By Cliff Dunn
It’s estimated that between now and 2024, the number of real estate professionals will grow 3 percent. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also estimates that the number of brokers will grow 2 percent in that same time.
That’s tremendous growth when you consider that there isn’t any more real estate being “made,” and that the amount of actual real estate for sale is constantly, forever shrinking.
Why is real estate such an attractive profession? I can tell you some things that real estate professionals love about their jobs.
1. THEY ARE THEIR OWN BOSSES
Because the majority of real estate agents work for themselves, they get to set their own hours and determine the best way to manage their priorities and time. They can decide if they will work from an office or from home. They are also responsible for setting their own goals. And they get to reap the rewards of their individual successes.
2. ONCE IN, THEY HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
For motivated people who are looking to switch careers, becoming a real estate professional is a less time-consuming process than, for example, becoming a lawyer. Don’t take this to mean the choice should be an easy one—but it does mean that real estate school students have a wide array of educational opportunities accessible to them, regardless of where they previously were in life, educationally or professionally. And they get to decide if their hours are full- or part-time.
3. HUGE EARNING POTENTIAL
Real estate school graduates are not limited to how much they can earn. The greatest challenge is their ability to manage expectations about the time and finances necessary to start and grow their businesses. It’s very rare to make money overnight. The good news is that, for serious real estate professionals who develop an ethos of putting the clients first, success is a real proposition.
“Don’t get into it for the money,” advises broker and real estate school owner Merrick Damon Williams. “Work like you don’t need the money. If you care about your clients’ needs, you’ll make sales. When you help people get what they want, that’s a formula for success.”
4. THEY HELP PEOPLE DURING IMPORTANT LIFE MOMENTS
There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained in the knowledge that you are helping people reach their goals and achieve their dreams at major moments in their lives. A college grad buying his first apartment; a new couple buying their first house; an established family buying a vacation getaway: real estate agents help people through vital stages in their lives, becoming like part of the family. A successful real estate agent is part friend, part advisor, and part cheerleader.
“It’s easy to become personally invested when you’re dealing with residential buyers,” notes Williams. He adds that for some real estate agents, it’s that emotional connection with their clients that makes them thrive. “You’re finding someone their dream home. How can you not feel connected to that experience?”
5. THE INDUSTRY IS NEVER BORING
There’s very little of the tedium or downtime that many people experience working in an office environment. Real estate is about adapting to changes in the market, taking note of new trends, and serving as a guide for your clients, especially if you have an interest in the real estate investment market. And there’s no shortage of interesting personality types.
“Many agents love the social aspects of the industry,” says Williams. “You meet every kind of person and get to work with every sort of personality.”
6. THEY’RE THE EXPERTS
After you complete real estate school, and spend time learning the ins and outs of being a practicing real estate professional, you’ll be amazed at how genuinely knowledgeable you are, and—if you care about the details—how good you’ve become at what you do. Clients will turn to you for market advice, and you’ll know precisely what to tell them. Real estate professionals take pride in their expertise. Seriously—who doesn’t like being the smartest person in the room?
7. THEIR HARD WORK IS REWARDED
Because real estate is in short supply, the prices generally reflect its relative scarcity. And real estate professionals, especially those who put in the time and build their businesses, are the beneficiaries.
“The financial rewards are real. And you can work as hard as you want,” Williams adds. “If you work for someone else, you don’t experience the same level of gratification because you’re doing it for someone else.”