One of the trends amongst the ambitious younger generations has been finding a side hustle. A side hustle can range from dog sitting to developing web applications.
I decided to become a Real Estate Agent as mine.
This was honestly the most difficult part of the whole process. Despite my soaring interest in selling real estate, I don’t have a “salesman” type of personality. Close family members and my now ex-fiancée flat out told me I wasn’t a good fit to be a Realtor. Back in 2018, I planned to sell a rental property that was destroyed by a tenant (that’s an article for another day), in order to save on fees, I used a MLS website listing service to list the home by owner. I handled everything from the staging, photography, contract, etc.
and was able to successfully sell the home by owner for close to list price. I can’t say everything went smooth, but it absolutely gave me the confidence to pursue my real estate license. A few months later, I was a licensed Realtor in the state of Florida.
The process in each state is different, and I do work a 9-5, so I ended up taking an online course. The course was a 63-hour, but since I had a pretty good understanding of real estate prior, I was able to breeze through it in about 40 hours. From there, it was passing the online exam, going through fingerprinting and background, applying for my license, and then studying for the state exam. The state exam is the hardest part of the licensing process, I was fortunate to pass on my first attempt. I had added pressure because a friend/co-worker from my 9-5 job was literally waiting for me to pass my exam before he was going to purchase a home. Once I passed, I had to quickly decide on a Real Estate Broker to hang my license with.
Deciding on a broker, hmm…
Before I began my online course, I was nervous about finding a Real Estate Broker who would take me. Wow…. I was wrong. Once brokers got wind of my going through the licensing process, I was getting daily calls from them trying to recruit me (real estate is sales, after all). This quickly became overwhelming, and luckily, I had a few friends who were already agents in my area that I could talk with. In my area, there’s a lot of different types of brokers. There are “teams” where you will get a lot of client leads, but your broker is paying to obtain those leads and taking around 50 % of your commission once you sell a home. There are brokers who will give you training and branding, but they won’t provide you with leads, and they’ll still take 30 % of your commission. With these types of brokerages, they expect performance and demand it, as they’re investing in you. I knew this would not be a fit for me given I was doing this as a side hustle, and I feel the more desperate you are to make a sale, the less successful you will be as an agent. Let me be clear, there is VALUE in the above brokers, but given my situation, I went with a different approach.
I found a great broker for ME!
When I sold my home by owner, the buyer of my home had a great Realtor working along their side to make the deal go smooth. Lots of Realtors fear the “crazy” For Sale By Owner sellers who can be very difficult to deal with. My first conversation with her was very good, negotiating was quick and smooth, and we had great communication throughout the whole deal. She truly made my experience as an owner selling their home easier (while still assisting her own client in getting a nice home). Why does this matter? Well… I stayed in touch with this agent and I asked about her small, local brokerage that she worked for. Remember the 50 % and 30 % cuts that the bigger brokerages were going to take? She informed me this broker only took 6 % of my commission. I was skeptical, I think I asked her about three different times “What’s the catch?” there is no catch. They don’t have any quota I have to meet, but they also don’t hold your hand or send you leads. You are out on your own (given, they do have resources available for questions), but it’s YOUR business. I passed my exam on a Thursday, I filled out their paperwork, and I was licensed and linked with a brokerage on Friday. Saturday morning, I was off to a beautiful new construction community to show my friend/co-worker houses. By Sunday, I had my first deal pending. Check in next week to hear how my journey as a Realtor has grown throughout the last two years.