Is Now the Time to go Into Real Estate?
After years of struggling, the U.S. economy is showing signs of life again. The economic freefall is slowing down, and the housing market may be stabilizing. Taking that into consideration, some career-minded individuals are wondering if now is the right time to go into real estate. There are three good reasons why the answer is “yes.”
Nowhere to Go but Up
Every few years, an overheated economy corrects itself back onto a steady course, and individuals not looking at the broad picture can panic. During the past few years, the subprime mortgages sold to consumers who couldn’t afford them and the resulting national epidemic of foreclosures dragged the housing market down as far as it could go. But according to the National Association of Realtors, the signs of a comeback are positive:
- Sales of existing homes dropped from 4.34 million in 2009 to 4.19 million in 2010.
- They then rose to 4.26 million in 2011.
The surplus inventory on the market is decreasing, and consumers are becoming increasingly confident enough to buy homes. For individuals who are drawn to a career in sales and love a challenge, jumping into a real estate career makes perfect sense. Getting into the business now will position them to ride the next wave up.
A Wide Open Market
When the recession hit and the housing industry ground to a halt in the early 2000s, realtors found that their job became a lot harder. Previously, there was big money to be made and the homes almost sold themselves. But the recession impacted the real estate industry in a big way.
When the market tanked, many realtors became disillusioned and left the profession in large numbers. Realtors entering the market now have less competition, so there are more listings available to them. New agents are realizing the job is harder than it was a few years ago, and they need a whole new set of skills to do the job. Those skill sets include:
- Understanding and addressing buyer and seller psychology
- Using negotiation skills
- Understanding how to use the increasing number of financing options
- Overcoming obstacles to a successful closing
- Reaching the point where they can make the sale
Test the Water Before Jumping In
Yes, the economy is still shaky, but it’s moving forward. Salespeople who took any job just to survive and bring home a paycheck are now exploring what they really want to do, and for some that means selling homes. Those interested in getting their feet wet in the highly competitive real estate profession can begin as a part-time agent.
Starting a second career as a realtor while still holding onto a full-time primary job is not easy, but it’s a way to incorporate that necessary skill set into a moneymaking venture. According to Lee Dworshak, a realtor with Keller Williams LA Harbor Realty, the 80/20 rule applies in real estate as in anywhere else. That is, 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the agents out there.
After earning their real estate license, realtors have the option of getting a foot in the door by working part-time. The most organized and motivated agents are the ones most likely to succeed. An advantage to this strategy is that if things don’t work out, the other job will be a financial safety net.
The best way to think of beginning a career in real estate is to look forward, not back. Despite the rocky road the housing market has weathered, the outlook is bright. For those who want it badly enough, the opportunity will always be there.