When I got involved in real estate, I was 19 years old. I was working at best buy and going to college. My brother Jose Ponce had been doing real estate in San Bernardino for a year or so and had mentioned I should try it. When I decided to give it a shot, I was selling cell phones and had received one of the highest awards for customer service and sales in less than six months being at Best Buy. My first thought was what do I have to lose. Not much. So I quit the next day and started my journey to get licensed and go full force into real estate. Once I passed my real estate exam I was ready and super excited for this new career I had been waiting for anxiously. As I waited for my state exam and results, I was actively shadowing agents and hanging out at the real estate office to learn anything I could. Two weeks late I received a letter in the mail that I had passed my exam. When I finally began working with customers, it was a lot tougher than I thought. I wasn’t prepared to deal with the emotions, personalities and questions customers asked. Some days were great while others felt like the world was ending. Helping families accomplish one of the biggest goals and dreams in their lifetime felt great. It was a feeling like no other. Being a 19 year, I thought I had great success. I went all in no doubts or fears of failing. There was nothing I could lose. Of course, some family members were skeptical that I wanted to do this and others supported me.
Sixteen years later I noticed some agents have great success; some didn’t make it while others continue to struggle. Now my job is to recruit talent for Ponce & Ponce Realty. I get the opportunity to speak to 5 to 10 agents daily and ask them questions about their career success and failures. Some make it, and some don’t, that’s just the business. One thing stands out among real estate agents that do not make it or become as successful as they want to be or can be. A big chunk of the agents that leave the business or are not happy are Part Time real estate agents. Many part-time real estate agents set unrealistic expectations and set themselves up for failure. While some agents look to supplement their current income, others want to transition into real estate full time, only if they assure they can make what they currently make at their job. Some tell me they are afraid to fail while others need to supplement the income to make a move since they have accumulated bills or have a family which makes it harder to make a transition.
The reality is that it is tough to break into real estate sales. So doing it part time makes it even harder. Just think of this, John’s current job pays him $50,000 a year consistently. Now you want to take on a part-time job that you know nothing about and expect to make the same you currently make which in many cases has taken you five years or more of full-time hard work to get to that point. Do you see the picture? With the internet, there’s a ton of competition, and the internet makes simple for a customer to find another realtor that can give the client the attention they deserve. A career in real estate sales is demanding and requires contract, process, shadowing, communications, customer service , sales, marketing, technology and much more training. Choosing the right brokerage is also critical to ensure you have the right tools and support to be a success.
It’s hard to see and to hear agents leave the business because they felt the real estate wasn’t for them when they didn’t give it a chance 100 percent. The ational association of realtor states that there a significant drop out rate in real estate agents in the first 18 months. In my opinion, it’s due to some of the agents doing it part time, not having the proper training, no support, and having a limited schedule.
You might agree or disagree with the solutions I have for you so here they are. If you decide to start a career in real estate, do it full time. Create a reserve fund for six months and go 100% into the business. Get a headstart if your schedule allows it and do sales training for 2-3 months before going full time this has worked great for our agents transitioning to full-time status. Set an actual date to become full time if you don’t plan on it you’ll never do it. What I can recommend is to sit down with your real estate broker and create a plan that forces you to take action and make it happen. Don’t be one of the agents that could have made it and just didn’t have a plan to transition into the business. Looking back I can say I was lucky to get into the business at a young age. No kids and minimal bills made it easier to just focus on succeeding and not fearing failure. If you love helping people and have a hard work ethic, this business might be for you. Go all in!