As an agent, you have so many options for your future, including venturing into niche or commercial markets, earning professional designations, entering into branch management or obtaining your broker’s license. The beginning of the year is a great time to think about where your real estate career path is headed from here.
Specialize in a Niche Real Estate Market
If you serve a niche real estate market, the majority of your business comes from clients who buy properties within that niche. So as you learn your local market and discover that your area is known for a particular type of property, you may find that you want to focus your efforts on those properties (for example, beach or lake homes, farms and ranches, city lofts, cabins or affordable housing).
The key to selling niche properties is that you often have to take baby steps, also selling other properties to make a living while you build your reputation as the go-to agent in that market.
Break Into Commercial Real Estate Sales
The biggest drawback to focusing exclusively on residential real estate is that you have to complete more transactions and work with more clients to yield the same profit of a single commercial sale or investment. Also, you may eventually find that the steadiness and redundancy of the job is boring and unchallenging.
Commercial sales are appealing because profits tend to be high. One sale could yield as much commission for you as five or more residential sales. That said, the risk is also higher, so you should definitely take some specialized training in this area before you venture into the market.
Own Your Own Brokerage
Going into business for yourself certainly comes with its own rewards. Having independence and control over your own business is highly appealing, and you stand to make a great deal of money.
However, the risks are high, and statistics show that many new businesses fail because owners don’t fully understand the work that is involved. It’s critical that you dedicate time to developing the leadership, management, public relations and general business skills you need to be a competent broker. Not all agents—even the top earners—are cut out for this type of real estate career path.
You’ll also need to invest in additional certification and training and understand the various regulations involved with becoming a broker. To run your own real estate business, you first must obtain your broker’s license. States differ on the number of education hours, subject matter and other qualifications, so contact your real estate commission for the exact prerequisites. Finally, before you make the move, it’s always a good idea to consult with:
- An attorney who is knowledgeable about real estate laws, regulations and policies
- An accountant and loan officer about the financial investment involved
- A successful broker who you trust and admire about his or her own experience
Ultimately, if you decide to go into business for yourself, this opens up several real estate career path options. Choices include purchasing an established brokerage, launching your own company from the ground up, opening a brokerage with partners and investors, or running a small one-person shop out of your home.
However, even if you decide not to move forward with your own brokerage, obtaining your broker’s license is a smart move because it increases your overall understanding of the industry. It can even land you a promotion—to associate broker or branch manager—within your current firm.
As you continue along your chosen real estate career path, don’t forget to keep your goals for the future in mind. Invest time and money in certifications, licenses and designations that can set you apart from the pack now, and help you achieve your real estate career goals later.
Yazir Phelps is the president of Colibri Real Estate, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Colibri Real Estate’s portfolio of brands includes Real Estate Express, McKissock Learning, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing at Fortune 500 organizations and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Learn more at realestate express.com.