Real Estate Humor: We all need some!
This real estate humor post by Greg Nino, real estate agent at Re/Max Compass in Houston, was originally published on ActiveRain. I laughed out loud because so much of it is true for all the Realtors I know! In fact, Im adding my 2-cents worth underneath each point, in italics)
Several times a year I am approached by people who want to become a Realtor. Many of them think it’s a great way to supplement their income while they keep their day job. A lot of others are interested in a career change. I decided to type this blog post to save myself time. Each time I’m asked I’ll simply send the inquiring person a link back to this post.
So, with that said, grab your favorite beverage and read below, because you’re about to get a heavy dosage of what it’s like to start a real estate career.
1. Passing the exam is easy. Creating a business with real income is a different story.
(Actually passing the exam is EASIER than creating a business, but IMHO the questions are designed to trick you… And that is just the beginning of the new world of mind games you have entered!)
2. Now that you have your license, be prepared to lose friends and get your feelings hurt. Most, if not all, of your friends and family will avoid using you the first year or two that you’re licensed. Simply put, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Earn your battle scars. Even after you’ve gained experience, you’ll have friends and family who will not work with you because you’re a friend or because you are family. It happens every day to Realtors across the country.
(Yes, that happened to me too.)
3. If you don’t spend money, you won’t make money. You need to spend THOUSANDS of dollars to create a business. Most of what you are thinking is a cute and new idea has already been tried a thousand times. You will do what every new agent does: Spend money (A LOT OF IT) on the wrong things. Over and over again. There’s a famous saying in this business: “If you want to get rich in real estate, sell stuff to Realtors.”
(On top of the things you do chose to “invest” in, you need to deal with 3+ calls EVERY week asking you to buy something else.)
4. You and your smartphone will become inseparable. You will have to get up from eating, watching a movie and sleeping to take calls, return emails and respond to text messages. Of course, you don’t have to do this, but you also don’t have to make any real money in this business. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Ignoring a call could be a $20,000 mistake. Or more.
(Sadly… very true.)
(Did I ever tell you about the time my client and I walked in on a couple in bed? Yes, within our approved showing window… After knocking and calling out, upon entering the house!)
7. Almost nobody will respect your time. Almost everyone thinks you are overpaid.
(Actually most of my clients respect my time. But few of them can possibly know the hours I put in behind the scenes, so they probably do assume I’m overpaid.)
8. Expect people to ask for kickbacks both legally and illegally. Buyers and sellers will often want to haggle with your commission.
(Why is it that a doctor gives a price and no-one questions it? King Soopers gives a price and no-one questions it? Enter the world of real estate and construction and all bets are off.)
9. You will pay taxes. A lot of taxes. Expect to pay for the gizmo you use to unlock doors. You will pay for this yearly along with dues to three different associations. You’ll pay for signs, lockboxes, tools, equipment, cameras, advertising for both you and your listings, leads, websites, and on and on and on.
(You will pay an accountant to help you pay taxes too! Nothing complicates a tax return like your own real estate business. )
10. You will pay for your own health and life insurance. There is no 401(k) matching in real estate. You are an independent contractor. In fact, YOU will pay to be at your local real estate office! The broker will take money from you. You will also pay for an office if you want one. Your phone is your cost. Your Internet is also your cost. So are your paper, pens and everything else imaginable. You’re running a small business. It’s ALL your costs. You’ll also pay for errors and omissions insurance. The list is really long. Yay!
(The cost of being in business is so high you NEED to close deals each month to pay for it.)
11. You will get screwed in this business. It’s not for the naive, lighthearted, ignorant or thin-skinned. You will work your rear end off and sometimes not make a dime.
(Hmmm… I do remember the guy who told me he wasn’t working with someone all 3 times I showed him my listing… Then received an offer to buy from him and his lazy agent!)
12. You will deal with a certain number of psychopaths each year.
(I prefer to use the term “hormonally challenged… But they present with similar symptoms.)
13. You will meet criminals, convicts and felons, especially if you work in the leasing industry.
(Yes, I’ve done a deal with a seller who was in prison.)
14. Strange men and women will ask you to meet them at houses RIGHT NOW.
(They will also think nothing of asking you to meet them in the dark, at houses with no electricity turned on. Which I don’t do, by the way!)
15. You might get a gun pointed at you while showing a house or two. Sometimes rabid pit bulls will chase you down.
(Gun… not yet. Pitbull.. Yes. And rottweiler too.)
16. Expect to get towed at least once.
(Still waiting to be towed. I have a couple of parking tickets though.)
17. Eventually you’ll get in a wreck while showing. You better hope your clients aren’t with you. Is your auto insurance updated correctly?
(I was on my way to a closing, in a blizzard. With clients in the car!)
18. There is no disability insurance. So, if you break a leg while playing softball, you’re screwed. It’s going to hurt your business.
(Last year I broke 3 bones in my foot and did showings on crutches, 3 hours later. It was 6 months before I could wear normal shoes again, but I took zero days off.)
19. You might get sued even when you aren’t at fault.
(Fingers crossed. Not yet.)
20. When you become successful, your competitors might file complaints on you because they are jealous. You won’t like this.
(Nope. Actually half of my friends are Realtors too. I don’t consider them competitors except in multiple offer situations.)
21. As you show houses you’ll be in questionable neighborhoods from time to time. You need to learn self-defense, and carry a gun or a can of mace. Everyone should be concerned about their safety.
(Pepper spray. Check.)
22. Be prepared to leave a social event early to run and show a house or to get yelled at by one of your clients for something you did not do. It doesn’t matter, you are the chew toy sometimes.
(Yes, to both of these, more often than you would imagine!)
23. It’s likely you’ll get audited by the IRS. You have too many write-offs and, once again, you make too much money.
24. Lawyers are annoyed by Realtors.
(Out of state clients often come with lawyers attached.)
25. Expect to list homes and never sell them. No agent sells every home they list. You will waste time, money, energy and resources.
(I have just two of these “failures” to my name.)
26. Your signs will be stolen, spray-painted and eventually played with by the local kids.
(I add to this: Damaged by landscapers and blown away in wind storms.)
27. Your flier box will always be empty because kids, passersby and neighbors will take too many. Sometimes they’ll take all of them in one day. Then you’ll be chastised for not having fliers in the flier box.
(The first bunch is sacrificial. I know the neighbors have them all!)
28. Did I mention you’ll deal with at least two crazy people each year?
(Yes. Then wonder if it’s YOU who is the crazy one for being in this business.)
29. EACH real estate transaction you work means you are likely dealing with at least eight different people. You’re responsible for 15-20 things. Right now I am trying to close 11 contracts. I am a little stressed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my paperwork, my clients and my business.
(I frequently wake up with work related anxiety… Or stay asleep and dream about it.)
30. You will become an unlicensed therapist, divorced lawyer and counselor. You aren’t allowed to give legal advice, and you shouldn’t. You aren’t a doctor, but everyone will unload their personal lives with you. You will sometimes live their life.
(YES, YES, YES. There comes a point when the client has told you so much about their needs and issues already, they decide nothing is “over-sharing”.)
31. Your spouse will at times hate what you do for a living.
(Even when you spouse is in the same business, they will complain about your work!)
32. Your wife or husband will despise the fact that you are always on your phone.
33. When you’re sick, you still work. There’s no floating holidays.
(My clients are often the people that give me the germs to start with too.)
34. While on vacation, you still work. You can get an agent to cover your business, but NOBODY will care for your business the way you do.
(Sadly, true. I have trouble cutting myself off.)
35. Sometimes when you make mistakes it costs people money. You can’t just apologize.
(And you never get over it!)
36. You have to have a nice car. You must wear nice clothes.
(I have had clients request to ride in the back of my car for the seat massagers! I’m fine with that until they don’t want to get out and go inside the houses – which has also happened!)
37. When you first get started everyone will know you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s a fact. This sucks. But if you stick it out, you’ll be OK. Seventy-five percent of the new agents don’t make it.
(True. You need to really believe in yourself to eat away at all your savings in order to survive long enough to make money at real estate.)
38. You get to work with agents! Not all of them are put together correctly. A lot of your problems in this business will be because of the other agent. You will get upset, angry, pissed and offended. Egos are here, too.
(I have lots of agent friends and am very grateful the connections that last long after a deal is done.)
39. Wait for it: Friends, neighbors and family will ask you for real estate advice while they are involved in a real estate transaction YOU aren’t.
(They don’t see this as an awkward moment in your relationship either!)
40. Other Realtors will give your client advice when they aren’t supposed to. Every buyer and every seller knows an agent somewhere.
(Sometimes it’s good advice. But like we mentioned earlier… Not all agents are put together right.)
41. Each market is different. Very different sometimes, but that won’t stop friends and family from influencing your client. Your client will become confused at times.
(One of my pet peeves is family and friend advice from afar. Really NOT doing my client they favor they think they are.)
42. You have a better chance of meeting E.T. than you do working real estate part time and being successful. It takes time, effort and money to be a part-time Realtor. In fact, being a part-time agent can be even more difficult.
So why do agents do this?
You’ll have the amazing opportunity to reap what you sow. You can work when you want. No matter how bad your boss (client) is, you are working for them for only a certain period of time. You get new bosses all the time. You can make a real difference in a lot of people’s lives. You literally help shape dreams. YOU can be the difference in someone’s life as they look to sell and buy a home. And not all clients, buyers and sellers are bad. Most of them get it. It’s awesome when everything works out.
And sometimes the money is really good.
(Many of my closest friends were clients and agents met through my real estate business dealings. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I LOVE what I do!)