How to Change Careers and Transition into Real Estate
Most people who make a career change and become real estate agents end up loving that decision and often wish they had made a move much sooner.
Yet, while the flexibility and the incredible earning potential that comes with being a licensed real estate agent is certainly enticing, the decision to make that leap, especially when leaving a lifelong career or stable job, can be terrifying.
When it comes to real estate, success requires determination and hard work. Before leaving your career to dive headfirst into the industry, take time and learn how the industry works.
After you've done some solid research and planning, you can begin your transition and start your journey toward a new career as a real estate agent.
Would You Make a Good Real Estate Agent?
Several characteristics make someone a good candidate for becoming a real estate agent. Successful real estate agents usually possess the following skills:
- Real estate agents are problem solvers: Every day can be a new adventure for real estate agents. Anyone working in real estate needs to think on their toes and be ready for whatever new challenge comes their way.
- Real estate agents are self-motivated: If you're the type that wants to be your own boss and control your professional destiny, then you'll probably feel right at home as a real estate agent. For success, you'll need a whole lot of drive and self-motivation.
- Real estate agents care about their reputation: Possessing a high level of integrity and honesty is critical if you want to have a successful real estate career. Joining the National Association of REALTORS® is just one of the ways that a real estate agent can let everyone know that they operate with the highest ethical standards.
- Real estate agents are tenacious: If you want to be the best in the business, you'll need to possess a strong work ethic. A successful agent has the tenacity needed to hunt down each lead as well as the drive to market properties successfully.
- Real estate agents have an engaging personality: Successful agents don't just sell real estate. They ultimately sell themselves. Real estate agents that are personable, display a good attitude and show a genuine desire to help other people will likely get the best response.
Do Your Research and Plan Out Your Timeline
Once you've decided to become a real estate agent, you can start planning your next steps. However, don't quit your day job just yet, as it will take time to get your real estate license and launch your new career.
The good news is that the steps needed to obtain your real estate license and begin buying and selling property can easily happen in your spare time.
It usually takes about five to six months to complete real estate school, pass your licensing exam, and get your real estate license, although the timeframe varies by program and state.
Join a Real Estate Brokerage and Start Your Career
Once you become a licensed real estate agent, you will need to sign on with a brokerage before you can start buying and selling properties.
While there are plenty of brokerage firms hiring agents, you'll want to find the one that is right for you.
Will you work at a boutique firm, a national chain, or a virtual brokerage?
You'll want to consider the brokerage's commission split, the services it provides to its agents, and its overall reputation when making your decision.
Should You Quit Your Day Job to Become a Real Estate Agent?
As we mentioned before, obtaining your real estate license can be done while working full-time in another career.
Once you've received your license and even after you've signed on with a brokerage, there is nothing that says you need to throw away your old career and jump into real estate head first, although there are plenty of agents that have done that successfully.
The truth is, being an agent is a great side hustle and can allow you some time to decide whether the industry is a fit for you before sacrificing a stable job or career.
Working first as a part-time agent is a safe way to make the transition into becoming a real estate agent.
Final Thoughts on Transitioning From Your Job into a Real Estate Career
Transitioning into a career as a licensed real estate agent can be professionally and financially rewarding, but it also comes with its own challenges.
The good news is that many unique opportunities exist in the industry.
Having your real estate license opens the door to becoming an agent, an appraiser, or an investor. When you have a real estate license, the sky's the limit.
The best part is, you don't need to rush or make any decisions overnight. Many agents ease into their new real estate career while still holding on to their current job.
That's the luxury of the flexibility that comes with being a real estate agent.
TL;DR: Before you become a real estate agent, make sure you're fit for the job. Do your research ahead of time. Know how to get your license and which brokerage to work at. Finally, keep in mind you don't have to quit your day job. You can start as a part time real estate agent!