As housing prices continue to soar, the life of a real estate agent in North America may seem glamorous and profitable. However, the truth is that this profession has a few major drawbacks. Owning your own real estate agency is thrilling, but the challenge of keeping it afloat can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated, and many agencies openly discuss the former while hiding or minimizing the latter.
In this article, we'll be up front with you. You'll learn the pros and cons of being a real estate agent, and how you can negotiate the pitfalls of this profession. We'll also talk about how to choose the best agency for your needs, how to stay on top of your finances, and how to survive this increasingly difficult job while maintaining your sanity (and maybe making a few bucks in the process!)
Let's start with a few of the many cons.
Real estate agents can have it rough when it comes to personal life. The long hours and the constant travelling can take a toll on relationships and family life.
Consider the fact that the majority of your clients are available only on weekends, holidays, and vacations - you'll have to work many, if not most, of those days. This is a huge commitment, and can be difficult for people with families or busy social lives.
Although there are many benefits to owning your own real estate agency, the cost of entry can be a major drawback. If you're looking into starting up your own company, you're going to need start-up capital in the form of cash or investments.
You will also have to pay licensing fees and commission amounts for each sale that takes place in your agency - in many cases, this can be tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars per sale. Additionally, the competition among real estate agents has gotten fierce over the past few years, and with more people looking for work in the industry, the cost of entry will likely keep going up considerably.
The housing market is volatile. One day you might be bidding on an expensive house; the next you might be out of a job. While this is technically true of all employment, the risk may feel higher to a real estate agent because his livelihood is directly tied to the state of the market.
The more houses that are on sale, the better for your business; and if they're not selling, you have to find new strategies for success. As such, your livelihood relies heavily (perhaps too heavily) on external factors that are beyond your control - something many people find unappealing in a job.
Real estate takes a lot of time and dedication. The hours are long and you may be on your feet all day - there's no room for slacking off. You need to have high levels of stamina to make it through a long working day, and (as previously mentioned) an understanding family because your loved ones will be missing you at home.
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Thanks for reading!