There’s a real estate agent in the town where I live that some folks refer to as the mother of the community. She’s one of the best sellers for real estate in town, but beyond that, she goes out of her way to make sure that the area is a safe, fun, and uplifting place to live.
For example, during the first wave of COVID-19, she organized businesses to create walking scavenger hunts for families. She also passed out the sidewalk chalk and hosted an outdoor art contest. Most recently, she organized a fundraiser to help the family of a dying child make memories during the time remaining time they have together.
This community-minded living is typical of real estate agents, but it’s not all they do. They list real estate for sellers, take buyers on tours and share information, help prepare and submit real estate documents, and influence lifestyles by helping people find the homes that best meet their needs. The big question is, do real estate agents make good money?
Interestingly, the answer depends partially on the real estate agent’s personality and whether or not he or she is satisfied with the job.
A real estate career is well suited for people with the ENTP personality type because they are extroverted, intuitive, logical, and perceptive. Real estate agents are often very social people, and they enjoy interacting with others as they sell homes. These are the kind of people who might also enjoy jobs as art directors, environmental scientists, and urban planners.
Do Real Estate Agents Make Good Money?
What's The Median Salary For Real Estate Agents?
In 2019, the median pay for real estate agents in the United States was $50,730, or $24.39 per hour. There’s a lot of variation in the salary range, though. On the low end, some real estate agents make only $24,930 per year, while the real estate agents in the 90th percentile make $111,800.
A lot of the variance can be linked to areas of the United States that the real estate agents work in. For example, real estate agents in the state of New York make an average of $111,800 per year—the top salary range in the nation. Compare this to the average salary of real estate in Florida, which has the highest concentration of real estate agents for estates. Real estate agents in Florida make an average of $62,790 per year. In South Carolina, real estate agents only make an average of $48,560 per year.
The variation shows up when you look at metropolitan areas as well as states, too. In the Newark area, real estate agents make an annual average of $103,700, while real estate agents in rural areas of northeastern South Carolina earn an average of $34,300 per year.
Besides location, the salaries for real estate agents can vary depending on their experience and qualifications. A basic real estate agent makes an annual average of $48,930, while real estate brokers make an annual average of $59,720.
Real estate agents can improve their salary potential by working to become a real estate broker or even a realtor. The position of real estate broker generally requires more training than becoming a real estate agent, and real estate brokers can own a real estate agency. On the highest level, a realtor is a real estate expert who is a member of a realtor’s association. Going a little further and becoming a mortgage broker can up-level your earning ability without requiring a college degree, too.
How Do Real Estate Agents Make Money?
Real estate agents and brokers often work more than 40 hours per week. Evenings and weekend hours are common, as they need to adjust their schedules to times that are open for their clients. Occasionally, a real estate agent will work part-time as a second job or combine the real estate job with another career.
A real estate agent’s job can include a variety of different office tasks as well as working directly with the public. Many real estate brokerages have office assistants that can help with day-to-day items such as setting appointments and answering phones. This leaves the real estate agents free to focus on other tasks.
Some of the common daily activities for real estate agents include keeping up with market activity, review current listings, complete and submit paperwork, coordinate appointments, develop marketing plans, host open houses, respond to emails and phone calls, and keep up with social media.
The job fast-paced, and it involves a lot of networking with people from all walks of life. In this industry, everyone is a potential client, even if they’re not ready to buy or sell the property right away, so building good connections with as many people as possible is essential to long-term success.
This means that being a real estate agent means you have to market yourself as well as you market the properties being sold. It can include developing a niche in the real estate world that you can be known for, such as horse properties or homes that can be used for both residential and commercial purposes. Networking with people who are interested in your niche can help develop a strong database of potential leads.
Real estate agents are required to keep up to date in the industry, and this includes continuing education. Requirements vary from state to state.
Do Real Estate Agents Have Good Job Satisfaction?
Real estate agents have an amazing amount of job satisfaction, as reported in a survey conducted by the Conference Board. Compared to people in other jobs, real estate agents reported 17% more satisfaction. A lot of this can be attributed to a real estate agent’s ability to help other people. Opportunities to help others were listed as important by 91% of real estate agents.
Real estate agents also value flexible schedules (84% said this was important to them), and 77% of real estate agents said the income potential gave them job satisfaction, too. Real estate agents also treasured the opportunity to be their own bosses, and a little more than half of them enjoy the on-the-go lifestyle that real estate agents experience. The tradeoffs could include long hours and schedules that aren’t predictable.
One interesting thing about this survey was that there was a strong correlation for real estate agents between being satisfied in their jobs and the amount of money they could make. Those who rated very satisfied made an average of nearly $109,000 per year, while those who rated their jobs as not satisfactory averaged just under $38,000 per year.
If you’re considering a career as a real estate agent, here are the basic pros and cons to think about.
- Real estate agents have a lot of opportunities to help other people, which can provide a lot of job satisfaction.
- Flexible schedules and an on-the-go lifestyle that real estate agents experience can be fun and exciting.
- The income potential can be high, especially for real estate agents who are willing to network and to improve their skills.
- Schedules for real estate agents aren’t predictable.
- Real estate agents can work long hours, into the evenings, and on weekends.
- In some areas of the nation, real estate agents make a lot less than in other areas.
What Are The First Steps To Becoming A Real Estate Agent?
The first step to becoming a real estate agent is to look into the requirements set up in the state you live in. Many states require that real estate agents are at least 18 or 19 years old and that they are legal residents.
Most states have education requirements, and then real estate agents must pass a licensing exam. However, university degrees aren’t generally required.
There are a variety of different ways that real estate agents can get their pre-licensing education completed. Some schools offer both online and live classes, while others provide excellent online courses designed to meet state requirements.
Real estate candidates who want to complete their education requirements online might like Kapre. This school and others like it also offer education for similar careers, such as becoming an appraiser or a home inspector, or even up-leveling from an agent to a broker.
For people who want extra study, a quick Google search can also yield several free practice tests to help candidates prepare for their licensing exam. These types of resources can also provide some information on state requirements, flashcards to study, sample questions, and even contact information for the state agencies that candidates will need to contact about getting licensed.
Once a real estate agent is licensed, it might help to apply for a real estate internship. This can help new agents get the experience they need to land better jobs in the future or even lateral over into different types of jobs, such as financial analysts. Many real estate internship jobs are posted on local job boards.
Do Real Estate Agents Make Good Money?
According to the survey mentioned previously in this article, real estate agents who are socially engaged, interested in helping other people, and satisfied in their jobs can actually make a decent living—some even make a six-figure salary. This is nice to know because most real estate agents don’t need more than a high school diploma and their state-required education courses to get started. This means less overall investment upfront for a great career.
Even more importantly, real estate agents are one of the best industries for career satisfaction. Although the hours are long, the schedules are flexible, and there’s a sense of freedom and community that can’t always be found in other industries.
So do real estate agents make good money? Yes. Both the financial perks and the social rewards make this a career well worth looking into.