Some newcomers to the industry may jump into a real estate career with the wrong impressions of what it’s really like. Members of the Forbes Real Estate Council, an exclusive group for executives in the real estate industry, recently highlighted some of the most common misconceptions that new real estate professionals often believe:
1. Real estate is a “get rich quickly” career.
“Being a real estate agent means you are putting the needs of your clients ahead of your own needs, and this means your income needs as well,” says Michelle Ames of Texas. “And sometimes this is challenging, if you enter the profession undercapitalized.”
2. The Industry Is Only Brick And Mortar
People often think about real estate as only a brick-and-mortar business. But the industry today presents enormous opportunities in services, technology and hospitality in the built environment for incoming professionals, all of which are evolving at a rapid rate to meet the changing preferences of people today. – Christopher Kelly, Convene
3. Attracting clients and steady income are easy.
Jennifer Myers with Agent Grad School and Dwell Residential Brokerage calls this the most difficult aspect of the job. “An agent’s real job is actually not just selling homes, but marketing themselves and answering the question, ‘Why should someone choose YOU out of all other agents in town?’” Myers says. “Only when you have a clear answer to that question and you are able to communicate it in your marketing will having a steady income be easy.”
4. The market will continue to go up and up.
Real estate markets are cyclical and seasonal, says Michael Harris with CREModels. “Things happen slowly in real estate, like turning a battleship, and it can feel awesome when it’s actually terrible,” says Harris, “and feel terrible when it’s actually doing great.”
5. New Agents Don’t Have The Know-How
Being a new agent doesn’t mean you don’t have experience and know-how. In fact, it might mean that you give better customer service, are more of a go-getter, and learn faster because you are driven and have a purpose. The truth is that when you are new, you try much harder just to prove yourself to others and to yourself. – Kevin Taylor, Sand to City Real Estate Team
6. Reality TV shows are the same as real life.
Reality TV shows depicting a real estate career with mega listings are hardly reality for most agents. “While these shows have raised the profile of the real estate industry, they also project a false narrative,” says Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan. “Agents with stars in their eyes should understand that success comes from old-fashioned hard work, maintaining crazy hours, and dealing with some very demanding clients.”
7. Flexible work hours means you can work less.
A real estate career often boasts a non-traditional work schedule, and some new agents may associate that flexibility as only having to work part-time. “You’ll need to work extra and non-traditional hours to build your business,” says Anthony Hitt with Engel & Volkers Americas. “To be successful, you’ve got to put in the time and the work, have unwavering drive, and full accountability.”
8. You Can Become An Expert Overnight
There is a large misconception behind how much time it takes to learn everything you need to know in the world of real estate. As licensed professions go, it is one of the least time intensive. However, the classes you take are only the beginning. Whether you are a real estate agent or a property manager, licensing requirements are a small fraction of what you will need to know to be successful. – Sarnen Steinbarth, TurboTenant