Real estate is hard work. Period. Salespeople get into this business for a variety of reasons — they enjoy viewing houses so think taking buyers out will be fun, they want a flexible schedule, they think it’s relatively easy money. None of that is true.
Viewing houses may be fun when you’re the buyer, but as the salesperson it’s work. You set up appointments, arrange to get inside the houses, work to get an agent to call you back to confirm, and then the buyer is late or doesn’t show up at all. That happens more than you might think. “We’re running late we’ll be there in 30 minutes,” means you start out running a half hour late and strive to catch up throughout the list of houses to view. Vacant ones — that’s okay. But running late on an occupied home means you may have one very annoyed seller waiting at the door for you, setting the tone from the start.
This is not an episode of Home & Garden TV. This is real life. It’s a job, not a fun excursion to view decorating styles and get ideas (although it turns out some buyers think that’s okay to pretend to be in the market when they’re just window shopping for ideas). Once you’ve figured out your hot buyer is only out spend a day touring the inventory and has no real plans to buy, you’ll understand why this is work. Yes we need to weed these tire kickers out early in the process, but sometimes they do slip through and you will waste a day with someone who has no intention of buying.
But being a real estate salesperson gives you the benefit of a flexible schedule. That is true, to a certain extent. As in all business, you cannot just sit back and wait for the checks to roll in. You must make appointments, get in front of buyers and sellers, and write contracts. No contracts, no closing. No closing, no commission check. The more appointments you set, the more listings you take and buyers you show, the more money you make. It’s a numbers game. You can work the hours you set, but know that many times consumers will want to see you nights and weekends, after their work hours. If you’re not working nights and weekends, chances are you’re going to struggle at real estate sales.
Finally, there is no way that this career is easy money. Those who succeed, work hard. They show up at the office, set their appointments, and get in front of people. Sometimes showing the house is the easy part. Contract writing can be easy. But negotiating the deal is where the work just begins. An accepted contract is not a home run, it’s just the next step to collecting your paycheck. Inspections must be navigated and the appraisal and lending requirements met. You’re never done until you’re at the closing table and the checks are disbursed.
The good news is that this can be a rewarding — and lucrative — career. But you won’t get there quickly or easily. Be prepared to work hard and you will reap the benefits later. The top producers have spent years learning the trade and building a solid reputation. It is well worth the hard work in the end. Above all — show up and be ready to learn and work hard. If you do that you’ll be on the right track to success.