Real Estate Isn't Easy; Neither is Making the Money!
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What Does It Take?
First comes the initial educational requirement of Phases #1, #2, and #3, which amounts to about 160 hours (in most cases balancing a full-time job) of classroom time, followed by three separate three-hour exams, in which you must score a grade higher than 75%. Once hired by a real estate broker, it takes an average of 6 long months before you might see any money for your efforts. After you have sold your mother's home and your Uncle's house, you need to find the nerve to start dealing with strangers. If you are introverted or even slightly shy around people, you will have many problems and likely have a short career in real estate. Should you manage your way through all that, then there is more education while continuing to try to make a living. Within two years, you must complete three articling courses. Two of the courses are mandatory, one 60 hours and the other 80 hours, plus another 60-hour course elective. All followed by three-hour exams, again with a 75% minimum grade. Also, all realtors are required to fulfill 24 credits (24 hours of course load) of updated credits every two years in order to remain licensed.
Once you complete the initial educational requirement, the realtor engages in advertising, promotion, and constant marketing of both themselves and any property listings they have to sell. Real estate practitioners must accustom themselves to 16-hour days, late-night and early morning phone calls, and most importantly, the missed quality time, including vacations with your spouse and children.
As a realtor, you should be dedicated to your craft and your clients. You will never shut down, and the work will never end at 5 o'clock. You are up early every morning, with no time for your favourite soap operas or Leaf hockey games. There are no excuses. You are only as good as the workday you put in. You will provide for your family and do so with great sacrifice. Why? The good realtors have a passion for the business! We dedicate ourselves to our clients out of passion and a love of what we do. There is no magic here, just hard work and long hours. There are those realtors who "think" a good game (totally unsuccessful in the world of real estate) and then those who actually make things happen (winners).
It's not just about the money. Actually, there is very little left after paying your expenses. You have to pay brokerage fees, franchise fees, three or four different real estate board fees, realtor's insurance, advertising costs, ongoing marketing fees, and costs of signage, not to mention the replacement cost of vehicles and cost of gas and vehicle insurance. Consider all the hours spent with clients who do not buy or the listings that do not sell. Sometimes, there is a lot of money spent without ever earning a dime; the list goes on and on. What we go through on a day-to-day basis to make a decent living –is absolutely scary and borders on insanity. You must generate $80,000 a year to earn a living. It takes a certain kind of person to be successful in this business, and not everyone makes it. In fact, few do! It is a very difficult lifestyle, especially if you don't have organization skills and time management accountability. No self-discipline – forget it!
If we do make good money, it is because we make sacrifices that few people would make day to day, year after year. Understanding what goes on behind the scenes is imperative for the individual considering a career in real estate. To the objective observer, one may see a realtor's week consisting of approximately 30 hours of work or less, but in fact, it is many long and sometimes arduous hours spent getting to the point of the sale. We are professionals.
Not every realtor's story is the same. But I assure you, for the 20% of us who can actually make a living doing this job, it would be a similar plight. We are realtors, and we care.
Now, you may understand why we ask for a full commission when we list a property! Life is about choices. We all make them. Know what it takes and make the right choice for you.