Do you find yourself surfing homebuying websites while at work? Or gazing out the window wishing for a better work/life balance? A career in professional real estate might be more satisfying for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for real estate agents is on par with job growth in the U.S. and the education barrier is relatively low for entry-level agents. Check out some reasons to make the jump and become a real estate agent.
1. You Make Your Own Schedule: Perhaps the best-known advantage of working in real estate is that you are essentially self-employed. Most agents work as independent contractors. You are essentially your own boss, ideal for an entrepreneurial spirit. You set your own hours and can work them as flexibly as you like. As an agent, you will likely have unlimited earning potential -- a salary with no cap.
However, this does mean you may not be able to vacation at a moment's notice. Athough the field is time-sensitive and clients like constant updates, you will enjoy more wiggle room in your schedule than other professionals. While you can set your own hours, weekends are popular for showing homes and open houses. Also, there are certain times of the year that are busier than others.
2. You Get to Work With People: The job of a real estate agent is very people-centric. You have the ability to interact and help others. Building valuable relationships with clients and co-workers can be a good way to help you sell more and find a more emotionally rewarding experience. If you are watching a lot of real estate shows and looking at homes online, this can be a way to put that passion to work.
Of course, in addition to communication and people skills, it's a good idea for real estate agents to be up on industry trends, know the numbers behind the transactions and understand real estate laws. Since real estate agents usually work on commission, you may work for weeks or months with someone and never make any money for that time if they never buy or sell a home.
3. Reduced Fees on Investments: If you are thinking about going into real estate as a business, either flipping homes or owning rental units, becoming a real estate agent can save some money. This way you don't have to pay the fee to someone else when you buy a home.
A typical real estate agent fee is 6 percent of the price of the house. This is then split between the buyer's and the seller's agents. If you remove the buyer agent fee, you can reduce the cost of purchasing a home by about 3%. Over the cost of several purchases, this can add up to a significant savings.