Top 6 Myths About Working in Real Estate
Cinema and television generally give a negative image of real estate professionals. Films like “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “The Big Short” and reality shows like “Selling Sunset” feature unscrupulous agents who cheat and lie to get more sales.
Real life, however, couldn’t be more different: real estate agents aren’t cruel or manipulative. They work honestly to build trust with their clients and respect their colleagues and competitors. It’s a competitive business, but being successful often means collaborating with others and playing it safe financially.
Discover the six myths about real estate professionals that were perpetuated by fiction.
- It’s All About the Sale
Many films and shows have that cliché real estate agent who uses every means, legal or not, to sell a property and earn a hefty commission. In real life, while earning a commission is great, the ultimate goal of a real estate agent is to build relationships and earn a reputation for having clients’ best interests at heart.
A good professional works so that the client can find a perfect house. Sometimes this means advising the client not to make or accept an offer that didn’t match their goals. The sale can be a fun game, but if that’s the only reason you’re getting into real estate, you should think again. People’s homes and lives depend on a real estate professional’s attitude and decisions.
- Get Rich Off Commissions
There’s also a false idea that one gets into the real estate business and quickly becomes a millionaire working with celebrities. A true professional knows that success comes from hard work. First of all, the commissions received are divided between the broker and any agents involved in closing the deal. If the broker works for a brokerage fee, a portion of that also goes to the company. And real estate markets tend to fluctuate a lot so that commissions can be far and few between at times.
Although real estate professionals can make a decent living with only commission income, it’s important to remember that they also incur many additional costs, such as paying for insurance. Real estate is a profession with several risks involved, so you’ll need to have coverage like real estate errors and omissions insurance.
- Anyone Can Be a Real Estate Agent
While it is not mandatory to have a university degree to become a real estate agent, it’s also impossible to learn everything you need to know about the real estate market overnight. A bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or some other related field is sufficient to start working. However, having a specific degree in real estate comes with several benefits, such as better understanding the market’s principles and trends. A degree can also help an agent get a good deal with a real estate company.
In addition to school education, people who work in real estate need to be comfortable speaking to people (without the fast-talking realtor stereotype) and good at understanding what a client needs. The main thing is connecting with other people.
- You’ll Have a Flexible Schedule
Real estate is not a 9:00 to 5:00 desk job, so the flexible schedule tends to attract a lot of people. But that doesn’t mean you can spend a few hours showing a house to a potential customer or making half a dozen phone calls, then call it a day. The job requires a lot of dedication and a lot of your time.
Working in real estate requires adopting nontraditional hours at the mercy of clients’ schedules. You may spend a whole day following customers, and some of them still want to visit a property late at night. Also, remember that you will need to maintain strict schedules to take care of the administrative part of the business, such as dealing with banks, lawyers, and all the bureaucracy of the process. The more time you put in, the more success you will see.
- Location, Location, Location
While the location of a property is important, there are other things to consider. A successful real estate agent knows their area but also other relevant nearby communities and neighborhoods. This local knowledge can give you an advantage over the competition by understanding and identifying the true value of a property, such as a house in an area about to be revitalized or property close to a good school, commerce, public transport, and so on.
Topics like property quality, type of investment, and market timing are essential, but you also need to know your clients and their needs. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the happenings of the community in which you are selling property to give yourself a leg up on the competition.
- Flipping Houses is Easy Money
Flipped houses are properties that you buy and renovate, intending to resell them for a higher price. It’s a practice that can prove profitable over time, but it doesn’t mean easy money and requires a lot of knowledge of the local market.
You will need to identify neighborhoods that are becoming trendy, purchase a property there for a low price, and wait for the area to appreciate to win the jackpot. So yes, this can make you good money, but it also takes a lot of investment upfront and considerable time until the area in question becomes valued. Predicting the market can be lucrative, but it’s not as easy as you see on television.
A Professional Who Makes Dreams Come True
Cinema and reality shows popularized the idea of the fast-talking and cheating real estate agent, who manages to get rich overnight by negotiating a crooked sale of a fabulous property. In real life, successful professionals are those who work hard to satisfy their clients’ needs.
Your clients will be putting their lives in your hands: their savings and their dreams of finding the perfect home. A mistake on your part, deliberate or unintentional, can end up costing them a lot of money. The real job of a real estate agent is not just selling houses but making dreams come true.