We all have our reasons for why we got into real estate. For some, it’s the freedom of not having a 9-5 job tying us down all week. For others, it’s a true passion for helping people find their next home. Whatever the reason, we all go into the business with hopes and dreams.
Of course, binge-watching HGTV probably won’t give you an accurate picture of what being an agent is like. There’s a lot more to the profession than driving your crispy-white BMW to show a beachfront condo to your well-dressed, all cash buyer.
But even though life as a real estate agent usually isn’t the same as on television, you can still expect it to change. Here’s how:
1.The way you view neighborhoods completely changes
Once you become an agent, your perception of geography changes completely. What used to be just a neighborhood you drove through turns into individual houses that you’ve shown or open houses you’ve attended. Even years later, you’ll still remember everything.
2.You learn to negotiate better than a foreign diplomat
If you aren’t confident in your negotiating skills when you first get into real estate, you will be after you get through a few transactions. Negotiating can be tedious and stressful, but it’s not a skill that you can’t learn, and by the time you’ve got a few homes under your belt, you’ll feel like you could get a job at the United Nations.
3.You develop a radar for any real estate conversation
Networking is critical to becoming a successful real estate agent, and every agent’s ears perk up when they hear anyone discussing anything to do with real estate. While skilled agents can work their way into the conversation and turn it into a lead, every single agent will at least pay attention when the topic of home ownership (and sellership) comes up.
4.Your relationship status changes to “In a relationship with Real Estate”
It’s true that you can maintain very healthy relationships while working as an agent, but it’s also true that you’ll feel like you’re in a relationship with all of your clients too. And sometimes that relationship can be a challenging one. Your relationships will have a direct impact on your success in the business, and most of the people you’ll meet through real estate will remain your friends for life.
5.Your car turns into a mobile office
Once you become an agent, the car you use to get from point a to point b all of a sudden becomes a mobile real estate office filled with lawn signs, paperwork, coffee cups, and flyers. Most real estate agents drive relatively nice vehicles, but cleaning them out every few weeks is a must unless you want to end up on the television show Vehicle Hoarders.
6.Your week is no longer divided into weekdays and weekends
They say that when you become an entrepreneur, a Sunday doesn’t feel any different from a Monday. This also applies to real estate. Of course, weekends can be somewhat different for agents because of open houses, so while friends are going to concerts or eating brunch, real estate agents are busy working. But the feelings that come with working a 9-5 are no longer there, replaced by a more flexible, but demanding schedule.
7.You become really good at math
You don’t need to be a math whiz to become a successful agent, but you’ll get really good at it the longer you stay in the business. Mortgage payments, tax bills, and commissions constantly need to be calculated, and after a while you’ll learn to do quick math in your head that you never thought possible.
8.Your destiny is finally in your own hands
Many agents worked a “regular” job before making the jump into real estate, and dreamt about the ability to make their own hours and control their income. Once you’re finally doing it, you might forget what motivated you to begin the journey. But it’s important to take a step back sometimes and realize that you’re actually doing it! You made your dream come true, and don’t forget it, especially when things get tough.
9.You learn never to assume that everything will go according to plan
If there’s one thing you’ll learn when you become an agent, it’s that nothing ever goes according to plan. Short appraisals, surprises during the inspection, financing issues – very few deals are easy these days. Once you accept it, however, you’ll understand that expecting the unexpected is part of life as an agent.
10.You become the resource for all of your friends’ and family’s real estate questions
Lawyers get a call from their friends when they’re in trouble, and doctors get asked for advice when someone’s not feeling well. Real estate is no exception. Once your friends and family know that you’re an expert, you’ll get all sorts of questions about real estate. When people start calling you regularly for advice, you’ll know that you’ve finally come into your own as an agent, and that your life has changed forever.