When I first entered the real estate field, I was fresh out of college and found a job working for a top agent in the Austin area. I did all of the grunt work and running around that he didn’t want to do. I entered listings, fielded office calls, took photos, and filed paperwork. There was nothing exciting or glamorous about it, and it didn’t pay the bills. After 6 months, I found a “real job” working as an office manager for an automation company in town. For years, I dreamed about getting back into the real estate industry but didn’t act on it until after my first child was born.
I found an incredible opportunity working for one of the top producing teams at the #1 real estate brokerage in Austin. As the office manager, I witnessed a lot of agents come and go, and a few partners. It was the early 2000’s, an exciting time in real estate, especially the Central Texas market. Homes were increasing in value by the day and everyone thought they could become a real estate agent. Here’s what I learned right way that served me well through the rest of my career – that being a real estate agent is not like what is represented on HGTV or one of those “Millionaire Listings” shows. Being a successful agent is about hard work, with no guaranteed income and a lot of expense. You will work long hours, work nights and weekends, and spend a lot of money along the way.
When I finally became licensed in 2007, I thought I would be able to handle every situation since I had spent almost 7 years around it. However, how can you be prepared for a seller changing their mind about selling their home right before closing, or a buyer not being completely honest with his lender about his finances? I was not always prepared for what I couldn’t control. You learn over time how to handle each situation, but I’ve seen new agents develop ulcers from deals. Eventually they learn too.
So what are the “ups” of real estate - quite simply, everything else! It’s so nice to control my own destiny. Hard work and dedication will translate into sales and income, and like most sales jobs, the income potential is limitless. I like being my own boss. I determine my work schedule and how I will grow my business. Right now, my focus is on growing my real estate brokerage and helping my agents become the most successful agents they can be. It’s very rewarding. I love when an agent closes a deal, especially a new agent closing their first deal, and the satisfaction and enthusiasm takes over.
So although challenging, being a real estate agent has incredible rewards that usually outweigh the down side. The most successful people in real estate that I’ve encountered are self-motivated, goal-oriented, and people pleasers. They love what they do and it not only shows, but radiates from them. I would encourage anyone thinking about real estate as a career to consider the ups and downs and then take the plunge if they think it’s right for them.
Samantha Mitchell is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer