I have had a few people call me about this in the past month, so let me share my take.
It is a wonderful and fulfilling career where you are always learning and everyday involves different tasks. You get to meet wonderful and interesting people and help people with one of their biggest life’s financial decisions. The rewards can be outstanding, both socially and financially, but are you ready?
Becoming an agent is easy- just take a few courses and pass the state test. It's also easy to join a brokerage. But building a successful career is more work than most people imagine. While you may think that agents only show houses and negotiate contracts you are dead wrong.
Agents are responsible for getting clients (your broker does not provide you with leads), so if you are shy it may be time to come out of your shell! This is of course one of the biggest starting challenges. Once you have some clients, the next challenge is the transaction. You are responsible for one of the largest spends in someone's lifetime along with Legal paperwork, timelines, finding solutions to title issues, inspection issues etc. You have to be resourceful and a good problem solver. Not comparing us to lawyers at all, but just like a lawyer fresh out of school, you still may not know much about the day to day grind or have experience.
Experience and being resourceful is what makes you most valuable. You need to be ok with working full time and not getting paid, as it is commission only. There are long hours often on the weekends and evenings, which is challenging when balancing a family. There are no vacation and paid benefits and you need to be prepared to deal with a spectrum of people. Some wonderful, some very difficult.
You are a counsellor, educator, number cruncher, negotiator, peacemaker, problem solver, support system, on call for whatever is needed! If this is up your alley and you love real estate, it is a dynamic career!