The pros and cons of choosing a career in real estate

Imagine working for yourself in a flexible career where you can set your own working hours, learn the ins and outs of your city and earn as much money as you want (we’re talking $150k per year, or more!) Sounds amazing, right?

That’s real estate.

There are so many reasons real estate is an awesome career. But there are also two sides to every story. If you aren’t prepared for the the flip side of real estate, you won’t last long.

Let’s take a no-holds-barred look at the pros and cons of a career in real estate.

The pros of a career in real estate

Real estate is a great career for people who want to be in charge of their own businesses and lifestyles.

From being your own boss to growing a lifelong business, there are so many reasons to choose a career in real estate. Here are a couple of the biggest benefits.

#1 – An affordable start

You want to live the glam life of a rockstar agent. Great!

So where do you begin? The best real estate agents operate like entrepreneurs and without a doubt, having your own business can result in a lifetime of benefits. But for the most of us, starting a business is just an expensive daydream.

One major advantage to becoming a real estate agent is you can launch your career without spending too much cash. As Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate points out, “It doesn’t cost much to become a licensed Realtor, and some states have licensing [classes] online.”

You’ll have to pay for the license exam of course, but apart from that, there’s not much else you need to invest in upfront.

What matters even more than money in the beginning, is your ability to network. If you enjoy talking to people and have stellar customer service skills, you can launch into a six-figure income within your first 1-2 years. A key part of your job as a real estate agent (or Realtor if you choose to get certified) is becoming an influential member of your community.

#2 – Plenty of flexibility

One of the best parts of working as a Realtor is saying good-bye to the mundane 9 to 5!

In most places, the real estate market is super flexible. People like to view houses in the evenings and on weekends. Even if you’re a member of a team, you’ll probably have the ability to set your own schedule.

You’ll be spending a lot of time meeting cool new people and socializing with your Sphere of Influence (SOI), while marketing your brand and closing those high-end contracts.

In real estate, relationships are EVERYTHING. You can come in at 10am every day, but you absolutely must be willing to constantly network and nurture a strong pipeline of leads.

#3 – Real Estate never really dies

One of the greatest aspects of the real estate business is that even when the real estate market is down, it’s never out.

In a crisis or economic downturn, Realtors may not sell as many homes as in the golden days, but it doesn’t mean they’ll stop selling. Despite the economic roller coaster rides and disruptive technology shaking up the industry, people still want to buy homes from people.

And while real estate definitely has its ups and downs, the truth is every business is unpredictable in its own way. If you have a solid system and network in place, or have built a profitable niche, you can make real estate an awesome generator of consistent, predictable income and revenue.

The cons of a career in real estate

At this stage, everything looks flawless, right?

You don’t need years of education or boatloads of money to break into real estate. You can make your own schedule, and on top of that, it’s not one of those businesses that will disappear into thin air.

There are so many reasons to jump in line behind the thousands of job seekers looking to skyrocket their success with a career in real estate. But we’ll be honest: It’s not for everybody.

Here are some of the other aspects to be aware of.

#1 – Success doesn’t happen overnight

Many people are under the impression real estate is fast, easy, and big money.

And that’s just not true.

In fact, 87% of new real estate agents fail within the first 5 years. The harsh reality is you have to invest your time, energy, and a whole lot of effort to be a successful agent. But if you’re not afraid of a little hard work, why not go for it?

Unlike office bureaucracies, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to how far you want to take your real estate business. You can start out on a team, on your own as a soloproneur, or even launch your own brokerage one day.

#2 – Flexibility comes with a price

As we hinted at before, the flexibility of a career in real estate isn’t just about setting your own schedule — you also have to adapt to your client’s needs.

Sometimes your working hours will be late afternoons or weekends, all depending on your clients’ availability. But if you’re committed enough, you’ll get that it’s all part of the deal. After all, closing those clients can bring in some pretty sweet commissions that — along with the look on their faces when you show them their awesome new home — can make the whole thing pretty worth it.

Final takeaway

We’re not going to sugarcoat it, as a new agent, you’ll have to start from the bottom, dedicate long hours, and be persistent until you succeed. But that’s because you truly are your own boss.

If you’re serious about building the type of business where your revenue is unbounded and your work makes a real difference in people’s lives, you’ll find a million rewarding reasons to choose a career in real estate.