"What is the hardest part of being a real estate agent?" is often asked in the Q&A section of ActiveRain, by new agents or those studying for their license.
I first published the following post in December, 2015. Thought it might be useful to some of the students now studying for their license:
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I thought it might be useful to aggregate a bunch of the answers for those who might search the subject. With that in mind, I have taken, verbatim, some of the answers given in the Q&A forum.
Bear in mind, these are quick answers and there is much more detail that could be added. I think it gives a good feel for the variety of issues facing real estate agents... particularly the ones just beginning their career.
If anyone quoted here wishes to expand on their thoughts or change them, please let me know and I will do an edit.
"Lead generation, time management, and resiliency. This can be a very difficult business to get into and immensely fulfilling once you are successful - but you have to be willing to work hard, always be generating business and keep bouncing back even when disappointed."
"Dealing with disappointment. Our clients, the other buyers, sellers & agents and our own. We can work very hard, very long and for reasons beyond our control end up with nothing. I've had buyers lose their job just before closing, banks foreclose while waiting on a short sale, sellers indicate they will accept an offer only to go another way, buyers get disappointed over not having their offer accepted and give up, seller's upset that they couldn't get what they wanted for their home, sellers find out they had serious issues through an inspection, the list goes on.
I hate to see people disappointed or frustrated, but it's part of the business."
"1) getting started.
2) maintaining sufficient business to cover expenses unto you have a pipeline of business.
note: I see that some have chosen to judge your intentions. I'd rather take you at your word- that this is a serious question asked sincerely. Now would be a good time to post a picture in your profile and to tell us a bit about yourself. This can be a great place to become educated, to network and to possibly find business. I wish you well and hope you find real world success with both numbers one and two of my answer."
Shirley Connor Phoenix:
"Consistent lead generation and staying motivated. It is simple but not easy."
Ken Jones Glendale AZ:
"There are different difficulties an agent will experience throughout their career.
In the beginning, the most difficult issue tends to be 2-fold: 1) the ability to remain financially capable of lasting until you become productive, and 2) the ability to learn your market AND your profession sufficiently well to generate income in a reasonably short period of time.
During the course of one's real estate career, the most difficult issue I've experienced and observed is the ability to remain positive in the face of serious adversities, especially those that are beyond your control - such as a major market downturn."
"Learning to run your business like a business."
"Real Estate as a profession is not difficult at all, it just takes time to build a business, tanacity, an entreprenuer spirit, organization and people skills, a desire to win and succeed and the willingness not to blame others for failures. Otherwise, once you understand the needs of buyers and sellers and what you have to offer, the rest becomes easy."
Les & Sarah Oswald:
"Prospecting for a consistent paycheck. To be successful in your own business, it takes long hours and hard work away from family."
"For me after 8 years, it's been finding the right customers and second, dealing with the emotionalism from other brokers and agents. At first, it was learning all different things agents have to know at once -- from technology to marketing to contracts."
Jill Murty says:
"I always say the other realtors are one of the most difficult things in real estate and I'm only kidding a little bit".
Don Davies adds to Jill's comment:
"It is not a joke. When the market is good they come out of the woodwork looking for "the quick buck" but when the market gets tough they scram. Incompetency is rampant in many high volume sales areas. Too bad it is so easy to get into the business with so little education."
"Take a responsibility for all your actions and results. You are in charge. Don't expect easy money."
"Most difficult is identifying where the money is then knowing how to reach that market. Then comes the ability to sustain presence in the market. IN each of these discipline's are 100 ways to end your career. There is no MOST difficult, but the need to keep all 100 plates in the air."
"This industry is plagued with incompetence which is due, in large part, to the low barrier of entry. As a result, many do not have the mindset of a business owner nor the networking/marketing skills needed to build a strong referral base that will yield a level of income that people want. It's not an easy business and that is a huge misconception among new people entering the field."
"For many it is the reality of going with no guaranteed income and developing the drive to get a pipeline flowing so those lulls are few and far between."
Amanda Brown (very new as of this writing)
"Getting started and building up"
John McCormack: "Staying in the black (financially). Remember we pay our own insurance, retirement etc."
"Like many businesses, it is easy to get into, hard to rise above average, most people only make $20,000 to $30,000 (often before expenses), however the upside of no ceiling on what you can make, flexible hours, etc. are what keeps most of us in it."
"The hardest part of real estate is truly time management and making sure you follow through with lead generation. I think most anyone can be successful in real estate if they will make it a habit to lead generate daily. It's easy to fall into the trap of finding other things that take up your time, but by doing that you will find yourself without a pipeline."
"What I notice is most agents don't treat this as a job. Monday morning I come to my office and get to work. Some people can work at home and be effective. That doesn't work for me. The office can be a blessing and a curse. I have a space that is a little more private so everyone that walks into the office doesn't see me but I can come out and enter act when I want to .
"I think it depends on your career stage.
Starting out: Getting started and learning what they didn't teach you in school: Contracts and how to get clients and actually sell a home. Surviving before that first paycheck!
Semi-experienced (6mo-2yrs): developing that pipeline and surviving between paychecks.
Pro (2+ years): Dealing with other agents and how to enjoy all those commission checks!"
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With all of that input, let me add just a few more things:
1) The expenses of operating a real estate business are grossly misunderstood and 2) It is critical for new agents to become affiliated with the right office. It needs to be one with a reputation for complete honesty and integrity and has additional training and mentorship available to the agents. That is the first decision, after getting your license, that could (quite literally) be a matter of life and death for your career.
And, 3) find someone to help you establish a business plan, set goals, and keep you accountable. It is not enough to know what to do. You must be kept accountable for staying on track with your daily tasks.
There are many myths and misconceptions among the general public and people considering a career in real estate. I hope this post offers a bit of insight and can expedite your entry into a fulfilling career in real estate.