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 More Statistics about Being an Agent (Part 3)
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Tue, Nov 14th, 2006 2:51 pm

Over the past two days I've looked at statistics that show how many hours the typical agent works as well as income and other employment facts.

Here are a few other first year agent statistics:

- Inman News did a study and found 10% of new agents quit in the first year and another 16% quit in the second year.

- The California Association of Realtors did a survey that showed 57% of new agents quit real estate within the first five years.

So the failure and burnout rate is high for real estate agents. Perhaps the unrealistic income expectation combined with the work hours has a lot to do with it.

One statistic that has eluded me is the divorce rate for established agents- which I expect is also higher than the national average due to the excessive non-traditional work hours and inconsistent pay.

Although these statistics can be pretty gloomy, don’t look at them as a reason to stay out of real estate as a career so much as a need to plan and prepare prior to entering. Ask yourself questions like, “how will I survive if there is no income for six months or there is a zero month?” If you don’t know a lot about real estate as a business, put together a plan for training yourself on things like financing, construction and understanding client’s needs.

In our own personal example, Kimberly entered real estate sales in a backend fashion- with 10 years of industry experience in other roles (mortgage broker, rehabber, builder, builder's sales rep and property manager).  The experience from those other jobs allowed her to be both a newbie and an expert at the same time.

But the key is, she didn't have to learn everything about real estate and being an agent all at once.  By working in other roles within the industry (that weren't all 100% commission) she was able to make the jump to being an agent easier.  More important, she had a second income to support her during her first year as an independent real estate agent (mine).

My interest and formal classroom training in real estate started over five years prior to getting licensed.  I also moonlighted on my corporate sales job for over a year helping Kimberly market and grow her business prior to joining her- even traveling with two laptop computers so my employer’s IT department wouldn’t spot my work on their laptop. When I finally quit my job to join Kimberly, I had saved up several months pay to cover our expense- which we quickly burned through to pay our bills.

Overall, we both work over 60 hours a week. However because we enjoy what we are doing, the hours (on most days) doesn’t seen oppressive.

For example, last Sunday was our first Sunday off together in months- and we spent the day driving around an area of town we don’t know very well looking at real estate trying to get to know the area better (go figure).  Then I came home to work on my website (and write this blog) so real estate leads continue to come in.

That's what a day off in real estate in like!

Hope this helps someone start their career successfully.

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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