Ask Us: Should I Get Into The Real Estate Business

Where readers ask and we (the community) try to answer:

I recently found the Front Steps blog and it’s was a great find with a lot of great info.

I have general questions about getting into the real estate business in SF. I’ve read more than one commentary citing different reasons that now is a great time for people thinking about entering the real estate business to do so. First, is this true? Is it a particularly good time?

Secondly, I’ve been wanting to learn more about this business and actually get involved for quite some time. I’ve been in journalism for years and I want to learn something else. What’s the best way to go about it? I’ve been considering taking online classes to start, perhaps through Noble Fields or something similiar. Would you advocate taking this route? Do you have any suggestions on where to take classes or know of any helpful references that would help me choose a place to get training and exam prep?

Thanks for your time and all the helpful info.

As always, thanks so much for your email and question. We’re glad you like the site and we’re glad you found us. As we said via email, now is (in our opinion) a horrible time to get into real estate. Volume (read: paychecks) is somewhere near the bottom of the toilet bowl, if not already flushed to the treatment plant. In San Francisco alone there are still upwards of 4000 licensed agents (down from roughly 5000, but don’t fear we’re told only about 500 actually do business), and animosity towards Realtors continues to build as our MLS data is pumped to third party vendors that put the buyer/seller in the driver’s seat thus making our services less valuable. Just don’t start a real estate blog and get a bunch of hater commenters and you’re attitude will not get jaded.

With that said, being in the real estate business is great. You have a free schedule, no boss, can make unlimited amounts of money, can dabble in sales, rentals, commercial, industrial, technology and all sorts of things. It’s a pretty good life. A bit stressful at times, but good if you got a tough skin. If you need that steady paycheck, don’t do it. If you’re worried about money at the moment, don’t do it. If you don’t like to work every day of the week and be available at all hours, don’t do it.

We do recommend the online courses, such as Anthony Schools and we do recommend you get your license as quickly as possible. What you study on those test and in those classes is practically worthless as it applies to real world real estate knowledge. Get your license, then get crackin’! Get out there and work, work, work. Plan on not making any money for the first six months in the biz and then set your own destiny.

Good luck. Anyone else care to elaborate?

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