Why you should get a Realtor License and keep your day job.

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A little backstory on me, I have been investing with my future wife for about 5 years. 2 years ago I decided it was time for me to get my own license so we didn't have to rely on another agent to show us houses, make offers etc. Many people think the same way we did that getting the license to control your own investing is the best path to take. So after 2 weeks of class, 2 weeks of studying for the test I passed on the first try. Roughly $1,500 later I was licensed and hanging it at a flat fee brokerage that only has maybe 5 agents. I was finally the real deal and excited to schedule showings and make offers for myself.

Well inventory is low here and the MLS is pretty picked over for good deals. Actually of the last 5 houses we have bought only 1 has been on the MLS and the rest were found off-market. So I asked myself "why did I get this license and why did I spend so much getting it"? I then realized I could help other people find and buy houses as well since I was a fully licensed Realtor. I knew my brother was looking for another house in the near future so I started helping him. After about a month or so we had a property under contract for him and closed sometime later. I was so excited, my first closing since my license and a whopping $2,200 in commission before taxes. The only caveat is that this took me 7 months of being licensed to get it. I know when I started my goal wasn't to be a Realtor full-time but I came into this with no leads and no idea what I was doing. It might not take other new Realtors 7 months to close their first deal but I bet they aren't getting listings and writing offers in the first few weeks or months either.

After that first closing and realizing this was a real thing to help other people, I decided to try a little more actively to find clients. My W2 job has about 450 employees in my office alone. I have been here for about 4 years so I knew quite of few of employees and started letting everyone know slowly and subtly that I was a Realtor. Nothing came of it for a long time until about 4 months after my first closing. Of all people, my director was moving out of the country and needed help selling his house. His house sold in 3 days for over asking and he was happy as could be. So there I was, almost 12 months into being licensed with only two actual closings totaling around $6K in commissions before taxes. That is tough to live on while being a new agent but luckily I didn’t miss a beat since I was getting a paycheck every two weeks.

Now, let’s fast forward to today, about 12 months after that second closing (my director’s house). Since that second closing I have sold and closed 36 houses (somewhere over 6 million in RE), all while holding the exact same W2 job. About 7 of those were from people at my W2 job that needed a Realtor with more potential clients in the future. People I talked to at work over a year ago are just now deciding to buy or sell. Some were BP members looking for multi-family properties and the rest were mostly referrals or cold calls.

I have decided it's finally time to plan my exit strategy from my W2 job since I can no longer handle the hours and it is starting to affect my personal life and RE business. I could have left 6 months ago but my lender would not loan on investments without 2 full years of commissioned income so I decided to stay here for a little while longer.

Some will disagree that holding a full-time job while being an agent is a disservice to your clients but I feel that if you stay on top of communication all will be ok. Most potential clients work a job like you so they prefer weekends and evening anyways. Occasionally you will get the person that prefers day showing but you will figure it out if you want to succeed. Also, move communication to text and email as often as you can. Most people can text at their desk while working during the day keeping you in the loop. I have 36 happy clients that are still referring me to their friends so I don’t feel any of them thought they were underserviced.

Holding your W2 job while being an agent won’t work for everyone. My job is very flexible and allows me to handle both without comprising my quality of work on either job. I routinely spend my lunches showing houses and during the busy seasons showing houses every evening and weekend. This puts a lot of stress and a serious lack of free time to spend with my family.

It has been a rough year but all the hard work has paid off and will keep paying off in the future. In the last 12 months the extra income has allowed us to buy 3 investment properties (total of 4 doors) with a 5 unit property in the works. The 5 unit will seal the deal on me quitting my day-job as I will go focus on being a full-time Realtor at that point. I truly enjoy it and the ability to be my own boss and look forward to helping other BP members in the future as well.

Good luck and I hope this post helps those on the fence make a better decision. 

@Jake Thomas Congrats on the new career! I appreciate you working to a point where it makes economical sense for you to step away from your W2 job. You have a family to support and it seems you made that a top priority. Best of luck to you in your future and keep working hard.

@Jake Thomas wow that was very encouraging. Thank you for that. I would like to keep in touch with you for advice. I currently work a full time job and work as a real estate agent part time and have been following the same steps. I communicate via email and text with my clients. I always respond right away to them. It can be difficult sometimes. I always knew this was something I needed to transition to and not jump in thinking I would get deals right away.