All You Need To Know About A Realtor Career
You consider becoming a real estate agent but are still not entirely sure whether this would be the right career for you or not?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you everything you need to know about working as a realtor in the following chapters.
Not only will you learn how much you can make as a realtor, but we will also talk about work-life balance, job satisfaction, duties, responsibilities, job prospects, future outlook and much more.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what being a real estate agent looks like and whether you still want to aspire to such a career or rather want to go for a different job instead.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What does a Real Estate Agent do?
Realtors sell and rent out properties.
They aim to achieve the best possible prices for their clients while they still make sure that everything is alright from a legal perspective so that buyers are sellers are happy in the long run.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Real Estate Agent
- Selling properties
- Renting out houses and flats
- Valuation of properties
- Marketing properties on popular real estate websites
- Making nice property descriptions including pictures and core data
- Generating leads to get new jobs
- Staging properties so that they look as nice as possible
- Making sure that buyers are in good financial standing
- Giving property owners advice on how to get the most money from their houses or flats
- Advising potential buyers regarding mortgages and how to finance a property in general
- Complying with rules and regulations related to selling and renting out properties
- Having client appointments to show them properties in person
What a Typical Day of a Real Estate Agent looks like?
Real estate agents typically start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m.
The first thing they do is checking their mails and answering the most important ones.
After scheduling client appointments for a while, realtors meet up with many different clients in person and show them the properties they are responsible for.
Some real estate agents also stage houses and flats so that they look as nice as possible to achieve the best possible price.
After doing this client-oriented work for many hours, estate agents usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Real Estate Agent Salary 2021
Real Estate Agent salary brackets 2021
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $98,000||> $48.92|
|Top 25 %||$87,000 – $92,000||$43.44 – $45.97|
|Bottom 25 %||$45,000 – $51,000||$22.42 – $25.48|
|Bottom 10 %||$27,000 – $36,000||$13.49 – $17.89|
|Range||$27,000 – $109,000||$13.49 – $54.39|
Real Estate Agent salary 2021 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$27,000 – $38,000||$13.49 – $18.92|
|Junior||$36,000 – $44,000||$17.93 – $21.88|
|Professional||$43,000 – $57,000||$21.41 – $28.46|
|Senior Professional||$55,000 – $71,000||$27.47 – $35.38|
|Expert||$69,000 – $86,000||$34.42 – $42.95|
|Top Expert||$84,000 – $109,000||$41.89 – $54.39|
Real Estate Agent salary by state 2021 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$59,800||$29.88|
Job Security of Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents have pretty poor job security.
Even though the world population is increasing and the demand for housing is pretty high, educational barriers to entry to work in this field are pretty low and almost everyone can work in this field.
Consequently, competition is quite fierce and you may have a hard time getting enough jobs to survive.
Future Outlook of Real Estate Agents
Not only is working in the real estate market pretty tough right now, but it will likely even get worse in the future since part of the work will be done by machines and commissions of real estate agents will likely drop as well.
Working Hours of Real Estate Agents
Most realtors start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Thus, real estate agents have more than enough time to meet up with their favorite people after work or to spend time with their families or on their favorite hobbies.
Job Satisfaction of Real Estate Agents
Many real estate agents are not happy with what they are doing for a living since most of them can’t make really good money while they still have to rely on commissions and in case they don’t sell enough properties or rent out enough homes, real estate agents often get into serious financial trouble and can no longer pay their bills.
Consequently, real estate agents suffer from high levels of insecurity related to their jobs and many of them are not able to deal with this pressure in an emotionally healthy manner.
Promotion Opportunities of Real Estate Agents
Promotion opportunities for realtors are pretty limited.
Once you work as a real estate agent, you will do the same work for many years or even decades, even though you might get some personnel responsibilities in the long run.
Career Levels of Real Estate Agents
- Realtor intern
- Realtor apprentice
- Junior real estate agent
- Senior real estate agent
- Senior real estate agent with personnel responsibilities
- Manager of a realtor company
- Owner of a realtor company
Fields and Types of Real Estate Agents
- Real estate agents focused on selling properties
- Real estate agents specialized in renting out properties
- Real estate agents specialized in selling run-down real estate
- Realtors focused on high-class real properties
- Real estate agents focused on urban areas
- Realtors focused on rural regions
- Realtors searching homes for potential buyers
- Realtors searching homes for potential tenants
- Real estate agents focused on short-term renting
Educational Requirements for Real Estate Agents
There are no fancy formal educational requirements for becoming a realtor in most states.
Finishing high school will usually be enough to start your realtor career and you don’t have to spend many years in college, even though a degree in business, finance, marketing or a related field may help you succeed in the long run.
How to become a Real Estate Agent
- Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a realtor
- Apply for an internship at a local realtor company
- Make a good impression during your internship
- Stay in touch with your realtor colleagues
- Finish high school with decent grades
- Apply for jobs as a realtor
- Master the job interview
- Sign your labor contract
- Become a real expert in the real estate sector
- Build a strong personal brand
- Start your own realtor business
Character Traits you need as a Real Estate Agent
- Confidence helps you convince your clients that you are a good choice
- You should be open and outgoing to acquire new jobs
- You should be friendly
- You should be trustworthy
- You should be reliable
- Empathy for clients who just have a bad day
- You should understand how the human mind works
- Ability to deal with drawbacks in an emotionally healthy manner
- You should willing to work on your selling skills
Real Estate Agent Skills
Hard Skills for Real Estate Agents
- You should have excellent selling skills
- Talent for acquiring new clients
- You should understand how the real estate market works
- Math skills help you run your business in a profitable manner
- Digital skills help you acquire new clients
- Accounting skills help you with bookkeeping and taxes
- Good knowledge of local real estate markets
- Knowledge of laws and regulations related to selling and renting out real estate
- Problem-solving skills help as well
- Good negotiation skills
Soft Skills for Real Estate Agents
- You should understand your clients’ needs and wishes
- You should be a good listener
- Ability to gain the trust of your clients
- Patience helps you succeed in the long run
- Persistence helps you overcome difficult times of your career
- Good time management skills help you get things done
- People skills help you lead a team of realtors
- Multitasking skills help get many things done at the same time
- You should be a good communicator
Exit Options for Real Estate Agents
Since real estate agents get really good at selling things, they can also often work as salespeople in various industries or also work as property valuation specialists in case they don’t want to work as realtors anymore and search for proper exit options.
Real Estate Agent – Similar Careers
- Car dealer
- Property valuation specialist
- Real estate market researcher
- Property manager
- Insurance agent
- Real estate consultant
- Real estate investor
- Digital marketer for real estate projects
- Facility manager
Real Estate Agent Career FAQs
Is working as a real estate agent physically demanding?
Working as a real estate agent is not physically demanding since you will just sell and rent out properties for your clients and you will not have to lift any heavy things at work.
Instead, you will do most of your work with your brain and will also do lots of organizational work on your computer.
Is working as a real estate agent mentally demanding?
While you have to use your brain as a real estate agent to market the properties of your clients in the best possible manner, you will still not have to stress your brain as much as engineers or other people who work on complex problems on a daily basis.
Is it dangerous to work as a real estate agent?
Being a real estate agent is not dangerous since you will work in a rather safe environment and your risk of suffering from accidents at work will be rather low compared to garbage collectors or firefighters who are at great risk at work on a daily basis.
How long do real estate agents stay in their jobs?
Many realtors quit their careers rather early since competition is pretty fierce and few big real estate corporations are dominating the property market in many regions.
Consequently, small realtors often don’t get enough jobs to make a living from what they are doing and have to work in different fields in the long run.
Is it easy for real estate agents to find a new job?
While a small fraction of real estate agents are able to acquire many new clients and make really good money, the majority of realtors out there struggles to find enough new jobs to make a living from what they are doing since competition is pretty fierce and almost everyone can start working in this field.
Is it hard to switch from being a real estate agent to another field of work?
Since real estate agents are pretty specialized in what they are doing, they often lack the skills needed to work in a different field.
Apart from working as a salesperson in a different industry, you may therefore have a hard time finding a job in a field outside of the real estate sector.
Do real estate agents have a high social status?
While realtors have a decent social status, they still don’t have the same high social standing as doctors or teachers who can really change the lives of many people on a daily basis and do an extremely important job for society.
Can you help out your family and friends as a real estate agent?
You can also help out your loved ones as a real estate agent since you will understand local property markets really well and can help your family and friends find a new home or also sell their homes for a lower commission compared to other real estate brokers out there.
Can real estate agents work remotely?
Realtors are not able to work remotely since they have to show clients properties in person and therefore have to spend lots of time and money commuting to work and back while many other people who are able to work from home are much more flexible to manage their private and professional life at the same time.
Is it easy to find a partner as a real estate agent?
Since real estate agents are pretty good at selling things, they are usually also really good at selling themselves and will therefore have a rather easy time in the dating market when it comes to short-term relationships.
However, realtors often have a hard time finding someone for a long-term relationship since they often have to deal with high levels of insecurity related to their work and are not considered good providers.
Do real estate agents have to work on weekends?
Real estate agents don’t have to work on weekends in an official manner.
However, some real estate agents still work during those times to show properties to potential buyers and if you want to make really good money from what you are doing, you should also be open to working on weekends to maximize your chances of making good commissions.
Do real estate agents have to work on holidays?
Real estate agents don’t have to work on holidays.
Instead, they can use those days for making nice trips with their loved ones or spend them on their favorite hobbies.
Do real estate agents have to work at nighttime?
Real estate agents don’t have to work at nighttime.
Instead, realtors work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and often come home from work relatively early, which gives them the opportunity to meet up with their favorite people after work.
Do you have to travel as a real estate agent?
While you will have to commute to many different properties to show them to potential buyers and tenants, you still don’t have to spend lots of time on business trips as consultants and many other people out there have to do on a regular basis.
Are real estate agent pensions good?
Since salaries in the realtor industry are often based on commissions, real estate agents have to deal with huge income swings and also don’t get pretty good pensions on average.
Thus, you should save money during good times if you don’t want to suffer from financial problems once you get older and retire.
Are real estate agent salaries going up?
Realtor salaries have been going up significantly over the past years due to the increase in real estate prices in most regions of our planet.
However, it is unclear whether real estate prices and commissions will also increase in the future.
Can you have a positive impact on society as a real estate agent?
While you can help out many people to find a new home as a realtor, you will still not have the same high positive social impact as teachers or professors who can really change the minds of people on a daily basis to make the world a better place in the long run.
How long does it take to become a real estate agent?
Since you don’t need any fancy formal education for working as a realtor, you can become a real estate agent right after finishing high school and while many other people have to spend lots of time and money on college, you can even start making money at a rather young age.
Is it difficult to become a real estate agent?
Due to the low formal educational barriers to entry, becoming a realtor is not difficult at all and almost everyone can start working in this field.
However, becoming and staying successful is really hard since competition is fierce and many realtors don’t get enough new clients to stay in the game in the long run.
Do you need to be smart to work as a real estate agent?
You don’t need to have a high IQ for succeeding as a real estate agent.
What’s much more important is your emotional intelligence and that you also understand what it takes to become a successful salesperson.
Do real estate agents have a good work-life balance?
Realtors have pretty decent work-life balance since they have free weekends and holidays and also work in a standard 9 – 5 environment so that they come home from work relatively early and have more than enough time to spend with their loved ones or on their hobbies.
Do real estate agents have to work many extra hours?
Real estate agents don’t have to work many extra hours in an official manner but rather work in a classical 9 to 5 environment.
However, if you want to make really good money as a real estate agent, you may have to work some extra hours to provide the best possible service to your clients so that they are fully happy with your support and recommend your services.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a real estate agent?
The more experience you get in the real estate sector from a rather early age, the more value you can provide to realtor companies and the easier it will be for you to find a job in this industry.
Thus, you should start working as an intern at a rather young age to get some practical experience and to stand out of the crowd to maximize your chances of becoming a successful real estate agent.
Can real estate agents work part-time?
Realtors are also able to work part-time.
However, most real estate agents still work full-time since they are just not able to make enough money to pay their bills from a part-time job in this industry.
Do real estate agents work indoors or outdoors?
Real estate agents work both indoors as well as outdoors.
While you will use digital channels to promote the properties of your clients, you will also have to meet up with potential buyers and tenants in person during times of bad weather.
What does the workplace of a real estate agent look like?
Real estate agents do a mix of office work and meeting up with clients in person.
Thus, you should have good digital skills but also know how to sell stuff in person to stay happy and successful with what you are doing in the long run.
Do you have to look good for working as a real estate agent?
While you don’t necessarily have to look good as a real estate agent, looking good can still help you sell more properties and therefore help you make more money from what you are doing since your income will be commission-based most of the time.
Is a real estate agent career beneficial for your private life?
Since your salary will often be based on commissions and you will also have to deal with fierce competition, you will have to deal with lots of insecurity related to your job and may have a hard time planning your professional as well as your private life.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a real estate agent?
You don’t necessarily need a degree for working as a real estate agent.
However, it can still help to get a college degree in marketing or a related field to become and stay happy as a realtor in the long run.
Do you need to be certified to work as a real estate agent?
You don’t need to be certified for working as a real estate agent in most states.
In fact, educational barriers to entry to be able to work in this field are pretty low and almost everyone can give it a try.
How much does it cost to become a real estate agent?
Since you don’t have to spend lots of time in college, you also don’t have to spend lots of time and money on tuition and other expenses related to college and can become a real estate agent at almost no cost.
Is being a real estate agent a good career?
While you will have lots of leisure and also don’t have to worry about getting involved in serious accidents at work, real estate agents still have to deal with high levels of insecurity since their income is greatly dependent on the number and volume of properties they sell or rent out and many real estate agents also have to fear losing their jobs.
Thus, being a realtor cannot be considered a good career when all relevant factors are taken into account.
Is it easy to start your own business as a real estate agent?
It is pretty easy to start your own business as a realtor since you don’t have to spend lots of money upfront.
However, becoming successful is not that easy in this industry since competition is pretty fierce and many realtor companies go out of business sooner or later.
Can real estate agents teach themselves?
Real estate agents can teach themselves everything they need to succeed in this industry and don’t have to get fancy formal education and also don’t have to invest lots of money on courses since all the information you need is available on the internet for free.
Do real estate agents make good money?
While a small minority of real estate agents is able to make really good money, the vast majority of realtors don’t make good money and many of them even struggle to pay their bills since their income is commission-based and if realtors don’t sell and rent out enough properties, they may get into serious financial trouble pretty soon.
Is it ever too late to become a real estate agent?
It is never too late to become a real estate agent since you don’t have to spend many years on education and you also don’t have to work in a physically demanding environment.
Thus, you can work as a real estate agent at any age as long as you are a good salesperson and know how to sell and also how to acquire new clients.
Do real estate agents have to quit their careers early?
Most real estate agents don’t have to quit their careers early since they mainly work with their brains and don’t have to stress their bodies compared to construction workers and other people who work in a physically demanding environment and often suffer from serious health problems sooner or later which force them to quit their careers early.
What is the hardest thing about working as a real estate agent?
The hardest part about being a real estate agent is that you have to spend lots of time acquiring new clients.
In fact, competition is pretty fierce and many realtors have serious problems acquiring enough new clients to make a living from what they are doing in the long run.
Can you provide for your family by working as a real estate agent?
It is pretty hard to provide for your family as a real estate agent since your salary will greatly depend on commissions you make with every sale and if you don’t sell or rent out enough properties, you will not make enough money to pay your bills and you will also have to deal with huge income swings over time.
Will real estate agents suffer from old-age poverty?
Many real estate agents are not able to make really good money during their active careers and therefore also receive pretty poor pensions.
Consequently, many realtors also suffer from old-age poverty and the unpleasant things that come along with it.
Can real estate agents retire early?
Most realtors are not able to retire early since a big fraction of real estate agents are not able to make enough money during their active careers and therefore have to work until they reach official retirement age and sometimes even longer to be able to pay their bills.
Do real estate agents get a fixed or variable salary?
The income of real estate agents is greatly based on commissions.
Thus, you will have to deal with huge income swings and can never be sure how much you will make just a few months from now, which can be really frustrating since you will have a hard time planning your financial future.
Can you get rich as a real estate agent?
While a small minority of real estate agents get wealthy or even rich, the vast majority of realtors doesn’t make good money and many of them are not even able to make a living from what they are doing.
Thus, if you want to get rich, you should rather become a real estate investor, judge or investment banker instead of a normal real estate agent.
Do real estate agents need a second job?
While most realtors are able to make enough money to make a basic living from what they are doing, some real estate agents are not even able to make enough to pay their basic expenses and therefore have to work a second job to survive.
Do you get continuous training as a real estate agent?
You will not get continuous training as a real estate agent.
Instead, it will be on you to get really good at what you are doing so that you stay competitive and successful in the real estate sector in the long run.
Do you get sick pay as a real estate agent?
Most real estate agents don’t get paid in case they get sick and you should therefore have an emergency fund that you build during good times so that you can use this money in case you get sick so that you can still pay your bills and don’t get into financial trouble.
Do real estate agents have a high level of responsibility?
Real estate agents don’t have a high level of responsibility.
Even though their mistakes may lead to some financial damage, realtors still don’t have the same high level of responsibility as nurse practitioners, doctors or other people whose mistakes may take away the lives of people on a daily basis.
Can real estate agents work abroad?
Real estate agents can make a living all over the world.
However, real estate markets and working conditions might be quite different from what you are used to at home and you should inform yourself about those things before migrating to a foreign country and experiencing unpleasant surprises.
Is it stressful to work as a real estate agent?
Working as a real estate agent is not that stressful since you will not have to deal with lots of time pressure.
However, you might still have to deal with some emotional pressure since your income will greatly vary according to how much you sell and you may therefore constantly have to worry about your financial future.
Is it boring to work as a real estate agent?
Being a real estate agent is not boring since you will do many different things during your workday and you will also have to deal with many challenges when it comes to selling and renting out homes to your clients.
Is being a real estate agent hard?
While you don’t have to work in a hard physical manner, being a realtor can still be hard on an emotional level since you will have to deal with lots of insecurity related to your work and you can never be sure how long you will be able to make a living from what you are doing.
Are real estate agents at risk of burnout?
Since real estate agents have to deal with lots of emotional pressure regarding their income and their financial future, many of them are at the brink of burnout and sometimes also suffer from other mental issues since they constantly have to worry about financial aspects of their lives.
Is there a dress code for real estate agents?
Realtors often dress pretty conservatively.
While men often wear suits, women often wear fancy dresses to make a good first impression when they meet up with new clients.
What kind of real estate agents are paid the most?
The more properties you sell or rent out to clients, the more money you can make as a real estate agent.
Thus, if you really want to make good money as a realtor, you should focus on improving your sales and acquisition skills as much as possible.
What percentage of real estate agents are women?
While around 64% of realtors are women, only 36% are men.
This may be due to the fact that women are better salespeople on average and can also better acquire new clients.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a real estate agent?
You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a realtor.
What’s much more important is that you put in the work to become a really good salesperson and that you also get into the minds of your clients and figure out what’s important for them.
Do real estate agents have a high life expectancy?
Realtors have pretty decent life expectancy since they don’t have to work in a risky environment and will most likely not get involved in serious accidents at work but can rather spend their workday in a pretty safe manner.
Do real estate agents suffer from sleeping problems?
Since realtors don’t have to work at nighttime, they also don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their work while waiters and train drivers often struggle in this regard.
What states are best for working as a real estate agent?
Since realtor salaries are based on commissions and are therefore greatly dependent on property prices, you should work in expensive cities where property prices are pretty high if you want to make really good money from what you are doing.
For instance, New York and California are great places in this regard, even though competition in these property markets is also pretty fierce.
Who do real estate agents work with?
Real estate agents work with many different people and have new clients on a regular basis.
Thus, you should be client-oriented and not afraid to talk to strangers on a daily basis if you want to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.
Is working as a real estate agent cool?
Being a realtor is not considered cool by most people out there and some people may even try to bring you down and make fun of your career choice.
Can you start a side hustle as a real estate agent?
You will also have enough time to start a side hustle as a realtor.
For instance, many real estate agents also become property investors in the long run and can make additional money.
Do you have to be creative as a real estate agent?
Creativity helps real estate agents to sell properties to potential buyers since the more creative you are, the better you can counter arguments and therefore raise the price for the properties you want to sell.
Do real estate agents suffer from being overweight?
Since realtors often don’t get sufficient exercise at work and also don’t burn lots of calories, many of them also suffer from being overweight and the unpleasant surprises that come along with it.
How employable are real estate agents?
Even though an increasing number of people want to buy or rent homes, competition is still pretty fierce in the realtor industry and only the best real estate agents will make enough money to make a living from what they are doing while many real estate agents are barely able to pay their bills from their jobs.
Are real estate agents happy with their jobs?
Many real estate agents are not happy with their careers since their income is greatly commission-based and realtors therefore always have to worry about their financial future and also have a hard time providing for their families.
Is working as a real estate agent exciting?
Being a realtor is not that exciting. You will just do many things over and over again and will also develop a certain routine pretty soon.
Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a real estate agent?
Since realtors are mainly focused on selling or renting out properties to clients, they are not in the game of making the world a better place and just care about their personal gains at work and therefore don’t have a big positive impact on the environment.
What are the pros and cons of working as a real estate agent?
If you still aspire to become a realtor, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a realtor career.
Interviews and own research.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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