In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, U.S. states began to shut down in mid-March of 2020. Everything from meat processing facilities, to movie theaters, restaurants and bars began to close, causing people across the country to either temporarily, or permanently, lose their jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April of 2020, the highest level since the Great Depression. It was in these trying times, where people began to look for other sources of income by switching careers, including the world of real estate.
Switching Careers to Real Estate
From safety to burnout, or just more income, there were many different reasons why so many people decided to make a switch to a real estate career. In a survey conducted by Aceable, 92% of real estate agents surveyed agree that the pandemic created more incentives to pivot into real estate. There were many other factors that contributed to agents switching their careers to real estate over the last two years:
46% said COVID created the need for additional financial support and/or the increased need for flexibility due to family care
45% said the working conditions of their previous job made them feel unsafe during COVID and/or they wanted a career where they could work remotely
41% said that they experienced feelings of burnout from their previous job
More Money, Less Problems?
Making more money could arguably be called the most important incentive when it comes to changing careers. 65% of people surveyed said they got their real estate license because they thought real estate would offer them the opportunity to earn a living. The unlimited income potential is yet another way in which real estate careers offer unmatched flexibility.
Since real estate agents have the flexibility to control their commission-based income, they’re not limited to a specific hourly wage or salary. In fact, 57% of agents surveyed said that they have earned more than they expected in their work as a real estate agent. Working smart can increase your income without requiring more of your time.
Switching career paths can be scary anytime, and can be even more so in a time of uncertainty during a global pandemic. Some may be concerned about the housing market and wonder if it’s worth starting a new career, only to have it upended by an unstable economy.
But let’s calm those fears, shall we? While buyers have been clamoring for homes, there simply haven’t been enough homes available to meet the buyer demand. A low supply and high demand for homes is good news for sellers, and the real estate agents that represent them who earn a percentage of the sales price as commission. This impressive real estate market growth means there are lots of buyers in the market, looking for a real estate agent to help them with their purchase.
If you’re looking for jobs with flexibility, the world of real estate could be just what you’re looking for. Being a real estate agent means having the flexibility to work as much or as little as you like. If you’re not convinced, the survey results revealed that a whopping 98% of people agree that working in real estate offers them good flexibility. Real estate agents are almost always paid on commission, meaning you earn a percentage of each transaction. There is no such thing as a set amount of real estate agent hours, so no one is going to force you to work a specific number of hours. You could choose to work part-time, full-time, over-time, or just in your spare time.
When deciding how many hours a real estate agent should work, keep in mind that your income is typically higher the more you work because more hours gives you more time to close more deals.
In addition to choosing how much you work, you also have a lot of flexibility regarding when you work. Evening and weekends are often prime working hours for real estate agents because that’s when most buyers and sellers are available (since they usually have 9-5 jobs). So a career as a real estate agent can work around your day job. And if that schedule isn’t ideal for you, find a target market with different hours. Retirees and the self-employed, for example, are more likely to be available during workdays.
Choosing how much, and when you work, is perfect for those looking for jobs with a great work-life balance. Being a real estate agent means having complete control over your professional, and personal life. You’ll never miss a recital, football game, or big family gathering ever again!
The Joy of Independence
As long as agents and brokers are operating within legal guidelines, real estate professionals are typically free to run their business as they see fit. Real estate agents are supervised by real estate brokers, but many brokers offer complete autonomy to their agents. Brokers themselves have complete autonomy.
This means you get to decide how you work. You decide how you want to market yourself, how to conduct client meetings, whether or not to do open houses, how to generate new leads. You can even decide to outsource tasks you don’t enjoy doing. Many agents hire people to cold call, follow up on Internet leads, and/or coordinate the escrow process.
With a broker’s license, you can even create a team of real estate agents to work under you. And you can manage that team as you think it should be managed, without interference from the micromanagers that so many of us are tired of reporting to. In fact, according to leadership development platform Better Up, workplace autonomy helps employees feel valued, which in turn, increases job satisfaction. And you know who else is satisfied with their career? Real estate agents! According to our survey, 84% of real estate agents are happy with their choice to pursue their career.
How Do I Get Started in Real Estate?
Wondering what to do next? 98% of respondents say that when considering starting a career in real estate, they had questions or concerns about exactly how to start their career or get a job. If your goal is to maximize flexibility and income by becoming a real estate agent, your new career starts with a real estate license.
How Do I Get a Real Estate License?
The process for getting a real estate license varies by state, but the five basic steps are the same, nationwide:
Meet the age and residency requirements.
Complete a state-approved real estate course (or courses as some states require more than one). In most states, you can complete your real estate course and get your real estate license online.
Pass your real estate exam.
Find a sponsoring broker to supervise your work.
Complete the application for your real estate license.
Start Your Flexible Real Estate Career Today!
So, are you still wondering if real estate is a good career path? With so much flexibility in terms of career paths, scheduling, autonomy, and income, a real estate career (or side hustle) is a perfect option for those who want more control over their lives. So don’t wait another day to start your new career. Enroll in your pre-license courses and start working toward your real estate license now!