Advice for a new real estate agent/investor

9 Replies

Hello everyone, my name is Johno. I'm currently in the Marine Corps and will be getting out late October after 4 years. I'm moving back home to Traverse City, MI and plan on becoming a real estate agent/investor. I've just started the online course through Real Estate Express and plan on completing it before I make the trip home.

I do have some money saved up to keep me afloat for a few months while I get into the business but I'm just looking for any advice or tips towards being a successful agent and making a salary as soon as possible once I start. 

My investment aspirations that I'm interested in are multifamily rentals. I'm currently reading "The Book on Rental Property Investing" and have a goal to start my investing career by purchasing a small multifamily to house hack by the end of 2019.

Any advice on either topic is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

@Johno Bottomley congratulations man. It sounds like you are working hard to prepare yourself. I would, personally, think long and hard about going in full time as an agent right away if you don't have another income stream. Even the best sales people will take 6 months to get begin getting paid due to the natural cycle of real estate, and many people don't close a sale for longer than that. 

More importantly, lenders do not like to lend to real estate agents! Lenders really, really like W2 income, so if there is any way for you to have a W2, you should consider it. This also would include if your spouse has W2 though, so maybe you have this angle covered but didn't post about it 

@Johno Bottomley , Welcome!  I am also in the TC area.  John Warren said it well.  I would add that it's not a problem for banks with agents specifically, but any profession where you have 1099 income as opposed to W2.  As such, you may have to establish a longer income track record than would otherwise be required with W2 income.

Johno do you REALLY want to become an agent? If you do residential you are looking at nights and weekends. Trying to establish a work/life balance will be tough. That's why I love commercial real estate.

A few months time of income to make things work is not realistic. Even if you had a contract the 1st week it takes about 2 months to close on something. Also you mentioned salary. There is no salary. You are an independent contractor in business to generate your own income with your license under a brokerage in most states.

If you really want to be an investor you might want to consider going to work for a large multifamily investment firm where you will be living. See if they can pay an hourly rate or salary you can live with to start. Get trained up and educated on that asset investment type and then try to get a small slice of equity on some of their deals. It will be very hard to gain traction In the beginning.

On the commercial side a closing can take 6 months or longer but I have many in the pipeline at various times. So a six figure check can last a few years.

Thank you for the input everyone!

I will still be getting paid the first month that I'm out of the Marines and will also be moving in with my girlfriend so that should help out a little financially.

A career as an agent has been my goal for awhile now, even before I started to learn about investing. I've been talking with an associate broker at Coldwell Banker Schmidt, who is helping me on the real estate path, and he said once I get my license that I could shadow him to get started. It's definitely something that I am planning to be fully invested in and not just do part time.

Thanks again for all the advice! 

@John Warren @Joel Owens

I am very committed to being an agent and I grew up in Northern Michigan so I know the area pretty well along with a lot of family and friends living there. A few of them agents themselves. My apologies for calling it a salary. I do know that it is 100% commission based. I was just unaware of what to call it lol. I am leaning towards getting a part time job to help out financially in the beginning. I've found a couple options with early morning/late night hours that would allow me to still do my job as an agent full time because I have read that it is next to impossible to become successful in the field if you're just part timing it.

Welcome to the forums @Johno Bottomley ! My husband and I got married at Castle Farms :) That's a beautiful area, we're hoping to buy a property there some day - hopefully when the market comes down a bit though!

@Courtney M.

I grew up in Charlevoix and couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place to live. You're right down the road from me right now. I'm near San Clemente, CA but I cant wait to get back to Northern Michigan for the fall!

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