Job Title: Real Estate Sales(Self-Employed)
Type of Company: I work for a small, successful real estate agency.
Education: high school license, Real Estate Sales, Middlesex Community College (Middletown, CT)
Previous Experience: My primary source of income until 3 years ago was the cargo business. I worked with freight forwarders for over 20 years and I am still involved with that community in my new job.
Job Tasks: There are obviously a lot of people involved with the selling and leasing of real estate, although the recent recession has resulted in a number of people dropping out of the field. I wake up early every day, check my emails before leaving my home, and usually arrive at my office by 7AM. I spend time following up on earlier correspondence, and I focus on trying to attract business from and for my colleagues from the cargo industry. In other words, I try to work in a niche market within the wider field of real estate. Typically realtors work on a strict commission basis, that is, we get a certain percentage of the actual transaction. That leads to a lot of stress financially during start-up and in downturns. What is not obvious to the general public is the amount of time spent in classes and in the office, and the monies spent on certification, recurring training, and association fees. All that said, it can be very rewarding.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the ability to work on your own. I really can set my own schedule. Just as in any other business, your personal ethics, your reputation, and your work ethics are the keys to success. The downside is the lack of consistent income in a bad economy and the long hours spent trying to get established.
Job Tips: First, make sure you get as much education as possible, especially if it is free. High school is a must, and if you qualify for college you should try and graduate, although I did not make it all the way through due to my own lack of study skills. Definitely gather all the technical skills you can; computer and internet-based communications have transformed the world of work. I would try and tailor a real estate career to your particular likes and talents. If you are in school, chances are you may be too young to have had a previous career, but maintaining a great reputation and trying to narrow your focus (to recreational properties, commercial properties or vacation homes, for example) will help you pick a favorite career track.
Additional Thoughts: Find a mentor and shadow her to see if you like the job. Military training is a great way to help maintain honor, ethics, and gain experience.
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