San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)

How to start a career as a Realtor

- By Jordan Guinn

So you want to be a Realtor? It takes time, energy and effort to become a listing agent. In addition to studying to pass the licensing exam, wouldbe Realtors need to learn about the area they will be working. Its history, its style and its trends must become secondhand knowledge for anyone looking to thrive as a Realtor.

So we asked Realtors themselves, what does it take to make it?One of the key things, according to Jeff LaMont of Coldwell Banker, is enough money to get started.

“I always recommend the new agent have some financial reserves when you’re going into the real estate business, as typically you’re not gonna make a lot of money in the first few years as you’re learning your craft and growing in your business,” he said. “Remember: You are not an employee with a salary. You are an entreprene­ur running your own business. If you don’t sell, you won’t eat.”

Look to those with experience for examples of how to be successful, said Jane Strauch of the Grubb Co.

“Start by taking a few agents to coffee, find out what their days are really like, and shadow them if you can,” she said. “If you still want to go for it, get your real estate license, and start working on a team or work at a brokerage with a trainingme­ntorship program.”

Expect to work a lot of hours, Realtors said. And there’s always something new to learn.

“Learn everything you can every day and know that each day and deal is different,” Strauch said. “It’s a 24/7/365 business, so hold on tight.”

The money can be good, but isn’t guaranteed, Realtors said.

“The average annual income of

“I always recommend the new agent have some financial reserves when you’re going into the real estate business, as typically you’re not gonna make a lot of money in the first few years as you’re learning your craft and growing in your business. Remember: You are not an employee with a salary. You are an entreprene­ur running your own business. If you don’t sell, you won’t eat.” Jeff LaMont Coldwell Banker

the 200,000 licensed real estate agents in California is just over $82,000, which breaks down to about $40 an hour,” Strauch said. Of course, Bay Area agents can take home much more than that because higher housing prices mean larger commission­s, but it takes a great deal of energy to get establishe­d in such a competitiv­e market.

Shows like “Million Dollar Listing” and “Property Brothers” might make anyone think they can be a Realtor, but in reality the business is challengin­g and tense.

Thankfully, there are always experience­d experts willing to show newbies the ropes.

 ?? Shuttersto­ck ?? Thinking about becoming a Realtor? It’s a career that involves a lot of hard work, but it can be quite rewarding.
Shuttersto­ck Thinking about becoming a Realtor? It’s a career that involves a lot of hard work, but it can be quite rewarding.

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