Why is a Realtor looking for a job you ask? December 3, 2010Posted by lisawifemom in The Job Hunt.
Tags: broker, commission, Cost, Fee, jobhunt, Real estate, Real estate broker/agent, realtor, taxes
First, thank you to the many that have read the blog thus far and made comments, opened up discussions, etc.
Many of the people who I see regularly have asked me in passing, “Why are you looking for a job? Aren’t you a Realtor?” So I thought, hmm, this is a good blog topic.
Yes, I am a Realtor, for 10 years now I’ve been working as a residential Realtor. Prior to that I had many roles in the commercial real estate genre. I like it, it’s rewarding, it’s also very hard. There are a few things that make this career a bit challenging, of which most people are not aware. This is beside the fact of the market tanking over the last couple of years, of course. That has made the business much, much harder.
1) It’s a very expensive business to be in, whether you make money or not. Over the last 3 years, I’ve spent $10-15,000 per year on this business, and made less than $25,000, total for all 3 f’ing years! And those are just the expenses I actually tracked and wrote off on my taxes. If you’re a very active Realtor, those numbers are MUCH higher. Also, once those “huge” commission checks come (what most people say about them anyway), they are nickel and dimed to death before we actually get any of it, legal fees, broker fees, etc.
2) It’s a very time-consuming business to be in, making money or not. There are hours upon hours of prospecting needed, out looking for business, networking, marketing, etc. This is all, obviously, without pay, but in hopes of getting some business which will eventually pay off. Eventually, because just because you pick up a new client and work your ass off for them, doesn’t mean you’ll ever get paid. Realtors don’t see a cent until escrow actually closes. So sometimes a Realtor can work 100′s of hours without making any money. And for me, many of those hours would have to be while I paid a babysitter, putting me further into the red.
3) This is only a partially loyal business. Most people do business with people they like, and will usually stay loyal to them to a point. However, when I took time off to have the twins, I lost virtually all my contacts, meaning they moved their loyalties elsewhere. So I started from scratch again, rebuilding my business, but not having the free time needed to commit to doing it.
Five years after the kids were born, only a few deals to show for it, and our bills have gone beyond stacking up. We’re a two income family and I have not had a real income in 5 years. The few times I actually received a commission check, I owed so much on back Realtor fees, most or all of it was gone before it got to me.
SO, that’s why a Realtor is looking for a job. I need a stable income, something I can rely on to pay the bills, maybe even get us caught up some day. I will still keep my license, for as long as I can stack up the fees, and hopefully help people with their real estate needs in my spare time. Because I do like it, and I think I’m pretty good at it too.