Getting into the business as a Real Estate Agent (Discussion! let your thoughts be heard)

6 Replies

After college (Class of Texas A&M, 2013, Whoop!)  I realized that in order to use my degree effectively, I'd need to get my Masters. After I decided that I didn't want to get into more debt, I decided to start doing what I was personally interested in and get into Real Estate Investing. In order to get into the business, I decided to work as an Agent, build cash reserves and immediately start  building a rental portfolio.

So far, I've gotten my agents license in September and signed up with a virtual brokerage with one of my good friend's father who operates out of Dallas. Right now, I also have a second job, (to keep the lights on) at nights, so I have most of my mornings/afternoons free in order to hunt and work as an agent. I'm definitely going to see how far I can take this and will be updating my progress.

Current challenges/Questions:

-Getting MLS access. (My broker can't get me access to the Houston MLS system yet, because he has to sign up with them. I won't have access until the 10th of November. However, I don't want to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, so I'm going to be sending Direct mail ads (and follow up calls) to Probates and FSBO's. I hear the best deals are off market anyway, so hopefully I can pick up one of those.

-Deciding if I should stay with this broker. He gives me more Freedom to work, but less one on one training (due to distance). Plus, he doesn't understand that I want to work with investors. He mostly deals with commercial land contracts and has experience in residential. He has no bearing on the investor side of things though. 

-Marketing with little cash. I don't work enough at my other job in order to give myself the cash I would need to do this on a decent scale. However, I don't thinking throwing money at a problem fixes it. I imagine I'll have more cashflow crunch times. I gotta learn to be flexible. 

Why not go into commercial leasing or PM work right away??

Pick up instant income and then you can possibly replace your other job and go full time. Then you can do commercial sales in between. If you want to stay residential working with investors on houses is very hard to find deals and the price points are much lower. You could go work for a large builder sitting subdivisions.

Higher price points and sell house after house knowing the model and not having to drive people all over creation for a sale. You increase your revenue and decrease your costs IF you have sales skills and are a people person.

Hope it helps. 

Commercial will tend to have more regular hours and weekends off where the residential your weekends and many nights are basically gone.

Commercial leasing crossed my mind once or twice. I wasn't sure if it would be worth it in the end. However, it sounds like something I might start looking at again! I'm not sure what you mean by PM work? 

Hey Cedric,

I think it's a great idea to be an agent as a means to get experience (and raise capital) for real estate investing. That's exactly what I'm doing right now. My broker had to also join the local MLS before I could, but it was an immediate turnaround (not sure why you're having that trouble with HAR).

My short-ish term goals are to learn the process and understand the transaction of buying and selling residential property, and to make money doing it. Plus, I enjoy it. I don't mind working with retail buyers and sellers. 

As far as your broker goes, I guess you should try to figure out if you'd rather have the independence to learn as you go, or if you want a mentor to guide you through the process of residential sales. 

Are there any brokerages in Houston you're considering switching to? One aligned more with your goals?

@Cedric Dadaille  

PM is a property manager.  If you wanted to get into buy and holds, then becoming a property manager for another investor may be a good way to go.  It will give you experience on what it takes to be a landlord, especially the most important thing about renting, which is screening tenants

My advice is to take some time and write down where you see yourself five years from now.  What type of investing will you be doing, and at what level?  Will you own your own company, or work with someone else?  What will you be doing, and why will you be doing it?  This is not set in stone, things may change, but this will give you a starting point.  

Once you have that, then go out and find the people who are doing what you want to do.  Bigger Pockets is a great resource, as well as your local investors group.  Ask questions, and if your current broker can not help you get there, then it may be better to find one who can.

I hope this helps, good luck, and keep working at it!

Hi Cedric,

There is commercial PM and residential PM.

The difference between leasing and PM is for example you go around finding space for businesses and help negotiate the leases. Generally some upfront and residuals on the payment.

PM work would be you are working for a landlord leasing up a strip center etc. and then doing the ongoing management of the center month to month. Some do both leasing and PM and some do one or the other.

In residential your hours will be crazy and the management fees smaller. In commercial it's more 9 to 5 for PM work, leasing  and or transacting. My busiest day tends to be Monday because almost everyone takes off the weekends in commercial.

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