Should I start as an assistant or jump right in as an agent?

6 Replies


Passed my exam about a month ago and am struggling with making the decision to be a full time agent or not. This will be a big career change for me.  I am excited about real estate and would love to be an agent, but am definitely a bit nervous!  I've selected a potential brokerage, but keep going back and forth on my decision.  Would love any opinions/advice!

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@Jennifer W. I would def stay with the 9-5 until you are comfortable with being able to generate enough leads, and close enough deals to at the minimum equal what you are making now. 

A lot of people preach to jump in head first, but they are not the ones jumping haha. 

I agree with @Brandon @Brandon L. ..

If you place your license it will cost you around $ 1,000 to join an association and MLS.

If you become an assistant, you will have access and can learn the systems while still at your J.O.B.

I usually recommend starting out as a licensed assistant.  But... you already have a 9-5 job.  What happens if the agent you're working for needs you at noon?  Maybe you can find a full-time assistant job.

A couple of questions:

1. When do buyers in your market generally like to view homes?

2. How flexible is your employer with your office hours?

3. Does the brokerage you selected generate leads for its agents, and if so does it generate them for "part-time" agents?

4. Do you have several months of expenses saved up in the bank?

It really does depend on who you decide to hang your license with in the beginning. As others have stated, it's roughly around $1,000 for your local association and MLS dues (it's actually been a little more here in the Baton Rouge, LA area) to begin actively working as Realtor.

One thing to consider is that even if you got several leads right out of the gate, and even if you ended up with pending contracts for all of them immediately, you would likely still be looking at 30-60 days before you realized any payment on those transactions.

Some brokers generate leads for their full-time agents, but don't do so for their part-time agents because they want a certain response time guaranteed, which a part-time agent can't always do. So like @Brandon L. mentioned, at least wait until you are generating (and closing on) enough leads to maintain your current gross income (don't forget about taxes, health insurance, etc.) and also keeping in mind that the winter months will probably see somewhat of a decline in those numbers.

A good broker will help you achieve your goal of shifting to full-time if you show that you are committed to doing so.