Earn a Good Income With Flexible Hours
Not all real estate agents and brokers are REALTORS®, but those who meet certain standards and promise to adhere to the ethical guidelines established by the National Association of REALTORS® receive that designation. If you love serving others and could imagine yourself helping them find the right home or investment properties while providing a solid income for your family, working as a REALTOR® could be a rewarding career. Most real estate professionals enjoy flexible hours, which is a plus for those who hope to build a lucrative career and have a family at the same time.
Real estate agents and brokers serve clients who wish to buy or sell homes. For a buyer, the agent or broker learns their client's desires, needs, price range and desired location and compile a list of properties for them to tour and consider. For a seller, real estate agents and brokers help to get the home ready to sell, choose a solid sale price, advertise the home and conduct open houses. Real estate professionals help in negotiating a fair price, ensuring everything is legal and compiling necessary paperwork. Real estate agents and brokers make a commission off their sales, which usually establishes their income. While real estate brokers can work independently, agents must work under the supervision of brokers.
To become a REALTOR®, you must first become a real estate agent or broker. Most states offer a specialized course before you can take your real estate license exam. To get licensed as a broker, you may also need to have a year or more of experience as an agent first. Some employers prefer candidates who have a college degree focused in business, finance or law. Once you are licensed, contact your local real estate association about membership. Once you are a member of your local association, you may apply to become a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Principal founders of an agency must be approved for membership before other members can be approved as REALTORS®.
Real estate brokers, including REALTORS®, earn a median income of $56,790 per year, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earn less. The top 10 percent earns more than $162,260, while the bottom 10 percent earns less than $24,370. The median income for agents is $44,090, with the top 10 percent earning more than $112,570 and the bottom 10 percent taking home less than $22,230.
About the Industry
Most real estate agents and brokers work out of an office or from home and spend a great deal of time away from the office meeting with clients and showing homes. While hours can be long and involve evenings and weekend, they also tend to be flexible, which allows for family schedules. Most real estate agents and brokers can set their own hours and choose to work either full- or part-time.
Years of Experience
Real estate agents tend to earn more with time and experience, especially as their reputation in the community is established. One projection of income for real estate agents looks like this:
- 1‒2 Years: $39,629‒$40,216
- 3‒4 Years: $39,797‒$40,355
- 5‒6 Years: $39,950‒$40,495
- 7‒9 Years: $40,216‒$42,990
- 10‒14 Years: $40,523‒$46,774
- 15 or More Years: $42,497‒$49,077
Job Growth Trend
Job opportunities for real estate agents and brokers, including REALTORS®, is expected to increase by 6 percent over the next decade, which is about as fast as in other industries. It's relatively easy to secure positions once licensed, but it takes time to build your reputation and secure the listings necessary to make a reliable income. Some clients may be more likely to trust you with their business when they know that you have agreed to a set of ethical standards within the industry and are a member of a national organization.