Ahoy Real Estate Agents!!

8 Replies

So... I'm looking to make a drastic life change and need some advice from an expert(s). I am from Salt Lake City, Utah area but am currently working in Phoenix, Arizona. I have a great job but have an even greater passion toward real estate investing. Though my REI experience is limited to two flips, one of which I currently occupy but plan to sell within the next 6 months, my passion continues to grow every day with all the studying I do (especially here on bigger pockets). I've pretty much been a bi-stander up to this point, meaning I don't post topics or comment very often but I do religiously read articles and listen to pod casts on a daily basis and have for quite some time now.

My dilemma is this... My family and I want to move back to Utah so a couple months ago I started Utah real estate school online so I can have access to the MLS among the many other advantages of owning a license while investing in real estate for when we get back. I have never wanted to be a "Real Estate Agent" and honestly, the mere thought of it kind of makes me sick to my stomach. I know I probably offended anyone who's reading this post and for that I apologize, but for some reason real estate agents have always had a very negative connotation in my mind. No quite sure why considering I work in sales... but they just do... ok... sorry!

What are the advantages and disadvantages (if any) to working as a real estate agent for investors? Would you suggest I take the leap and try it out, or is there another rout you would encourage? If you do recommend working as an agent, why type of broker should I affiliate myself with? I'm only half way done with Real Estate School so I'm honestly not even quite sure how I would go about finding a broker to work for, but I'm sure there are types that are better geared for investors.

I have been fortunate over the past couple of years to able to save a decent amount of capital to start investing right away but I just want to make sure I don't jump into a new market blindly.

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!

Will you have a job when you get to Utah?

Do you need to earn by selling homes?

What type of investing do you plan to do? If it's buy and hold str, working with buyers isn't likely a good fit. On the other hand, if you plan to do fix and flips, working with buyers may be a great way for you to learn the nuances of the market.

As far as what type of brokerage to pick is concerned, switch your hat to an interviewer instead of an interviewee. Write down what you wish to accomplish and ask them how they can help you get there.


Thank you for your insight. The plan is to have a job when I get back but I don't have one lined up yet. That's why I'm debating on whether I should I should consider working as a real estate agent or not.

My goal is to use 100% of the funds made through flipping homes to purchase rental properties. I will need another source of income until I have enough rental units to justify doing this full time.

Thank you for the insight on changing m perspective from the "interviewee" to the "interviewor".

@Porter Rappleye

Hi! I am a real estate agent in your area so I thought I would let you know some of my thoughts as I read your question.

I currently work as an agent part-time because I still have a young daughter who is not in school yet. I work at night and on weekends. It is definitely doable, yet I find that it takes me twice as long to get leads and such because I am part-time. That, in turn, makes it so I am not making as much money as I could be if I were full-time. Thankfully, my husband is the bread-winner in our family, so I am able to be part-time and not worry about how much I make.

One thing I want to caution you on is that a real estate license does not guarantee that you will have work. In the beginning, it takes hours and hours and hours of lead generation work just to get your first deal. As an agent, you are in the "lead-generation" business mostly. If you are the main source of income for your family, I highly suggest some regular-paying side jobs in the beginning to go along with being an agent.

One more thing....when I was choosing a brokerage to go with, it seemed like they all wanted me to sign with them. You will have your pick. Brokerages get lists of recent graduates and they use those lists to start advertising their brokerages to you. They start coming out of the woodwork! That is why you end up more as the interviewor.....they all want you, but you don't necessarily want all of them. There will be only a few that will fit your needs and your personality most.

There is definitely a contingent of people who think that real estate agents are nothing but self serving scum suckers who do nothing to earn their compensation.

However, the tune can often change when acting as a principal in a transaction and the commission can be taken off the table (if necessary).

Also, Realtors can be somewhat limited by certain legal and ethical standards that would not apply to a non-licensed investor--like the required disclosure of the license itself or respecting other agents' implied agency relationships.

But the license provides many significant advantages when approaching deals and strategies including the ability to exclusively list a property, represent buyers directly rather than assigning contracts, get direct access to properties, access state approved forms, write tons of offers that have low chances of success, etc.

And of course there's the MLS. Utah's Wasatch Front MLS is one of the best systems in the country and I feel is a requisite tool for evaluating properties. It is almost exclusively what residential appraisers use to find comps. It has some very powerful search tools and over half the properties in the state that have been sold in the last 18 years are on it in some capacity.

I encourage everyone who is considering getting into this seriously (and particularly those who are already taking the classes) to license up as it can give you a lot more flexibility on how you make money in real estate.

Overcoming objections from stubborn sellers with preconceived notions about value is something we're doing already anyway.

Hope this helps,

Wm (licensed broker)

@Holly Baldwin Makes a very good point. Obtaining a license doesn't automatically bring commission checks. It takes time to develop a client base.

@Holly Baldwin Thank you for your insight. Maybe sticking with another full time job and selling real estate part time to learn the industry is the way to go.

When you talk with brokerages, you want to be honest with them. Tell them what you want to do with your license (ie investing). Some brokerages only want top producers, some will take beginners and train them up. Some questions to ask:

1. Will you let me do this part time?

2. What are the monthly and yearly fees to be associated with the brokerage? Some brokerages have a flat fee and don't have a commission split.

3. What is the commission split? Some brokerages have a higher split, but they pay for more things like office space, signs, business cards, advertising, etc.

4. What commission will I have to pay on personal transactions?

5. What education do you offer?

6. Do you feed me any leads?

I agree with @Holly Baldwin . Treat it like an interview, only like you are the employer. They have to impress you, you don't have to impress them.


Great topic! When you do come back to UT I would recommend checking out the local REIA clubs.

You will be able to familiarize your self with the local style, and benefit the clubs offer. Both are non-profit and serve as a venue to meet and learn from locals that invest in real estate. Sorry, but there are some agents that also attend....

SLREIA - www.slreia.com

UVREIA - www.uvreia.com

My organization offers education based on our experience in the local market, but even more important than that is the quality of investors that you can find at our events.


If you are interested in seeing a bit more I would be happy to hear from you.

Trevor Thompson


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