Over the past few years, I have noticed with interest the large number of individuals that I come across who have declared themselves realtors and have chosen this as a career. There are several reasons for this growing trend.
While a few are genuinely interested in real estate careers or have entered professions with close association with real estate, most of those going into real estate as a career are not properly informed as to the nature of the business or the opportunities as well as challenges associated with this sector. I do hope that this write-up will help such individuals make informed decisions as to their career path.
One of the principal reasons why there is such a surge in interest in real estate careers is the hype that it is a money-making venture that you can easily set up if you want to be an overnight millionaire. There are several well-intention training and seminars promoting this myth. The low-entry barrier is also another reason why several individuals believe that if they cannot find a job they can at least become a real estate agent.
While many have also sadly discovered that the above are not true, an equal or greater number will still enter the field with the same wrong notion. Let us address some of those myths and provide a better perspective on the sector.
Real estate career is a multi-skill and technical profession. It involves and requires a mix of soft skills, technical knowledge and collaboration. A real estate professional is expected to understand a bit of land law as well as property owner and tenant law. He or she is expected to understand a bit about bookkeeping and management.
A good real estate professional should be a good negotiator and sales person. It is not the career for those without any form of related skills, or who are not prepared to engage in regular self-development to acquire those skills. This is why professionals thrive more than the unskilled or uneducated in this sector.
It is true that there is a lot of money to be made in real estate but not everyone who is into real estate makes a lot of money. If you are a solo practitioner, you should have savings for about six months or expect that you may not earn any income for the first six months of your operations.
Due to the amount of money involved in real estate transactions, the level of trust expected is very high and it takes years before you can build that credibility with buyers, sellers and colleagues. It takes closing transactions and building a consistent record of integrity. The money increasingly flows in proportion to your growing reputation and network. It takes more than one deal to make or continue to make money in real estate.
Real estate career is also a demanding career if you want to succeed. It is not the type of career for those who believe strictly in Monday to Friday, eight hours or seven hours daily routine. Successful real estate practitioners operate very intense schedules that is influenced by the buyer, seller or property owner.
One of the unavoidable aspects of the career is arranging property inspections. This usually falls on the weekends when more people are available. Daily schedule of real estate agents involves calling, follow-up, e-mails, marketing and several other repetitive tasks that might end up not yielding the desired result. A real estate career requires the emotional toughness to be persistent, follow through and refusing to give up.
Real estate career is a high network profession that requires people and sales skill. You must see beyond a single transaction. More than ever before success in this sector will require a person to differentiate and brand himself or else he will become one of the numbers.
One of the tools for differentiation is professionalism. If you are serious about making a huge success in this sector, you need to up-skill yourself in the critical success areas. If you are knowledgeable in a closely related field such as law, land surveying, valuation and others you need to maintain your competitive advantage through self-development.
It is essential for those who are already in the sector by default to examine their goals, personality, skill sets and other essentials to determine whether a real estate career is for them. A proper perspective of the profession could help you succeed if you use it to evaluate yourself and position yourself to succeed. PUNCH