04 December 2021 ~ 0 Comments

I get asked this question often enough

One question I get asked once or twice a year is, ‘I’m thinking of becoming a real estate broker’. My response often differs but one main thread I reply with is, “why’s that?”

Now let me get out ahead of this by saying, anyone who has ever asked me this question, I’ve given my honest reply in what I know about both the real estate profession as well as what I know about the given individual. The decision is theirs alone to make, but I won’t hold back in sharing my thoughts. 

It has nothing to do with added competition for me (yes, one person actually said this to me). No disrespect to anyone else, but A) I’m only in competiton with myself.  B) there are like 65,000 agents today in the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. When I started there were 17,400. Guess what? I’m still in business.

Okay, all kidding aside, I can see why I get asked this question and many of you who have asked me, know that my default response is, to become a mortgage broker instead. My experience is that many who have asked me about a career in real estate, do so because of the potential lucrative side (often seen on T.V. of course). And yes, being a successful agent can be financially rewarding. But so too is being a successful mortgage broker. 

Why a mortgage broker? Well for starters the bar to enter is a lot more lenient. A 40 hour course spread out over 5 days and about $500 gets you in the door. One course, one exam. 

Becoming a real estate agent. It’s like 5 courses, 4 exams and about $5,000. 

Now, for all my mortgage broker friends (I actually only have a few and you know who you are) before you get all riled up, know that the ones I work with are truly the special ones. There are a ton of part time mortgage people taking up space, just like there are a ton of part time realtors (just visit your local firehall to find out). 

My reasoning for advising the mortgage side is that in my opinion the pro side outweighs the pro side in the life of a realtor. 

Being a Realtor you actually have to take a mortgage financing course. Well you did at least back in the good ole days, although I’m sure you still do today. You also have to take a real estate law course. You become equipped in all aspects of the real estate process (yes, you even have to have an understanding of how houses are built) and not just the aspects that relate to you. 

I’ve never been asked this but if it’s ever on anyones mind, being a real estate lawyer is where it’s really at. Now, they are the most educated of the lot, and therefore smart enough to have a lot of the heavy lifting in the process done by others. But the compensation is good and you have evenings and weekends free. But you need to pass the bar and that is no easy feat. So cheers to the rockstar of a lawyer I happily deal with.

Home inspectors are another asset and career to consider. They have their place and unfortunately in todays  delicate society, they have to water down their opinions in certain cases, and therefore some reports are of little value. I still remember back in 1998 on an inspection in my early days, an inspector telling me the house was a “piece of sh$@!” and that if I cared for my clients I would run, not walk, on to the next one. I hugged him and he became my go to inspector for many years to come. And then he did something not many Realtors do, he retired. Miss you CM!

So, as you can see, there are many aspects to being part of the real estate business. Being an agent, you spend the most amount of time by far, working with both the client and the product. You need to be learning based and continuous in your learning (this never ever ends). All professions have continuing education requirements. I’m not referring to this. The great ones are always growing, and for the most part, they are the ones who achieve longevity. You will work days, evenings and weekends. And many holidays as well. That is the nature of the business. Turning off and away from a life in real estate is extremely difficult. It certainly has its rewarding sides and after 25 years of continuous learning and hard work, I still enjoy it. 

I’m happy to have a conversation with anyone thinking of a career in real estate, or any of the aligned fields anytime.  

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