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Please Help! Looking to become a real estate broker.

Hello Forum Members!

I am looking to transition to a career as a real easte egent/broker and am looking for as much help and guidance as I can get. I am curently a software quality engineer with a stable company. I have 12 years of experience at the company, 5 at my current job and it has sucked the life out of me. I need to make a change.

I feel real estate is that direction and would like to know what i am getting into. I understand the process I need to go through in order to become a broker but I would like to hear some real world experience. I have a license realtor sponsoring me for the course and job placement once I am licensed.

Is this a bad time to make such a move?
What is a reasonable salary expectation for my first year? zip - 02838
Will a bankrupcty have any effect on becoming a licensed real estate broker?

I look forward to hearing your responses.


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Ryan -- I think now is a great time. We all know real estate is going to level out and be a solid area in the future. Sure, right now a lot of people are taking a wait and see attitude - but in the long run real estate is probably going to be much more attractive now that the stock market is so suspect.

The real question is not the timing - but does being in real estate "fit" you? As a software engineer I would expect that you are logical and methodical. Most real estate agents I know that are extremely successful are very social, gregarious and essentially, cheerleaders. I'm certainly not that so I would not be a good candidate, although I love real estate investing.

If you are looking for a "salary" you are not a candidate for real estate. You should be prepared to be compensated through commissions only. But then the sky is the limit. If you are good, you can write your own ticket financially. And no, a bankruptcy has no impact.
heh, I'm a bit star struck, I didn't expect "THE" Dan Miller to respond :-) I am honored and in a weird way look at this as a sign. The reason I am looking into the real estate field is that I am miserable as a software engineer. I am a fish out of water and recent my job responsibilities have risen to a level I am uncomfortable with. I really have a hard time coming in every morning.

I am 32 and started my career at my company as a security guard and worked my way up to my current position. The only training and education I have is what they taught me and being average intelligence I have been very successful. Successful in that I have a career that a lot of people envy, but one that I am not happy with. Before my current job I was a Customer Engineer, that was my favorite position to date. I did not like the technical aspects, other then problem solving. I really enjoyed the interaction with the customers. The good meetings and the trying ones.

I am a very social and gregarious. My would say to a fault :). When I am passionate about something I am a great cheerleader. I am pushing "48days" and "The Total Money Makeover" to everyone I know! :)

I misspoke when I said salary, I understand that what I make is my responsibility. I guess I am looking for the median income for a first year committed and passionate agent. Real stories and rather then stats.

I picked up Kenneth W. Edwards' 5th ed. of Your Successful Real Estate Career last night and finished the first chapter. If you are not familiar with it, it seems to be a good resource for someone in my position. The first chapter deals with "is it for you". I think it is but I want to gather enough information to be sure.

This came about because a good friend of mine in the mortgage industry just got laid off and has the opportunity to be sponsored for the course. This Realtor says he has more business then he can handle and is willing to take him under his wing as well as new referrals.

At this stage I have not even spoken to the Realtor but a fire has been lit. If I can decide this is the field for me I plan to make it happen with or with out this particular Realtors help.

Thanks again!

p.s. - Another "sign", the course I plan to take starts on my birthday :-)
Hi Ryan,

I think now is a good time as any to learn the real estate industry. It has tapered off with the "mortgage crisis" heavily affecting the industry, so depending on how you're financially set up, it may not be a bad idea to have a steady source of income to depend on. Most realtors that I know personally, have told me that it took them about 2-3 years before they were making good money. First, you'll have to determine what "good" money is for you. And second, this also depends on the individual - and I think that if you find a strong mentor, and with hard work and determination, then perhaps you can decrease that time span to your advantage. Also if you obtain your real estate "sales" license versus your "broker" license that will affect your pay as well. With a regular "sales' license, you generally split your commissions with the broker. On the other hand, as the "broker", you keep 100% of your commissions. There are various structures to this as well, but these are the two obvious distinctions.

As far as opportunity, if you're going for your "broker's" license, I think there's a great opportunity for you to take advantage of residual income from either the real estate side or mortgage side, or both. Personally, I come from a mortgage background and I love the mortgage industry, however I realize that it is very cyclical. That is something to hedge against. There's a lot of money to be made in both industries, but most importantly, there's a lot people in need of sincere, trusting individuals who care for their clients versus those who prey on them or view them as just a dollar sign.

If you're undecided, you can still do it casually on the side as many agents are doing now because of the economy. Either way, I agree with Dan in respects to whether or not this is the right fit for you. This may require some soul searching, which it sounds like you may be doing already. If you have friends in the industry, maybe you can tag along on some open house events, prospect interviews, or anything along those lines to get a "front row" seat of what it would be like. Just a suggestion. Overall, if you love people and enjoy networking, it is a great way to help people make one of the biggest transactions of their lives.

Good Luck to you!
Hello Ryan!

The world of Real Estate is an awesome world. I was an agent in West Central Minnesota for four years and loved it. I'd still probably be in it today if not for an unexpected life change but I'm not ruling out a return sometime in the future.

Be prepared for the ups and downs of the profession. It is extremely difficult to live on a budget when your budget may go weeks without any income. A 100% commission income is a tough go in the beginning and many Realtor's go a few years before they have that residual income/client base in place. One avenue that you might consider would be becoming a "Buyer's Agent." As such an agent, you don't have the advertising expenses associated with listing homes and properties for sale, especially if they aren't moving, plus you can contract for some up-front income to cover some expenses. Work with your Broker on that though. Some states offer a reciprocity with neighboring states, greatly enlarging your area, some do not.

Be aware of your expenses, especially just moving into the profession. Other questions that you need to ask your Broker are: Do you have floor or desk fees? What are your commission rates? Do I have to pay for advertising or is it a package rate with the office? Who gets the first person in the door or the first phone call? Will I be mentored? Does your Broker have insurance for you? Who pays the Realtor & MLS dues? Who pays for the continuing education? Who puts up the signs? Does the office have a closing agent?

I almost went broke paying for advertisement. It is so easy to be caught up in that when you are new and want to impress. One has to learn quickly what works and what is a waste. You can't keep up with the "big" ones, not at first but most got that way by being extremely frugal in the beginning.

Until you get your license, call every Broker or Realtor that you see in all of those real estate for sale magazines that I'd bet you are searching through. Ask them the questions that you are asking here. 99% of them will give you straight information about your area and how the market is. You will be able to hear it in their voices if they are straight with you. This "interview process" will also help you learn how to use the telephone, professionally as a Realtor. An important trait that you need to practice.

I also like what Chris Chua has added, if you could tag along to some open houses and events, what a great way to see the "inside." And I'll ad, if the market is slow, it is a great time to pick the brains of those inside Real Estate.

The Real Estate market cycles everywhere. If Broker tells you that he has more business than he can handle, or that he would take you in, unproven, I'd be leery. To me, that would mean that he doesn't have enough agents and/or has trouble keeping agents in his office for whatever reason. To be honest, I'd check out a national or large regional agency first rather than an independent. Your fees might be higher but you will have professional back up and a formal process to follow.

I would assume that most states rules for licensing are the same or nearly so. To become a Broker, your Realtor's License must be held for two years and your continuing education up to date before you can begin the process to become one. In most states, one doesn't even have to have a HS Diploma to become a Realtor, but you cannot have a felony on your record nor one that has been expunged.

Every new Realtor has passion when they enter the profession, the hard part is to keep that passion high when the times are low. Keep your passion at an even keel and you will be fine. Be real, not flamboyant and you will garner the respect that you need among your peers.

Books are helpful, not always accurate, but helpful. May I recommend another author for consideration? Tom Hopkins.

Anyway, I wish you the best, Ryan. It is a great profession. Keep your morals high so that you can sleep at night, that is probably the most important tip that I can relay to you.

Let us know what you decide and how it is going for you.

Hi Ryan!


I just found this thread after searching for "Realtor", and I was curious if you pursued becoming a Realtor.  I'm in the process of obtaining my license, and would love to hear about your experience.



You have to be extremely outgoing and be willing to find your own clients. You would be truly amazed at how many agents there are living in subdivisions and neighborhoods that don't even bother going door -to-door introducing themselves as a neighborhood agent and I would like to list your house if your ever decide to sell or need help in finding a new residence. This is the most basic advertising and marketing you can do as a new agent/broker. good luck. Most people fail because they dont do the simple obvious stuff. I would carry cards and drop one off to evry person I spoke to regardless of who or what they were.


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