Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. That number has not gone up since July 2009. That’s around ten years of staying stagnant.
Across multiple industries, this means it can be challenging to climb the corporate ladder like those who went before us did. As such, it comes as no surprise that many workers are eschewing the traditional 9-to-5, choosing to work for themselves instead.
Today there are more than 55 million Americans are freelancers, comprising 35% of the overall workforce.
Included in this niche are entrepreneurs who chose to go off and work for themselves. They’re setting their own schedules, finding their own clients and earning their own dollars.
A career in real estate is one such position that caters to this community.
If you’re ready to ditch the cubicle and dive headfirst into one of the most exciting, rewarding and lightning-hot fields around, read on.
Today, we’re sharing five benefits that this job brings, and why it’s worth taking the steps necessary to become an agent.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. Limitless Growth Potential
Most conventional jobs limit how much money you can make in a given year.
Your salary may dictate your earning potential, or you may be paid on a per-hour basis with a set allotment of time you cannot exceed.
Either way, it’s difficult to feel respected and rewarded when you’re still at the office at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday when everyone else has gone home, stuck putting in overtime for free.
One of the benefits of being a real estate agent is that you set your own hours and control your schedule. That means no day is like the other and you’re free to close as many deals as you’d like, putting more money in your pocket at the end.
Want to take on a few more clients toward the holidays so the spending frenzy doesn’t hit you as hard? If you work for yourself, you can do so. Thinking of taking a few weeks off toward the summer to make time for family beach trips? That’s possible, too.
You can scale your business depending on your personal needs, growing it or holding it back as required. This is a perk that isn’t available in most industries and one of the main reasons why the idea of entrepreneurship has become so alluring.
And, unlike in most positions, how much you work influences how much you earn. No more working until you pass out just to earn the same as your co-worker, who decided to go home early.
2. A Productive Work Environment
Tired of sitting at your desk, avoiding Salisbury Steak Sally, while tomes of e-mails pour in? Does the idea of listening in on one more hour-long conference call make your head spin?
The standard workday is replete with wasted hours. One study reveals that middle managers spend 35% of their time attending meetings while those in upper management spend 50% of theirs.
That means up to half of their workday is spent on discussion rather than action.
What if those hours could be allocated toward more productive tasks that added to your bottom line? When you’re a real estate agent, every second you’re on the clock is either adding to or taking away from your monthly income.
As such, you’re more personally motivated and driven to make the most of each day. Whether you’re meeting new clients, attending a closing, adding a listing to the MLS or negotiating buyer/seller conversations, there’s never an hour wasted.
On the other hand, a recent study found that office employees waste 21.8 hours a week at work. They’re spending these empty hours on:
- Putting out small, preventable fires
- Mental health breaks (e.g. scrolling social media)
- Handling low-value co-worker requests and interruptions
None of these is an issue when you work for yourself. Instead of wasting time, you maximize it. Without the safety net of a salary, you know that every day counts.
3. The Opportunity for Social Connection
Even the most introverted among us can go crazy sitting solo in an office all day. As workplaces become more tech-savvy and automated, the need for colleague interaction is diminishing.
That could be why almost 60% of employees report feeling isolated at work.
Of that group, 32% said they’d feel better with more downtime to casually interact with others in the office, and 26% reported being able to attend more social events would help their issue.
The takeaway? The modern employee is starved for connection, even as machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence continue to take over across industries. This doesn’t mean there needs to be a company-wide potluck every Friday, but it does reveal that modern offices aren’t doing enough to encourage peer interaction, build connections and foster teamwork.
One of the best reasons to become a real estate agent is the opportunity for socialization. You aren’t stuck in a windowless office. You’re getting in your car, driving to clients, touring properties, visiting partners, attending networking events and making appearances at law offices and brokerage firms alike.
In short, you’re anything but isolated. This is a career built on connections and the more you make, the more you can earn.
4. You’re Your Own Manager
One Gallup poll revealed that 50% of people had quit a previous job to get away from a bad manager and improve their quality of life. From playing favorites and tardiness to public shaming in front of co-workers and making empty threats to fire, the list of reasons for the exits is long.
When this frustration mounts, it leads to stress, unhappiness, and even physical ailments. You deserve to work in an environment that’s uplifting, encouraging and allows you a degree of autonomy if you’ve proven yourself a trustworthy employee.
This is where it pays to be a real estate agent. Even though you work for a broker, you’re still responsible for your own day. That means there’s no one breathing down your neck to finish a report on time and no one checking over your shoulder to make sure your work is up to par.
Rather, for the most part, you answer to yourself. Though you’ll have to work within a set of guidelines set forth by your broker, you still maintain a great degree of independence. This makes this an ideal career path for people who tend to under-perform in the presence of stifling management.
Opportunity for Professional Development
In the same vein, your personal and professional growth is up to you. In many traditional workplaces, if you want to attend training or pursue an advanced certification, you’ll have to jump through hoops, fill out a multiple-page expense report, write a list of reasons for the expenditure, stir in the eye of a newt, and plead with your boss to attend a one-day refresher course.
Want to further your career in real estate? Most brokers are more than supportive of any reasonable training request you bring forward. Why the difference? A broker knows that your deals are their deals. They’re invested in your development.
Moreover, they understand that no one learns to excel at this gig overnight. With the happiness and security of homeowners across the country riding on your decision-making capabilities, this is not a job you can learn as you go. There’s a reason why the licensure exam requires 75 hours of training before you can sit for the test. You need to be well-versed in every aspect of the industry to speak confidently on it and guide your clients accordingly.
Most bosses, on the other hand? With so many other employees spread out across disparate departments, it can be difficult for them to focus in on helping a single employee succeed. This doesn’t make them unkind people, but it does make them busy ones.
This means if you want your training request approved, it will have to stand out from the pack to get noticed. As an agent, you can often take online courses in your spare time to grow professionally, amplify your resume and improve your hiring potential.
5. The Market is Hot
Sure, there have been plenty of dips in the real estate market over the past decade. We won’t even mention the year 2008.
Despite its ebbs and flows, this is one industry and market you can count on being around. Put simply, people will always need somewhere to live and work, and they need people like you who can find those spots for them.
Wondering how For Sale By Owner (FSBO) factors in? Will this niche overtake the industry as homeowners look to bypass agent commissions and take matters into their own hands? Hardly.
Recent data shows that FSBO sales account for only 7% of the total real estate market. These sales are also lower-earning, with the average FSBO deal bringing in $200,000 compared to agent-assisted property sales, which can reach $265,500 or more.
In addition, though trends such as DIY tiny houses are gaining traction, most modern Americans want to live in or rent either apartments or single-family homes. Until we’re all sitting behind the wheel of self-driving cars, eating freeze-dried sandwiches in space, the housing market will be there.
As a real estate professional, your ability to pull double duty gives you a layer of job security that others in riskier markets don’t enjoy. In a buyer’s market, you work more with those clients and the opposite is true when sellers have the upper hand.
The Benefit of Supplemental Technology
You also have technology on your side. In this list of the 12 jobs with the lowest level of job security, most made the cut because they are being replaced with smart systems at a quick rate.
Take dishwashers, for example. A restaurant could pay these professionals to clean dishes by hand, or they could invest in a self-operating smart dishwashing unit that does the job for a fraction of the price and time. Similar jobs that threaten to phase out to make room for technology include:
- Manual movers
- Hand packers
- Vehicle cleaners
- Tax preparers
Notice a theme? All of these positions are rendered less valuable when a more advanced solution comes along. In real estate, however, agents serve as facilitators of this technology, allowing it to augment rather than replace their capabilities.
Take Virtual Reality (VR) for example. In the past year, VR solutions have permeated the real estate sector, allowing clients to don headsets to “tour” a property halfway around the world. As an agent, this solution doesn’t detract from your work. A VR headset alone cannot close a transaction but it goes a long way to supplement the groundwork that you’ve already put in place.
Begin Your Career in Real Estate Today
Maybe you’re a new graduate, still trying to decide what you want to do after school ends. Or, you might be a tenured employee at an established business, staring out the window of your corner office wondering if there’s a better way.
Regardless, a career in real estate could be yours. When you pursue this path, you’re starting down a route that’s rewarding, satisfying, self-motivating and high-earning.
Before you can help someone find their dream home, however, you have to pass the required state real estate exam and obtain your license to practice.
Not sure where to go to do so? We’d love to help.
We offer an array of online courses designed to help people like you fit educational and professional requirements around their busy schedule.
Check out more about what we do to get started and take the first step toward a career you don’t just tolerate, but love.