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Is this a good time to start a real estate career?

Starting your real estate career Why are people going into real estate these days?

That's a question we recently asked one of our Fundamentals classes (via an optional written survey). We were eager to learn what motivates people to seek out a real estate license in what are obviously challenging times.

We asked three questions:

1. What made you decide to go into real estate?

2. What do you hope to get from your real estate career?

3. Why did you choose to seek license training now (as opposed to some other time in your life)?

Okay, here's what we found. Of the 27 students responding, when asked What made you decide to go into real estate? interestingly, almost a quarter mentioned a family business connection as a motivator. This included entering a family brokerage, helping a spouse sell some houses built on spec, and so on. Others had more tangential connections; for example, one student had a family member who had once run a brokerage.

Three students mentioned the flexibility of a real estate agent's hours as a big plus because they had kids at home.

Can you guess the number one response to our 2nd question, What do you hope to get from your real estate career?

If you said income, money, or financial rewards, you got it. More than half the respondents saw real estate as a chance to make a decent living. This is encouraging, and of course we hope that everyone who sticks with the profession achieves financial success!

Coming in a strong second on this question was the desire for knowledge (eight people listed this as a primary reason). We here at Rockwell are writers and teachers, and so naturally we were pleased to see a significant number mention a thirst for learning. Of course, mastering a body of knowledge is not merely enriching in a general sense, it also creates a certain measure of job security.

The third most common response to this question was "helping people," which was also good to see. Obviously, many new licensees expect to find satisfaction in helping buyers and sellers.

Finally, Question 3: Why did you choose to seek license training now? The biggest answer here was that people had the time to pursue the training right now, mainly because they were just finishing school, were transitioning from another job, or had been laid off. Perhaps not surprisingly, only a handful mentioned the current housing market as a motivator. The students who did mention the market, however, believed that the bottom had more or less arrived. These students wanted to be ready as things picked up over the next couple of years.

We enjoyed doing this survey and learned a lot from it. Do you have a reason for going into real estate that didn't get mentioned here? We'd love it if you left a comment!

Remember, Rockwell Institute is always happy to answer your questions about the real estate exam.