca, 
Helping people buy and sell Real Estate can be very rewarding if you are the type of person who enjoys following the letter of the law while simultaneously researching properties and keeping an even keel in an emotional process, and are happy to wait irregular and unspecified periods between paychecks!

Your questions are phrased on what is possible as opposed to what is best, so I will try to answer that way.

1) Can you start part-time? Yes.  Many people start part time, and some remain part time.  A better question is "should you start part time?"  To that, I would give a definite no.  While marketing may or may not be easy for you, negotiation and real estate law can be complex.   You are representing yourself as a knowledgable professional who is capable of helping people with life changing decisions and purchases.  As a part time agent, do you really have the time and commitment to give your clients the service they deserve?

2) Fees.  Fees are different at each agency, and often for each agent.  Whether they are worth it depends on what fee structure you have and what your business plan says.

3)Agency training catch.  Do they require that you sign on with them for a set time after training?  Is there a monthly "desk fee" or partner fee?  It is very difficult to determine who will be good at real estate.  There are no known metrics that indicate likelihood to succeed or fail.  An MBA may fail horribly, and a retired school teacher may have amazing success.  Brokerages train ethical, willing and interested people that they believe they can work with in the hopes that that person will turn out to be one of the 7-10% that succeed in the business.

4) Do agencies "give" you listings?  None that I have ever known!  You will be responsible for bringing business to the brokerage through your personality, your past contacts, your marketing prowess, and your hard work and determination.  If someone is "giving you something," I'd look hard to find the contract, and what you owe!

Best of luck to you in your new career, should you choose to go forward.  It isn't easy, but it can be a great life if you enjoy self direction and are highly motivated!

  • March 11 2013
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