If you are interested in working for yourself and setting your own schedule with an annual earning potential of $100,000 or more, then pursuing a career in real estate may be right for you. While there are many upsides to choosing real estate as your career, there are factors about becoming a real estate agent that does not appeal to everyone. We’ve laid out the pros and cons of a career in real estate, including real estate agents’ income, schedule, career outlook, leadership opportunities, and more.

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    Starting a Real Estate Career Is Quick and Painless

    Real Estate Careers: The Pros

    In most states, you can complete the required real estate courses, become a licensed real estate agent, and start your new career in just a matter of weeks or months (depending on state regulations). The process is different based on location, yet it usually takes months to complete a course and final exams and then study for your licensing exam. After the licensing exam, you will activate your license. Then, as a real estate agent, you can either work for yourself or a brokerage. However, when you are starting out, working for a brokerage is the best way to test your real estate skills and build your network of clients. To your knowledge, some brokerages do have extra training, so you learn how it operates and its branding.

    Real Estate Careers: The Cons

    There is an investment of time, money, and effort required to start a career in real estate. Also, it is a career that comes with no guarantees. Passing your state’s real estate licensing exam is difficult and demands a varied skill set and an understanding of complex topics. The training and tests are expensive, and you will want to dedicate some serious time to studying.

    For example, in Minnesota, it is $65 for the test and $100 for the license. While in California, it is $60 for the test and $200 for the license. If you want to test the waters of the real estate industry, there are some great introductory courses starting at around $35.

    As a Real Estate Agent, You Are Your Own Boss.

    Being Your Own Boss: The Pros

    Being a real estate agent means being your own boss, including dealing with compiling, submitting, and filing documents and lease agreements while also creating and managing the annual budget. If you transition to a career in real estate, you will be an independent contractor and control your own book of business. You make the decisions. Add in a good attitude and a solid work ethic, there are virtually no limits to your real estate business growth.

    Being Your Own Boss: The Cons

    As a real estate agent, you’re an independent contractor and are on your own to learn the real estate market and manage your business. You are in charge of building your lead list, maintaining your client’s needs, networking relationships, marketing your real estate business, and handling the day-to-day office needs. It’s all in your hands. Unfortunately, many new agents fail to recognize how much work it takes to become a successful real estate agent.

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