Wondering if becoming a Realtor is right for you? Like any job or career, working as a real estate agent requires a specific skill set, and you might be pleasantly surprised to see how much of a fit this career can be.
And it can be lucrative too. The median pay for real estate agents is $49,040, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, if that sounds good to you, then keep reading and see what traits you’ll need to become an experienced, successful Realtor.
Top Skills that Qualify You to Be a Realtor
Ask yourself these questions as you evaluate how well this career path will fit you.
Are you a self-starter?
As a Realtor, you are an entrepreneur. You’re self-employed. That means it’s up to you to make your business work and bring in a sustainable income. So, successful real estate professionals are self-motivated. They’re constantly learning, practicing, and honing their skills.
Do you have the drive to keep going even when there’s nobody watching you to hold you accountable? If so, real estate may fit you well.
Can you solve problems?
Every transaction in real estate requires creative solutions to issues or situations that come up. And there’s always something to juggle—count on it. It takes special thought and care to get the buyer and seller, as well as the other agent, on the same page to make the deal come together smoothly.
If you love putting all the pieces of a puzzle together, realty is likely your gig.
Are you impeccable with your word?
Do you have high ethical standards? When people are relying on you as their agent, making super important decisions about their lives and finances, you’ll need to be honest—a person with integrity.
When you become a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you’ll be expected to uphold high standards, pledging yourself to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. If that sounds good, you’re on the right career path.
Do you love people?
Successful Realtors love serving people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. You’ll meet first-time buyers as well as savvy investors. People from all walks of life will become your clients and colleagues. And they all approach buying and selling a house in their unique way.
If the idea of working with different people every day, with all their idiosyncrasies, is appealing, you’re going to do great!
Do you enjoy being flexible?
In real estate, things change often. The industry ebbs and flows. Clients can change their mind on a dime, and you’ll need to be ready.
Having a career that requires flexibility has its pros and cons that you’ll need to weigh. Yes, you can set up your business so you and your family can take a three-week vacation if you choose, but you also may need to show a client a house at 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night.
If you’re able to be that flexible, realty will fit you well.
Are you detail-oriented?
Since real estate involves legal contracts and finances, it’s a career that demands precision. You must pay close attention to detail in everything you do.
Everything really does mean everything. You’ll need to be careful and thoughtful, choosing your words cautiously so you don’t make promises you can’t keep. You’ll need to pay close attention to every element of a contract, understanding how clauses and addendums can make or break a deal. You’ll also need to be comfortable walking through a house and noticing everything that needs to be addressed to protect your client.
This career is only for those who love handling details.
Do you love your area?
If you’ve always been interested in the particulars of all the different neighborhoods where you live, the years they were established, and their houses’ specific architectures, then you’ll probably make a great realtor. People will see the passion you have for where you work, and they’ll love collaborating with you.
Do you have a built-in client base?
If you have a huge contingent of family and friends in the community and know a ton of your neighbors and a lot of business associates, you already enjoy a good circle of influence who can introduce you to potential clients. This will be a huge tool to help you find leads to kickstart your business and set you up for years of success.
Take the Next Steps to Become an Agent
Once you’ve done your research and know where you want to work, it’s time to take your next steps:
Check out brokers in the community to see where you might like to work.
Visit open houses so you can meet working agents and pick their brains.
Take a pre-licensing course. Then take the licensing test and pass it.
Once you receive your license, your state’s real estate commisison will reach out to find out which real estate company (broker) you want to work under. Complete that final step, and you’ll be on your way to the best career of your life!
Succeed as a Realtor by Joining the Right Team
Knowing you have what it takes to succeed as a Realtor is essential, but it’s only a beginning point. To move into your new career, you’ll need to invest in pursuing it.