What did you do before you became a Realtor?


Before becoming a Realtor

When I first became a Realtor, other Realtors I met around my office always asked, “What did you do before you became a Realtor?” Without fail, it was a question that came up. “Before this, what did you do for a living?” It was a little weird. It wasn’t a question I remember coming up when I had changed jobs before. 

But there is a reason why.

Turns out in a recent survey that only 5% of Realtors say that real estate was their first career. 5%! That means (if my math is correct) that 95% worked in a different job and likely a different field before deciding to give real estate a try. 

What he/she did before does not guarantee a new Realtor success or failure in his/her new career choice. Sure, it is a hard profession to break into — easy to get licensed, easy to join a brokerage, but hard to make your first million. I was out for lunch yesterday with a couple of clients and we were talking about the success rate of Realtors and I said, “It is like successful restaurants. If they can make it to five years then they will likely be successful.” I read somewhere that something like 80% of new Realtors will be out of the real estate business within their first five years.     

When I first became a Realtor I asked an old time Broker why so many new Realtors flame out so fast and what was the key to success. He said, “if you succeeded in the others things you did, then you will succeed in this. If you didn’t then you won’t.” Good observation. That’s all I needed to hear. 

What did you do before this?

Survey says:

  • 16% Management, Business, Financial
  • 16% Sales, Retail
  • 9% Office, Admin
  • 6% Education
  • 4% Homemaker
  • 3% Construction
  • 3% Government
  • 2% Manufacturing, Production
  • 2% Computer, Mathematical
  • 2% Architecture, Engineering
  • 2% Legal
  • 2% Transportation

The great thing about real estate is that anyone can become a Realtor. Some of the unique prior careers on the list even include: actor, mayor, firefighter and professional golfer. 

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