17 Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents can sell land and property to people who want to invest in real estate.

Agents are social and take the time to get to know all of the features of the community they work in.

If you love real estate, becoming a real estate agent can be a great opportunity.

By familiarizing yourself with the pros and cons, you can figure out if it is a good career choice for you.

Pros of Being a Real Estate Agent

One of the reasons why you go into a career is because of all of the great things that you hear about it.

Real estate agents have a lot of fun on the job – and it can be quite rewarding.

Learning about all of the pros can help you get excited about the possibilities that exist.

1. Set Your Schedule

Real estate agents have the ability to set their own hours.

You can decide what works best for your schedule, whether you are doing this full-time or part-time.

The majority of your time will be spent meeting with clients, so you simply identify the days and times when you are able to meet with them.

Of course, the more time you dedicate to meeting with clients, the more possibilities you have to list and sell properties.

2. Earning Potential is Unlimited

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for real estate agents in 2020 was $51,220.

This can vary dramatically for real estate agents, however.

Especially as you start to get into higher-priced real estate, you will earn more.

On average, you will earn 1.5 to 2 percent commission on every property – and if you are selling several properties a month, which can add up to a significant amount of money over the course of the year.

3. No College Education is Required

Real estate agents do not need a college education, which means that there is the opportunity to get started right out of high school.

The only requirement to get started is that you become licensed – and that requires attending real estate courses.

Every state has specific requirements, but you will typically be required to complete a total of 180 hours of approved pre-licensing education.

This is considerably faster to obtain than a four-year degree.

4. Meet New People All the Time

In the real estate industry, your relationship with buyers and sellers typically ends after that transaction.

Because you will not depend heavily on repeat business, you will be meeting new people all the time.

This can be a great benefit when you are a social person who enjoys getting to know new people on a regular basis.

You will also get involved in various networking events that can help you to meet even more people.

5. Various Workshops are Available

A variety of workshops are available for real estate agents.

You can learn more about an array of topics that will help you to be a more successful agent.

The workshops are available online and in-person so you can choose which ones work best for your schedule.

It is a chance to learn about an array of topics and even grow your social network.

6. You Can Become an Expert in the Community

The longer you live in your community, the easier it will be to become an expert.

People will depend on you to tell them about everything from shopping and schools to unique community features and fun things to do on the weekend.

As you become more knowledgeable about what makes your community special, it can help you to attract new clients.

7. You Will Learn About Real Estate Opportunities

Real estate agents are the first ones to know when the market is ripe to buy.

Further, they are the first ones to find out when a property goes on sale or when a new community is being built.

If you are looking to buy a home or invest in real estate, these exciting opportunities can help you to take advantage of what the market has to offer.

8. Every Day is Different

Every day is going to be different because you will be working with different clients and different properties.

You may be dealing with a real estate investor on one side of town and, the very next day, you may be dealing with a first-time homebuyer on the other side of town.

Due to the variations in your work week, it can keep everything fun and exciting so that you never get bored with your job.

9. Your Environment is Indoors

Most real estate agents have the ability to work indoors.

You will likely spend part of your day in a real estate office working on the phone and computer.

The rest of your day will be spent in the field, either in your vehicle or touring people through properties – all of which happens indoors.

It creates a comfortable environment with little to no stress.

Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents often seem to live a glamorous life, especially when they are selling a lot of properties.

It is not always easy to get to the point where you are selling multiple properties per month.

Knowing the various cons will help you to decide if you are willing to accept the good with the bad and explore this career further.

1. It Takes Time to Build a Reputation

Real estate agents often get new clients based on word of mouth.

It may take you months or even years to build a reputation so that you always have new clients to work with.

Some areas are glutted with real estate agents, which can lead to an extremely competitive market.

2. Nights & Weekends Will Be Your Busiest Time

Most clients want to see properties when they are not at work.

As such, you are likely to be working with your clients on nights and weekends.

The average open house happens on Saturdays and Sundays, so you will need to leave these days open for your real estate business instead of your social life.

It can make it difficult to achieve a desirable work-life balance, especially when you are starting out.

3. Income Can Be Hit & Miss

The income can be sporadic based on how the market is doing and how many properties you are selling and listing.

While you may sell one property one month, you may go two or three months without selling another property.

As such, it is critical that you understand how income can come in waves.

It is also why many real estate agents choose to do this part-time while having a steady form of income as their primary profession.

4. Career is Often Limited

Most real estate agents stay as real estate agents throughout their entire careers.

The career opportunities are not numerous.

Typically, the only advancements are by reaching for the luxury markets.

Additionally, you can choose to obtain more certifications so that you can become a broker and even own your own real estate firm.

5. You Will Need to Maintain a License

In order to complete real estate transactions, you will need to maintain a real estate license in the state where you work within.

This is going to be an added cost that you will have to pay every one to two years.

Depending on other certifications that you have, these will need to be renewed regularly as well.

6. Savings is Critical

Due to the sporadic nature of sales, real estate agents do not always make regular money.

One month can result in high earnings and the next few months can be absolutely nothing.

It all depends on how often you complete real estate transactions.

As such, it will be critical for you to have a savings account so that you can manage your finances effectively throughout the year.

7. There are Lots of Hidden Expenses

You will need to learn that it takes money to make money.

Various fees will need to be spent to join various associations and organizations that can help you network within your community.

Additionally, you will spend money to market yourself, promote various properties that are for sale, and more.

It can add up quickly if you are not careful, especially if you are not selling properties regularly to pay for it all.

8. You Will Not Make Money from Everyone

There may be times when you dedicate an entire afternoon to an open house, and no one shows up.

You may spend an entire weekend driving a couple around to look for their dream home only for them to choose to work with a different real estate agent.

You will not make money off of everyone, which means that there will be times when you are working for free.

Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Real Estate AgentCons of Being a Real Estate Agent
Set Your ScheduleIt Takes Time to Build a Reputation
Earning Potential is UnlimitedNights & Weekends Will Be Your Busiest Time
No College Education is RequiredIncome Can Be Hit & Miss
Meet New People All the TimeCareer is Often Limited
Various Workshops are AvailableYou Will Need to Maintain a License
You Can Become an Expert in the CommunitySavings is Critical
You Will Learn About Real Estate OpportunitiesThere are Lots of Hidden Expenses
Every Day is DifferentYou Will Not Make Money from Everyone
Your Environment is Indoors

Should You Become a Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a real estate agent can be a lot of fun, especially if you are social and love real estate within your community.

It can take time to build up your social network.

As long as you understand the challenges involved with the market, you may enjoy the work and become successful.

Take the time to talk to other real estate agents to find out more about the market to decide if it is the right career for you.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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