My wife and I are considering getting our Real Estate Licenses

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by OscarTheGrouch, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. OscarTheGrouch macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    I currently work full time and have benefits etc, so if I did it, i would definitely start out as part time. My wife is also considering it, as she is a stay at home mom, and this would hopefully let her keep a semi flexible schedule to take care of the kids also.

    To get licensed would cost us about 500 each. Anyone have any tips or suggestions, or words of wisdom about it?
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Really not the time to get into that game. There will be a lot of experienced refugees falling out of Real Estate over the next couple of years.
  3. MonkeyCookie macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2008
    Even during good times, it took about a year before new real estate agents started earning money. The more experienced agents generally get the nice sales, and the newbies are usually stuck attending open houses and the like, which rarely lead to any commissions.

    Now that times are very tough, new real estate agents have almost no chance. Even the experienced agents with an established clientele are having difficulties given the current market: someone new to the business is almost guaranteed to live in poverty.

    Since you have a family and children, it's generally a bad idea for both parents to suddenly embark on a new career, especially when the new careers are incredibly risky. Stability is important when you have children. It would be much better for one parent to embark on a new career with the other having a stable job, and then once the new career has developed into a stable job, the other parent can then embark on a new career. It's also unwise to have both parents in real estate, as any real estate downturn drastically affects the family.

    If you really want to become a real estate agent, I would strongly recommend waiting until the market has recovered, which will probably be another 3-5 years.
  4. OscarTheGrouch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    Well, my wife, who currently does not work(professionaly that is, she takes care of the kids), would probably be the ginuea pig (i dont know if i spelled that right) and we would see how it goes. Like I said, I have a FT job with benefits, and would not quit that- I would dive in part time. I'm in SC where the economy is not as bad as some places house wise. Since my wife is currently earning no income, any extra always helps. I might wait a bit to see how she fares at it before committing anything to it.
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    It's not as glamorous as it seems. I've known more than a few people who took that plunge when times were good, and most of them didn't make it for long. It's really tough to be an independant agent, so you have to team up with an existing firm. But then you're in competition with the experienced people.

    And you really have to love spending LOTS of time in the car with strangers.

    Talk to some local realtors. Get some idea of what their daily life is like. See what their workload is. Clients with money to spend typically demand that you treat them like royalty. And if they don't ask you to do it, another saleperson will take it upon themselves to introduce them to the concept.

    Also, it's not likely that your wife will be able to pile your kids into the car and take them with her, so you'll be balancing her earning potential against child care costs. Take that into consideration as well. Clients typically dictate the hours, not the realtors itching for a sale.

    But anyway, talk to some local realtors and see what they say. I just don't think this is a good time to be trying to get into that field.
  6. The Doctor macrumors member

    The Doctor

    Jun 19, 2008
    Chestnut Ridge, NY
    i was in the industry for awhile... it is a horrible time to be starting a career... too much competition... no one is really making money it seems... i'ld say try something else, or wait a few years.
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    There are jobs in the industry not related to commissions, though I don't think enough office staff have left yet.

    And they are still closing offices and retreating.

    Plus I don't think the people doing the scut work outside the office make much.


    Though if you can get into an office that markets houses that need no work, (aka, yards in tip top shape, home inside painted and decluttered, homes inspected and fixed.)

    Those offices are still selling homes, but it has taken them quite a number of years to establish an identity for a certain "quality level" of home.

    See too many homes that would sell quick with a little work, in cleaning up yard and doing the little stuff inside.

    Sort of why staging always worked so well.
  8. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I say go for it! With practice, it can pay off big time. When I bought my last house (from a builder) - our realtor took $9K off the top at closing for what came out to be 3 model home tours, 4 construction site visits, a few phone calls, and a few hours at closing...I'd say it was worth her time.

    My wife and I considered doing the same thing about 4 years ago, we decided it wasn't for us because of the commitment involved (we both work FT). When we were looking, we found a local realty company (Shorewest) that had quite the training program. Perhaps there are similar companies in your area.
  9. hollywould macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2008
    Depends on your market . . .

    Oscar -

    Not too sure about some of these other posters' markets, but I would completely disagree. I think it really depends on your local market and your ability to target a specific demographic.

    I've been in the industry for about 18 months (no prior experience) and I average $10k/month. Not bad for not knowing what I'm doing. Granted, I may not bring in a single dollar one month, but the next I'll clear $20k. Like I said, average $10k/month.

    It's all about staying on the grind. I've learned to qualify clients to determine the amount of time I should invest. Some are window shoppers, some are legit. Learn the difference quickly! Saves you a ton of hassle. I ask specific questions to help me determine their level of "buy it now". If I find that they are the "we'll know it when we see it" types, I'm out. I don't want to spend my afternoons driving clients around to tour 30 homes. I chose this industry for the personal time it allows. So free time is most important. I work very few hours a week (tops 80 hours/month). Most is spent at the pool/lake, hanging out with the dog, working around the house, etc... If I were to invest more time, my ROI would be greater. Obviously. $10k/month is fine with me right now, though. Add in your wife's cut on this, and it's a pretty decent living.

    If anyone else can make money doing something, so can you. By the way, just for the naysayers, a down market is the best time to buy real estate. Target the investors. Like I said, target a specific demographic . . . those with money. Don't worry about those $125k 1st-time home buyers. They'll want to see EVERY home in the city. Market duplexes/triplexes, properties for sale in highly populated leasing areas. And don't hold traditional "open houses". They're boring. Separate yourself. Throw parties. Some beer, food, some upbeat music, invite your friends, residents in the neighborhoods, etc.. People remember parties. Nobody remembers an open house.

    - Would (Austin, TX)
  10. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    On wanting to get the license, I say congrats. But in light of the US housing market, many are loosing a lot of money in the housing industry these days.
  11. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    hollywould's experiences are very rare for a new agent, and specific to his market, my brother has also been doing real estate for about 18 months.

    he got in with a buddy of his who is really big around here and still even as bad as the market is here, has a sale every couple of weeks, my brother however, has had ONE SALE in 18 months, he made $2500 and thats it.

    he does all kinda advertising, has the car signs, is in the office 4 days a week, and nothing.. it really depends on the market, but be ready to drop a LOT of money, beyond the 500, to get your name out there
  12. kidwithdimples macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2007
    Nice. I'm a Junior IT @ Remax Today (a real estate company) and man... these agents are computer illiterate.
  13. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. With the housing market facing such difficulties, I think this a bad time to be getting into that line of work.
  14. hollywould macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2008
    True . . .

    Squeeks is right. It does have a lot to do with my market. While the national decrease in the housing market showed signs of a 7.25% loss, Austin showed a 2.5% increase.

    However, I would accept anyone's challenge that I couldn't replicate my process in ANY market. No matter what, a nice property, priced right, in a good location, will ALWAYS sell. Log on to your local MLS and see how many homes sold this month. Guaranteed there were sales. That means someone is selling real estate. If they can, so can you.

    Browse around your MLS, find a couple properties that you think are solid options, and email the agent asking if you can market the property as a Buyer's Agent. If the market is as bad in your area as the national average, they'll likely more than welcome your assistance. Lead generation at it's finest. Forget mail-outs, car signs, pens, newspaper ads, etc... Traditional forms of marketing are too antiquated. I hold dinner parties at my house (catered because we can't cook). Each month I invite a new group of people to my house and tell them to bring their friends. Eventually, the work conversation comes about.

    ALL THAT MATTERS IS LEAD GENERATION. Over 80% of all home buyers (other stats say 75%) start their search online. So why would you market any other way? Forget the other 20%. Online is key. You can buy a domain for $8. You can pay someone local (high school student) $50 to build a one-page site with photos and a description of one of the homes the agent you emailed is allowing you to market. You can do it yourself with minimal knowledge. Now drop that link in every local online venue possible.

    I've even put a "for sale" sign in my own front yard. Friends have let me do the same. Granted, our asking price was unreasonable, however, if someone would have paid it, we would have sold. Once the lead heard the price, they ran for the hills. But once I had them on the phone, they were a lead and I sent them property lists.

    If someone else can make money doing something, so can you. I called the #1 agent in Austin the 1st week I was officially an agent. I asked him what he did to get to the top and if he had any advice that would really affect my success in a positive manner. He said, "Tell everyone you meet that you are a Realtor, and always give them your card. Everyone. Every tip you give, include your card. But only if you tip big." I continue to do that. I'm never shocked when someone calls me that I randomly met in some random place after having handed them my card. It was the point.
  15. OscarTheGrouch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    G' Vegas South Carolina
    Well, I've made the decision that I'm going to do it I think. I have talked with several people that are in it in my market, and all said that I should give it a shot, but obviously not quit my day job initially. We shall see, first step is to get licensed, and whatnot, which shouldn't be difficult.

    anyone want to donate to the cause?
  16. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    C'mon, you have to exude confidence!

    I see you're in South Carolina...If you're not too far from Charlotte, you might try selling there. It's probably terribly competitive, but it is the hottest real estate market in the country and who knows, you could carve out a little niche.

    There, I donated two cents. :)

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