Looking for some advice on starting up in the RE world.

4 Replies

I'm reaching out for some advice.

Some background, I'm in Northern Virginia, I'm currently working at a restaurant.  I have been there for 18 years and have helped grow the business from $800K up to $1.4M  The owner doesn't need to go in, and I've been at a point for years where I also don't have to go in, its been that way for quite some time.  I still go in, but I'm not tied to the store.  From hiring, firing, payroll, to daily book keeping, I've done it all.  We were trying to buy another restaurant but have run into one bad deal after another.   We are good with money and know when a deal isn't right.  It's better to wish you were in a deal vs wish you were out!   With that being said, I've had real estate related ideas in the back of my head for quite some time now.   In fact we already have a rental and plan on buying another home soon which will end up being turned into another rental. After the last restaurant deal died.  I've been thinking long and hard about shifting my effort to selling homes and or managing rentals.  

I'm 34, married, and have 2 kids, we've always kept our spending in line where we can live off one income. as is, if I start anything, I do not need to make a single dime to make ends meet. In order to manage properties in VA I need to get my realtor licenses. However, if I get my realtor licenses, I think it would be silly not to also sell homes.

With that being said,  do you feel it would be better if I were to get into real estate and focus on selling homes, or managing properties and not both?  Maybe start with selling homes and once that gets a little bit of traction work on picking up managing a handful of properties on the side?  

I'm super thankful that I'm in a position where I don't need to be making money out of the gate and can ease into things.  I'm also thankful that we do have money saved which was meant for another restaurant so if need be I can hit the ground with both feet running with a solid budget behind me.     My main issue is I'm not sure where to start!     I'm also not sure if I were to get a job working under a broker if they would even allow their agents to manage properties on the side.   Maybe a conflict of interest 

Lastly,  if I were to sell homes,  what is the best way to find a company/broker that is a good fit for me?  Do I interview them? lol

Thanks for any feedback.

I think a lot of people feel that because you have your real estate license that it give you a leg up.  It really depends on what YOU want to do.  The one problem I had when I first started out in RE was prospecting.  I think if you prospect long and hard enough for listings you'll come across some awesome pieces of property.  With all that being said, you can essentially do the same thing without a license if you are truly trying to purchase the property for yourself.

Also, where in Loudoun? I use to live in Ashburn up until a year ago today! I'm down in Staunton, VA now.


Generally, when you start out you have to be under a broker. You start with a "salesperson's license" then after a period of time and some courses you can take a test to become a broker and open your own agency.

Depending on your goals, you can go one of two ways. You can go with a national chain (Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams etc.) Or a local broker owner.

Generally the national chains have better training than the locals. Expect to be on a split with your office. The most common is 50/50 splits (80/20 and 70/30 are also used ). A 50/50 split works like this; when you close a deal the agency gets half and you get half. The agency half is what keeps their doors open, lights on etc.

Another thing to be aware of are desk fee agencies. These are where you pay a rental fee every month and keep all your commissions. They tend to be lacking in training for new folks. I would avoid these agencies to start. They can be great once you get rolling.

Interview the daylights out if anyone you want to work for. If you want to do property management while brokering find an agency that will let you do it, or better, train you how. Find out about training, support, E&O, splits/desk fees, duty times, leads, buying your own property, etc.

Although I've given some general advice above, you might find a local agency with great training that has a graduated desk fee/split arraignment that ticks all your boxes. You'll have to do the research.

Good luck,


Thanks for the replies.   Since posting my question, I have since signed up for the online class with moseley, and also talked with some people at different brokers.   I was able to get some insight into property management,  the places I talked to allow you to do it with them,  they get a kick back but they provide you with everything needed.   

I plan on interviewing all the local brokers,  it sounds like they will take anyone and everyone,  people who don't produce simply quit.      

Out side of the obvious questions of desk fee, and split,  what would you recommend I ask during the interviews.  


Originally posted by @Cesar Rebolledo :

Also, where in Loudoun? I use to live in Ashburn up until a year ago today! I'm down in Staunton, VA now.

Currently in Ashburn.  

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