This is a common question. Some of the advantages I see are access to the MLS, ability to see properties quicker and make offers quicker, and the opportunity for continuing education.
Some of the drawbacks are the costs (initial licensure, yearly state and national realtor association dues, and perhaps broker expectations depending on your broker).
There are undoubtedly more pros and cons I have not listed but those are some of the major ones.
In my experience, I have heard investors who have become realtors say it was great and the best thing they have done and others it waste of time and money.
In the end, I believe it comes down to your own particular situation.
Robb makes great and insightful points. What I would add is that becoming a licensed agent depends on what you wish to do with your career. Are you involved in real estate full time? If so the license makes sense because there are two things people love to discuss in real estate, investing and luxury real estate. Real estate investors that are in the business full time make great agents if they truly love the business because they will constantly be discussing their investments and researching properties. Their circle of influence and sphere will utilize them to invest and the license can be used effectively. If you are dual career the license is often a nuisance because the same conversations from people wanting to learn more about what you are doing and attempting to convince you to provide service to them will fragment you ability to invest yourself. If you love real estate and are full time you should get your license, support your friends and family to invest as well, and buy as much real estate as you can. If you are dual career and not in real estate full time you should work with a talented agent and focus on your research, running your numbers, and earning to build your portfolio. Can you do it all, of course you can, however the above break down is what we see work the best for those getting their license and utilizing it for more than simply having their own access.
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