Getting real estate license as point of entry in REI

6 Replies

I'm a newbie to BiggerPockets and am binge-listening to the podcast and webinars. Such a great resource, feel lucky to have found a credible source for information, asking questions, and networking with others.

My Background: I have a B2B marketing background with a heavy focus on social media and lead generation. Have been freelancing for several years and generating a decent income while building up my reputation within my niche. I work from home, have flexible hours, two toddlers & one teenager at home, manage the household. I want to "retire" from marketing within 10 years and am looking to pivot into real estate investing.

Hubby's Background: Union Carpenter with 10+ years of experience working in union/non-union jobs. He's also worked several odds-and-ends sales jobs throughout the years -- has a knack for working with people/sales. He wants to transition out of the trade and into real estate with me, after I started discussing our options and opportunities for investing.

History: We've discussed both becoming REALTORSĀ® in the past and working together, because we have complementary skill sets. After what I've been reading/watching on BiggerPockets, it seems like it makes sense for new investors to get their real estate license for multiple reasons (i.e. credibility, networking, saving money on deals, finding deals, etc.) I think it will also help me/us understand the terminology and "join the club" to be taken seriously.  

Goals: We don't yet own any investment property - just our primary residence. We're interested in the BRRRR strategy - starting out with small multifamily properties. We have some funds saved towards investing, but not nearly enough to really feel comfortable and have a big enough safety net.

Question: From what I am learning, we need to start developing credibility and a network within the industry in our local area. We're planning to invest in our backyard (NWI - Northwest Indiana - suburb of Chicago). Thinking this would be a good entry point for us to get to know people, make deals, generate cash for investing. Should we both get our real estate license? Pros and cons?

License is great.  My wife and I both got our license 5 years ago.  She never stayed active, I still am active.  Starting out it never really made sense for us both to have a license.  The decision came down to dues, we both started out part time so paying double the yearly and monthly dues was a lot.  License has been great for viewing properties and making commission on properties we acquire or sell.  Along the way I bought and sold properties with a local investor I met on bigger pockets.  For me having a license has been a success and has save a lot of money and produced some awesome commission checks. 

@Shawn M. Thanks for sharing about your experience. I was also wondering if it was overkill for us both to get a license. I'm guessing he'd be the one who would be making the deals and making commissions. I'm more of the behind-the-scenes person who enjoys doing the research, learning, analysis, and doesn't mind pushing the paperwork.

That is similar to me and my wife she is awesome behind the scenes. The funny thing is I am a union carpenter as well.  I will say it is an advantage becuase I tend to be home a few hours before most people get off work so evenings and weekends are great for taking out clients.

@Shawn M. That's interesting your are also a union carpenter. Do you find that you are able to manage being a Realtor and working a full-time job simultaneously? Hubby and I have been debating whether or not he should quit his FT job as a carpenter after he gets his license.

I tend to not recommend anyone quit full time job at first. He should get a feel for it, see if he truly enjoys it. Whats great about being a realtor is the opposite schedule. Most of the clients he would be dealing with work M-F 9-5 so early on he can most likely keep his full time job since it is rare to show during the day. Once he starts building more client then he will have decision to make. People will start asking to see properties all hours and in order to fit clients in it will be best to have unlimited flexibility. For my self I do not take on more then I can handle. I do a lot with filling leases so I offer evening and weekend times to show unit (very rarely does anyone request during the day M-f) and with showing properties for purchasing I tend to find clients that have similar hours so it is not an issue. If I pick up a client that I cannot handle and wants to see properties during the day I have the option to refer them to another realtor ( I get a referral fee) or shift schedule around to accommodate for them.

@Shawn M. Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing your insights. Sounds like he'll be able to do real estate deals as a side hustle while he holds down the bread-and-butter job until he figures out his niche within real estate and whether or not he wants to transition to real estate full-time. Will be sharing your experience and tips with him. Thanks a million. :)