At CENTURY 21 Scheetz, we get asked this question a lot: is real estate a good career? Often, it's by people considering a potential career jump into the real estate industry. They're coming from careers in marketing, software, finance, and more. And real estate seems like an obvious choice. After all, most people can fairly easily become a licensed Indiana real estate agent, and real estate can be a very flexible and rewarding career.
That said, asking whether real estate is a good career is like asking whether colonials are good houses. The ideal question is: is a career in real estate right for me? As seasoned experts with decades of experience selling homes in Indiana (our own Mick Scheetz is celebrating 50 years in the business this Spring!), we understand there are a few misapprehensions most newbies and outsiders tend to have about a career in the real estate industry. The truth is, most of the reasons people cite for not wanting to become a real estate agent are misleading at best and often altogether wrong.
Common Myths About Being an Indiana Real Estate Agent
Take, for example, the belief that some people consider real estate a last resort profession or a second career choice for professionals who've burned out of their first careers or who don't have the option of continuing in their current jobs. Or maybe the belief that real estate is an old-fashioned industry where you need to stick your posters on every park bench or city bus in your area to be successful (or fit in). Both of these are far from true. Many have started their careers in real estate and found decades of success, often because of how they've innovated and adapted to changing buyer and seller needs, ever evolving market conditions, and advances in marketing and technology. In addition, real estate can be a very challenging career. Every day is different, and the myriad of people with whom you get to work provides interesting and new opportunities to create connections, learn new things, and achieve more. The most successful real estate agents aren't those who were forced into real estate, they're hard-working professionals who found the right career for their chosen lifestyle and life goals.
To be a top-tier REALTOR®, you need to understand how a range of different external factors come into play in the market and how they influence current customer demand and supply. You also have to keep up with the constantly shifting technological demands, especially in the digital advertising space. The real estate industry operates in a dynamic and multifaceted environment, which means there's always a lot going on for you as a realtor. Handling multiple clients at once, determining what they really want (and need), and ensuring you offer each and every one of them the best guidance is an art as much as it's a science.
How to Know Whether Real Estate Makes Sense for You
All this is to say that there are a number of factors to consider when determining whether a career in real estate is the best option for you. Firstly, are you a people person? The best real estate agents are life advisors. While having a deep understanding of the market is key, the most important skill you can have is deeply understanding people. At the end of the day, your job is to broker deals, to bring two parties together at the table, and ensure everyone leaves thinking they got what they wanted. Ensuring your buyers get an Indiana property that suits their needs and budget or that your sellers could meet their goals is one step. Ensuring they feel good about the process is the second, and most important, step. To do this, you have to be both knowledgeable and socially adept. Having high emotional intelligence, or EQ, is important if you want to become one of the best Indiana real estate agents.
Other essential attributes include being performance-driven, goal-focused, and being able to work autonomously. However, at CENTURY 21 Scheetz you'll have teams of people supporting you behind the scenes, helping with everything from transaction management and paperwork, to marketing your listings and acquiring new customers.
If you've made it this far and are still interested in a career in real estate, you're probably now wondering, "okay, so how do I become a real estate agent?"
How to Become an Indiana Real Estate Agent
To get into the real estate profession, you need to be certified and licensed. The requirements vary from state to state, but the universal similarity is that you will have to take some classes and pass a certification exam offered by the state you intend to operate. This is true in Indiana as well. These unique licensing requirements are mainly to ensure that you have a solid comprehension of how the real estate market works and have in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to real estate transactions.
These classes cost a few hundred dollars and are offered at several places. Contact CENTURY 21 Scheetz for information on upcoming classes. After finishing these classes, you can apply for your license and start working as an Indiana REALTOR®.
What are the Benefits of Working as a Real Estate Agent?
1. Real estate can be a lucrative job.
Working as an Indiana real estate expert can be financially rewarding and carry many perks like flexibility with scheduling client meetings around other needs, such as family commitments. In fact, many top real estate agents have gone on to carve out extremely profitable business ventures out of their profession. The average annual salary for a real estate agent is about $42,000; however, as you build your book of business, the zeros start to add up quickly, and six-figure salaries become a reality. Some agents are even making seven-figure salaries. A career in real estate can be very rewarding and provide financial freedom.
2. Job Opportunities in Real Estate Abound
The real estate sector is one of the most profitable industries and makes up about 4.2 % of the total U.S. economy. This is according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. The real estate industry is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, and the total real estate market value is approximately $22 trillion. That's more than the GDP of France or India! So, in case you were wondering, the job market for REALTORs® is quite huge.
3. Flexible Work Schedule
As mentioned previously, most Indiana real estate agents make their own working hours, so it's rare to find professionals in this line of work locked into an 8-5 office routine. All the same, realtors can't abandon their office days or go for impromptu vacations. Most agents usually have their hands full handling multiple clients at once and have to align their schedules to those of their clients. So, if you're looking for a lot of day-to-day flexibility while recognizing that you're going to get out what you put in and, because of that, will probably end up working nights and weekends to be successful, real estate is the right career for you.
4. A Great Professional Network
Working as a real estate agent provides you with an opportunity to both build and lean on an extensive professional network. REALTORs® are always in contact with new people, whether business owners, homeowners, homebuyers, or other professionals. As a result, they are able to build large professional networks, which they can leverage to grow their business, share experiences, get new ideas, and so much more.
It's time to set the record straight. Is real estate a good career? Absolutely, yes!
Here's the thing - becoming an established real estate agent is hard work. Most people outside of real estate tend to oversimplify, and that's understandable. There are so many benefits and you get out of it what you put into it. There are ways to make growing your real estate career a bit easier, such as by finding a company like CENTURY 21 Scheetz that provides mentoring and coaching services, in addition to robust support services like marketing services, an easy-to-use platform to get, manage, and close leads, and helpful staff dedicated to your success.
Contact us today if you're considering starting your real estate career or are an experienced agent looking to make your next, and last, move.