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Is anyone into Real Estate?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Does anybody work as a Realtor or own any land investments?

    I thought about going into this field of work, but my dad thinks it is a horrible idea, despite the fact my mom's cousin makes 100k a year doing it. I think it might be because he wants me to follow in his footsteps and work in one of the chemical plants out here (about half of my small town is covered with them near the shipchannel area).

    For me right now this is the only thing I find interesting, but the only school in my state that I can find that offers the courses in non-associate degree form is in Dallas. Looks like I might be headed University of North Texas next year.

    Any advice? Hints? Tips? Is my dad right about it being bad work?
  2. Considering that the national real estate market is dangerously overheated and in danger of a collapse at any point during the next year or so, I would think long and hard before staking my future on it.
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Peter's note of caution is fair and should be considered.
    I would also say (warning this is a layman's point of view) that people will always need a place to live and people will keep having kids and taking new jobs so people will continue to move - there will always be people selling and buying houses.
    I believe that there are two types of people in this world - those who can sell things and those of us who can't. I would be absolutely miserable if I had to sell anybody anything, but my significant other sells radio advertising for a living and she is very happy with her career. It could be that your father thinks like me - I'd rather clean all the toilets in Grand Central Station with my tongue that sell anything for a living. A lot of sales jobs are based on commission rather than having a descent salary. You have to be the right personality type. Have you worked in sales yet? If not, I'd suggest that you try working a job in sales (maybe even one that pays you on commission) and make sure that you like being a salesman and that you can sell, before you base your future plans on working towards a career in Real Estate sales.
  4. It can make a good living. A friend I talk to online is only 25 years old and has 3 house's of his own.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Peters comment is probably better advice for the home Buyer in a "Seller's Market". That is a situation where demand is greater than supply. When demand dries up, as it will from time to time. Homes sales take longer, and Buyers then enjoy more negotiating room(while Sellers sit and wait). The home Buyer has unprecedented advantages right now in most regions as far as ability to negotiate, selection, and historically low interest rates, even for folks with marginal credit.

    What was the last thing you bought, used for a while, enjoyed, and then sold for a profit? Land. Sometimes, a nice instrument.

    Real Estate, at least residential homes, like musical instruments is a commodity based business. Except, as a Realtor, you have to close sales to get paid.
    Most Realtors are on a 100% commision basis. If you have the start-up time and can go for a few months without possibly getting a paycheck, try it. How's your wardrobe?

    I reccomend a Real Estate agency with good market presence in your area. Understand that you will be "under contract" with an agency. The fees will seem daunting. (because they are) You will learn from the "Top Producers" and (probably) hold their houses "Open" until you get your own client base and Listings to Sell. A Top Agency will also have a good advertising presence which generates more calls for inquiries about homes in general.

    You must "work" the neighborhood you live in. A Realtor is a neighbor to his/her clients/prospects. Going "out of area" (more than 15 miles in any direction) to List or Sell homes is harder because you're not from that "neighborhood". There are Realtors there that know the "pulse" of that area.

    So, if this is a career move you are going to do. Call all of your friends, call your friends' parents, even those you don't like and tell them. Call them and ask about their friends as well. Get used to talking to strangers, and asking them about money. As a salesperson, you must also learn when to talk and when to Shut Up!

    I have been a Licensed, full time Realtor in the State of Michigan for 7 years.
  6. Hey Jake.. all of P. Aaron's advice is great. Read it twice. My wife is a realtor, and it's been a bit "hot and cold" this year. The one thing you need to be prepared for, besides going without consistent income at times, is to be on call, almost like a doctor. You have to work seven days a week, if not on actual deals, then on building your client base.
  7. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I am working on my license right now. I figure if I spend as much time and energy on that as I do in my current position I do alright.
  8. Yeah, I have to say that if you're gonna be making your living selling real estate, you've gotta be prepared for a lot of uncertainty. On the other hand, we're all musicians here, so we're all familiar with dry spells... :rolleyes:
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    "I'd rather clean all the toilets in Grand Central Station with my tongue"

    what a visual at 1AM! :)

    "How's your wardrobe?"

    now that is prolly the best thing to think about....i'm not buying anything from a guy wearing an argyle vest with lint balls on it.....those tacky brown leather coats with the elbow pads? nope.....black vinyl shoes with the cheesy gold bar across the top? i don't think so.......cologne bath? negative.....stretchy pants? yeah right.....nascar/cigarette/farm machinery jacket? no way jose'.....anything skin tight? see ya bro........you get the point...........hehehe :)

  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Let's also consider the second half of JR's question. Real Estate as an investment or rental income.
    This is do-able. But it is usually a long-term strategy.(3-7 years)
    You'll hear about those that "flip" properties for quick turn-around and profit. It does happen. Usually the "flipper" has an inside track on a "good deal" that is not overtly listed on any local multi-list system, or known to the buying public at large. The minute a homeowner interviews a Realtor about "what my home is worth" it's over. That Realtor is compelled to give (mostly);) honest answers as to the "relative" value of the subject property. (Yes, we've all heard stories to the contrary)

    Even "investment properties" or "handy-man specials" if multi-listed, are usually sold at or near market value.

    If you wish to go the "rental" route. It can be lucrative, but be prepared for maintaining your investments, and vetting potential tenants. Your income from rentals have to outpace your monthly expenses on the subject property.(DUH!)

    If you are going to rent to the "public" and not just friends, be aware of the laws you must abide by relative to equal opportunity and non-discrimination. Not to mention local ordinances for rental property standards.
    Real Estate in this nature is an investment the beginner can build on 1 house at a time. That way you can handle and learn from the twists and turns of the business. Being a Realtor or a landlord is a business
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'd suggest that you keep the refinery career as your last backup option - unless you are considering an advanced degree in chemical engineering. Just about anyone can go to local tech school (Lamar Institute of Technology over here in B-mont - maybe SanJac offers sumpin' similar over there?) and get an associate degree in process engineering without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, take a guy who knows nothing but refinery work and throw him into the job market, faced with the proposition of starting a new career, and you've got a confused fish out of water. The populist, blue-collar political voices in our area, that won and maintained some advantages for plant-worker types are fast fading, too.

    Refinery work involves screwy shift hours, immediate hazards (hey, we're not a mecca for personal injury lawyers without reason) and long term hazards (yes, eleveated cancer risk). And you can ask my bandmates who have gone to work carrying flasks of *my* urine in their pocket about the whole drug testing thing. :D

    So yeah, I'd vote real estate. Even if the market has some perils ahead, long-term it is almost certainly a better career choice than the refinery.

    My 2ยข
  12. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Which ever career path you choose, keep in mind that no job is forever.
  13. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    If you find the idea attractive, go for it! Doesn't have to be a lifetime committment. Even if it turns out you don't like it, part of how we find out what we really want to do is by the process of elimination.

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