How Much Money do Real Estate Agents Make?

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how much do real estate agents make?The top real estate agents can make a lot of money, but most agents make similar wages to other industries. The median gross income of Realtors was $39,800 in 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors. Realtors with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $78,850 compared to Realtors with 2 years or less experience that had a median gross income of $8,330. According to the bureau of labor statistics, the median annual wage for real estate agents was $48,690 in 2018 and $58,210 for real estate brokers.

The median and average incomes could be much higher for real estate agents, but many agents work only part-time, many agents have no idea what they are doing, and many agents do not have the discipline to motivate themselves. I have been an agent and broker since 2002. I have seen many agents make well over $300,000 a year and many other agents struggle. I would not judge what you can make as an agent on the median salary because there are so many variables involved.

What is the median income for a Realtor?

There is not a lot of recent data broken down for agents, but there is a lot of data from 2016. The median income for a full-time real estate agent in 2012 was over $54,000. For Realtors (members of the National Association of Realtors), the average income was over $39,800 in 2017. (These statistics include part-time Realtors). The median income is over $87,000 a year for Realtors who work more than 60 hours per week. Many real estate agents, including myself, make well over $100,000 a year and I do not work close to 60 hours a week. Part-time agents bring down the average income of real estate agents, and many agents just do not work very hard.

More than 21 percent of Realtors make over $100,000 a year, which shows Realtors can make a lot of money when they work full-time and have a plan. You need a plan, you need goals, and you need to be able to run your business in order to succeed in real estate. If you can become a successful agent, the money and freedom cannot be beaten!

The video below also talks about how much money real estate agents make.

Why is the median income going down?

It is interesting to see the median income for Realtors and agents decreasing over the last couple of years when housing prices have been increasing. I believe the reason the averages are going down is that there are fewer houses to sell. One of the biggest reasons that prices are increasing is that there is no inventory of houses to sell. When there are no houses to sell, it is very hard for real estate agents to make any money. It is a tough time to become an agent, but that does not mean it is impossible to become successful.

How do agents make money?

Real estate agents make a commission on each house they sell. Commissions are always negotiable, but HUD pays listing agents three percent and buyers agents up to three percent so I will use three percent as an example commission. Real estate agents usually represent one side of a transaction; the buyer or the seller. Each side of that transaction may make three percent, but again that is negotiable. On bank owner listings sometimes the listing agent gets a smaller percentage than the buyer’s agent. Commissions could be four percent in some cases or one percent like with some REO auctions. If you sell a $100,000 house a three percent commission would equal $3,000 to one agent, but the agent does not always get to keep that entire commission. Most real estate agents only get paid when they sell a house unless they are working on a team or a commercial real estate agent.

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Do agents get to keep all of their commission?

When you become a real estate agent you have to work under a broker in the beginning. You don’t have to work with that broker, but you have to hang our license with the broker. Different brokers provide different levels of support ranging from nothing to intense training programs and mentors. The more training, staff support and office space you get the smaller portion of the commission you get to keep. Commission splits can range from 50/50 to 100 percent with a small transaction fee paid to the broker. Remember, a lower commission split is not advantageous if you never sell any houses. I think new agents should go with a broker who offers the best training, not the highest split.

If you sell a house for $100,000, make a three percent commission and have to give 40 percent to your broker, you will keep $1,800. You will have more costs we have to figure as well, but a $100,000 sale is also pretty low in many areas of the country.

What other costs are there?

Besides paying your broker a split of your commissions, other costs come with being a real estate agent. Many of these costs will vary greatly depending on your marketing and agreement with your broker. Some brokers will charge for an actual office on top of commission splits, you may have to pay for advertising, MLS dues, Realtor fees, and there are other less direct costs. Most people will drive much more as an agent and you better make sure you have a reliable car. You don’t have to have a fancy car to be an agent, but it must be presentable! Here is a look at what the costs may be for a brand new agent. I don’t think you have to spend a ton on advertising to make good money either.

Direct costs:

  • MLS dues: $500 a year
  • Realtor and board dues: $300 a year
  • O and E insurance: $300
  • Business cards, name tags, etc; $500 a year
  • Advertising $1,000 to $50,000 a year
  • For sale signs, marketing materials: $200 to $5,000 a year
  • Total: $2,800 to $50,000 plus

There is a wide range of costs because you can spend as much as you want on advertising. I think there are plenty of ways to advertise for free or very minimal costs as a real estate agent. Some of these costs your broker may cover and some may not be covered. There will be indirect costs as well depending on what you need. Do you have to buy a new car, new computer, new phone, new clothes or a new desk? These costs can be pretty minimal or add up very quickly if you go crazy with spending.

What does the average agent make their first year?

It is very difficult to find statistics on the average income for a real estate agent in their first year. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that Realtors with less than 2 years of experience had a median gross income of $8,330. That is about half of what the median income for new agents was in 2006. That is an extremely low number, but it is possible for agents to make much more in their first year. I have an agent on my team that made over $100,000 in his first year and another agent on my team may make $100,000 in his first year as well.

The video below goes over how much money agents can expect to make their first year:

The data does not say the average income for Realtors in their first year was $8,330, but Realtors with less than two years of experience. The actual average income for Realtors in their first year is most likely less than $8,000 a year. You have to remember that many real estate agents start part-time and have no idea what they are doing their first year in the business. Do not be deterred by the first-year average income statistics!

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

A real estate agent has gone through the licensing process in the state they are selling real estate. Real estate agents also must have their license hung with a real estate broker or be brokers themselves. A Realtor must do everything a real estate agent must do and belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR requires members to abide by a code of ethics and belong to a local board of Realtors. The income level for Realtors and real estate agents is different because more Realtors work full-time and take their job more seriously. That does not mean every Realtor is better than every real estate agent, but the averages do show that Realtors make more money.

How can you become an agent?

Becoming a real estate agent is not an extremely difficult thing to do. In most states, you must take pre-licensing education, pass a test, and then work under a broker for a certain amount of time. Working under a broker does not mean you do everything they say or that you are their assistant. It simply means that you hang your license in the broker’s office and they oversee your activities to make sure you do not do anything illegal. I highly recommend Real Estate Express to get your license. Real Estate Express offers classes in most states and has some of the lowest prices for real estate classes. Two of the agents on my team took online classes through Real Estate Express and easily passed the exam.

Do agents make a good living?

This is a tough question to answer because everyone is different, and live in a different area. It is safe to say that most of the money made by real estate agents are made by the top 10 percent in the industry. I have made over $300,000 a year from just real estate agent activities multiple years and there are many agents who make more than me. I live in a town of 100,000 people and there are at least 10 agents making that much money or more in my town alone. The average for agents may not be very high, but the ceiling is unlimited. If you are a go-getter you can make a lot of money, have your own schedule, and build a business with real estate. I do not sell houses anymore as I concentrate on running my brokerage, investing, and this blog. I have agents in my office that sell for me and I get a cut of their commissions.

If you work part-time and have no work ethic you won’t make much money. If you work full-time, plan your business, listen to those who know what they are doing you can make over $100,000 in a year or two.

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Is it hard to sell houses?

Selling real estate is not rocket science; the more contacts you have, the more houses you will sell. The secret is building up a client base that will continue to buy houses from you and refer people to you. Eighty-four percent of home buyers and sellers said they would recommend and use their real estate agent again. That means once you get a client and do a decent job for them, they will continue to use you and tell their friends about you.

The trick is finding those people who will use you as a real estate agent. In your first year, it is especially difficult, because no one knows you are an agent yet. You have to tell everyone that you are an agent, or better yet that you are becoming an agent. If you tell everyone you know that you are becoming an agent, you can build your client base before you become an agent.

Choosing the right broker is also very important for new agents. Many agents choose a broker with the best commission split, instead of the broker who offers the best training. I like to tell new agents that making 100 percent of nothing, is still nothing. Most agents who try to learn everything on their own do not do well. It is vitally important that new agents choose the broker with the best training and not the best commission split.

Another option for new agents is to join a team. I have run a team for many years, and we offer amazing training for our new agents. We can also offer them leads and other advantages for joining our team. If you are a new agent and looking to start quickly, a team may be the right starting point.

What are the different ways agents make money?

Buyer’s agent

A buyer’s agent sells houses to buyers and earns a commission on each house they sell. There is no set or typical commission, but I will use a three percent commission as an example. The buyer’s agent may not get to keep all of their commission because in most cases, they must pay a split to their broker. We will assume the split is 70 percent to the agent and 30 percent to the broker. I think if an agent works hard and full-time, they can easily sell 20 houses per year. In my market, the average selling price is $175,000, allowing a real estate agent to earn over $70,000 ($175,000 x 20 houses x .03 commission x .7 split to the broker = $73,500). The real estate agent will have expenses to pay such as an office bill, MLS fees, insurance, and other miscellaneous items. Those fees vary depending on the real estate agent’s agreement with their broker, but the total expenses should be under $5,000 a year depending on the office set up.

If you sell more than 20 houses (which is very possible), you can increase your yearly income significantly. The more houses you sell the smaller broker split you will usually have to pay as well. Even if you sell less than 20 houses per year, you still can make a decent living as a real estate agent, especially if your market has higher prices. A buyer’s agent may also sell listings for sellers whom they are helping to buy a home. A buyer’s agent is not limited to only selling homes to buyers.

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Listing agent

A seller’s agent or as they are typically called, a listing agent, has a completely different role in the sales process. A listing agent will make about the same commission, but they go about it in a completely different way. I will not go into details for the income that you can make because you can use the same math I used for the buyer’s agent. The biggest difference is that a seller’s agent can typically sell more houses than a buyer’s agent can because it takes less time to list a house than it does to show homes to buyers. A listing agent can also sell houses to buyers and may double end many deals, representing the buyer and seller in a transaction. If buyers are not already using a buyer’s agent, they may use the listing agent who has the house listed to buy the house. Listing many houses also brings in buyer leads, which I will discuss more when I talk about teams.

REO agent

This is my specialty. You can make great money as an REO agent, but it is not easy. If you are an established REO agent, you can sell many houses a year. I have sold over 400 REO listings in the last three years. Commissions vary with REO listings. I receive three percent on some properties and as low as one percent on other listings. My average commission is about 2.5 percent on each REO that I sell. The REOs that I sell typically sell for less than the average sales price in an area. If I assume the average price is $120,000, multiply that by 100 houses, times 2.5 percent commissions, and assume a 90 percent commission split, that equals $270,000.

The expenses are much higher for the REO agent than they are for a typical listing agent. To be successful in REO you have to belong to REO organizations, register with REO companies, carry more insurance, and pay expenses for the banks on REO properties. Many times you will have to eat some expenses and pay fees to pay the bank’s bills for them (not logical, but that is the deal). An REO agent also must attend conferences to meet clients and gain business. I attend at least two conferences a year. I would assume the expenses to be at least $20,000 or more a year for most successful REO agents.

If you sell 100 houses per year, it will be almost impossible to handle everything yourself. Most likely, you will need at least one full-time assistant who will cost about $30,000 a year. After expenses and staff, an REO agent selling 100 homes a year may profit $220,000 a year just on the REO listings. The great thing about listing many properties is that those listings bring in buyer leads. A good REO agent will be able to sell as many houses to buyers as they do listings. Having that many listings is also a great opportunity to start a team and let other agents sell properties for you without doing any work.

Teams

Ferguson TeamWhen you start selling homes and getting busy, it is time to start building a team. I do not think it is ever too soon to hire people if you want to be successful. The more people you hire the more money you can make while doing less work. It is a beautiful thing!

I have eight people on my team, including five licensed real estate agents. They do not all sell many homes, but I get a percentage of each house they sell. I give incentives for them to be on my team by giving them leads, paying some of their expenses, and providing staff to help them with paperwork.

I have my team set up so that the agents under me can sell houses easily, which allows me to receive a check for doing very little to no work. If you have many listings, it is much easier to start a team because you get many buyer leads with listings.

If I have three agents on my team that are actively selling houses, I can make great money from them. A typical setup would be agents get a 70 percent commission split of their own clients and 50 percent of the leads I give them. If they are all able to sell 25 houses a year, which may be very possible with many buyer leads coming in from 100 listings, here is how much they would bring in:

  • Average house price $175,000
  • Average commission 3 percent
  • My cut from our broker is actually 100 percent, but I will use 90 percent because that is more common
  • 75 houses sold; 50 percent my leads and 50 percent their own clients

For my leads, the math (using simple round numbers) breaks down to

$175,000 average sale x 37.5 (half of 75 houses sold) x 3 percent commission x 90 percent split with broker x 50 percent split with me =$88,600.

For their own leads, the math is

$175,000 x 37.5 x 3 percent x 90 percent x 30 percent =$53,150

I will have expenses that may add up to $15,000 a year for these agents, but I just made over $140,000 gross profits and over $120,000 net profit. The agents working for me each made about $65,000 a year and they had to pay very little of their own expenses. It works out great for everyone as I make money for doing very little work, the agents get leads, and their expenses are paid.

Being an agent and investor

I buy long-term rentals and fix and flips. I usually save a lot of money on commissions for each deal I do. I have 20 long-term rental properties and 10 to 20 fix and flips at various stages of repair at any one time. I talk much more about my real estate investing in my Complete Guide to Long-term Investing here. For each flip I buy through the MLS, I save a commission when I buy the home and when I sell it. This can equal $5,000 to $15,000 I save on every deal! I also save a commission on each rental property I buy, which decreases my investment and increases my returns. I estimate that being an agent saved me at least $300,000 in 2018 on my investment properties alone.

I am also able to get better deals on the investment properties that I buy because I know my market extremely well. I am also able to act extremely quickly when a good deal comes along, more quickly than investors who do not have a license can. I am also able to pay more for a property than an investor without their license can because I am saving my commission. The $300,000 I saved on commissions does not include the profit I made on deals that I would not have gotten if I were not an agent.

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Can agents make money without selling houses?

There are many other ways to make money as a Realtor.

Broker Price Opinions

BPOs are reports done to figure the value on real estate. My staff does about 1,000 BPOs per year and we are paid an average of $50 per BPO, $50,000 a year. I hire someone to take pictures and my staff does the reports so I make about $20,000 a year without doing any of the work. You can make much more if you take the pictures and do the reports yourself.

Property management

can also bring in good money if you have enough volume. A typical property management fee is 10 percent of the gross rents and leasing fees. One hundred homes rented at $1,000 a month would bring in $10,000 a month, but you may need staff to handle that many rentals. If you add one month’s rent leasing fee to that each time you rent out a home, the figure can increase significantly. Property managers may also use their own maintenance people and make a profit on each repair done, but you must disclose this to the client.

How long does it take to make money as an agent?

Now that you know how much money a real estate agent can make, how long does it take? The truth is it is very hard to make money as a real estate agent right away. Being a real estate agent is like running a business. It takes time and a lot of effort to build up a business. In the beginning, you have to work hard and get out of your comfort zone. Once you build up the business and get clients, the business will come to you and you will not have to put as much effort into the business. I have seen agents make over $100,000 in their second year. It is not easy, but it is possible. It took me six years before I was making $100,000 a year because at the beginning of my career I did not plan or build my business, as I should have.

Conclusion

If you want to become a real estate agent, do not pay attention to the average or median income statistics you see. I have money coming in from my team, REO listings, BPOs, my rental properties, fix and flips, and the few buyers and sellers I work with personally. It takes time to get to where I am but with hard work and planning it can be done.

I go over everything it takes to become a real estate agent in my book How to Make it Big as a Real Estate Agent. How to get leads, how to find a broker, how much money you can make, how to make money, how to manage your time, and how to avoid the struggles many agents have. It is available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle, and it is also on audible as an audiobook!

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96 thoughts on “How Much Money do Real Estate Agents Make?”

  1. Not enough!

    • Ben, you may need to check out my upcoming Ebook where I discuss what to do to make the Mooney in RE. 🙂

  2. I believe you make what you put into it.. Also where you live does make a difference. I just started in real estate sales so i will let you know more later..

    • Average house prices can make a big difference. In my experience the higher the prices the more competition there is from other agents. Good luck!

  3. excellent summary. also important to note that very few agents make much money in the first year. location is also critical. in my market (south suburbs of chicago) some of my investment buyers purchase homes for as low as $20,000. not much commission, unless you have an arrangement with your buyer to supplement the commission offered by the seller to make a minimum amount no matter the price of the house.

    • Thank you Synthia! That is very true about home prices. Many agents as they grow focus more on the average price than the number of sales.

  4. Great article. Thanks Mark.

    • Thank you David, I am glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Hey Mark,

    I wanted to know more about this and if I can contact you.

  6. Can I find out how much a Real Estate Agent makes on average in 5 years for a school project?

    • Hi Elsa, I am not sure myself. I think you may have to do some more research.

      • Okay, thank you!

  7. Mark, thank you for this article!! I have sold in new construction and been in property management for many years. I finally decided it was silly not to have my license. I have wanted to be an investor for years, and have always been fascinated by multi-family properties. There is just something magical about breathing new life into a property left for dead. Your article made me giddy because I know I’m on the right track, and you had some super helpful information that I’m excited to read more about. Thank you so much!!!

    • Beth, I am glad to hear it! Let me know how it all goes

  8. I am a single mother with 3 kids, I am trying to find out how I can get started to get my license. Can you tell me the first step, I would greatly appreciate it!!! 🙂

    • Hi Melvin, I would research my real estate agent articles and possible buy my book how to make it big in real estate. :). The first thing I would do is check to see what the requirements are to get licensed in your state.

  9. Hello Mark, since recently i’ve decided that becoming a real estate agent would be suitable for me. I’m already in the process of getting my license, but there are so many questions i’d like to ask. After reading your article most of my questions were answered but id like to contact you and find out some more if its no problem. And thanks a lot for your information it has cleared up a lot.

    • So did you pass your license test

  10. Mark, love your content. Not many investors share this much detail! fyi, your agentcampus affiliate link is broken.

    • Thank you David! I will check on that link

  11. Thanks Mark for all of the information about become a real estate agent. I live in California and I was thinking about become a sales agent and this information help me a lot and answers some of my questions.

    • Hi Siaffa, I am glad it helped. please let me know if you have more questions.

  12. Thanks Mark for the great article. I have been going nowhere with my career with the corporate world and when I read your article my lifestyle fits best with being a real estate agent and being your own boss plus freedom. Now I just have to educate myself fully and get my license as the first step of a new career!

    • Awesome Harold! I am glad this helped.

  13. Hi Mark my name is Christopher. I would like to see some factual documents in which states this big income you speak of. Why would you need to sell a book if you are so well off. This article has brought me to an agnostic mindset pertaining to your article. I can neither believe or disbelieve. However, I would greatly appreciate some more information. I believe you either got a lot of money through inheritance or maybe won a lottery, jackpot, etc something through gambling to start investing in yourself… I would really like a response out of you how you truly made it. Also, why don’t you admit to these good people luck is also a huge factor!

    • Hi Christopher, I think if you ever want to be wealthy you need to change your attitude completely when it comes to thinking about how others have become wealthy. If you only believe others can be wealthy by being lucky or inheriting money, than you will never make it yourself unless you are lucky or inherit money. Most people who are extremely wealthy never inherited their money or won the lottery, they made it themselves through business. In fact most people who win the lottery, lose the money they won because they are not prepared for it and have no idea how to handle money.

      For the record I have never inherited anything, except a few coins when my grandfather died that were stolen from me later on. I have never won the lottery unless you count a $50 scratch ticket when I was about 19 that was given to me. I do not gamble.

      As far as luck here is a great quote: I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.
      Brian Tracy

      Luck helps those that help themselves.

      I have many different things going on. I write books, I have my blog, I do fix and lips, I sell houses and I have my rentals. I enjoy writing even though it is the least lucrative of all my income streams. Because I make a lot of money does that mean I should not charge for a book that takes an extremely long time to write an prepare?

      To satisfy your request I will send a print out of the houses I sold last year on MLS.

  14. How do you compensate for economic downturns? How can you plan or invest when the market is bad?

    • Hi Stephanie, With me I have my REO sales and retail sales. When the times are bad, foreclosures are up and I make money selling REO. When times are good, there are more retail buyers and sellers and I make money with more traditional real estate. It is the same with investing. I get much cheaper properties when times are bad and when they are good rents are usually higher and homes sell for more. I think there is always opportunity because people always need a place to live.

  15. Hello Mark, great article! I appreciate the information. I am interested in becoming a part-time real estate agent (while keeping my full time job) because I think it will benefit my ultimate goal of doing rental investments and possibly fix and flips. Does your book talk about how to get into real estate investing when you don’t have a lot of cash saved up?

    • Hi Chris, it depends on which book. The real estate agent book does not, but the how to finance rental properties book does.

  16. I think, Investing in real estate is more better option in comparison to being a real estate agent, Because you could earn a lot in real estate, if you invest at right place and in right time. For that, You should consult with one of the real estate expert and then invest. It’s a promise that, you will earn a lot!!!

  17. Thank you so much a wonderful article and must important to few agents make more money in the half year. location is also important … This information is important for all real estate agents.

  18. Hi mark ,

    Just came across this while searching about real estate and it was very helpful but had left me thinking if I am making the right move in a career ! I’m 23 from London and have been offered a commission only job (45%) out in Dubai as a real estate broker and after working in accounts since I was 17 i am very dubious about if this is the right decision for me . I know companies can fill your head with a lot of you can earn this and that in a month ( which apparently someone did last month which was 4 k and 18k in one month ( pounds ) I am just wondering how realistic this is , I don’t know if you know anything about the Dubai markets but being a newbie myself to this field it’s very daunting to move country and support myself on the hope that I can build a career and a successful one at that as I am very driven and want to make the most out my life where possible .

    I am supposed to be in Dubai in less than two weeks and would really appreciate some advice on this as I don’t know whether to take a chance and possibly loose money and come back with my tail between my legs or hopefully strike gold ( tax free wooo )

    Thanks for any help in advance 🙂 Hannah

    • Hi Hannah, I really have no idea about the real estate market in Dubai. If I were you I would contact any agent in the area you can and ask them what it is like.

  19. Hello, Thanks for sharing your idea. I like your blog because you have consider all points surrounding real estate agent, difference in agent and Realtor. Al the points are very informative. You also mentioned REO agent its costing plans target. Thanks for sharing information.

  20. Mark – that was a terrific article! Thank you for sharing this information with us.

    I currently invest in real estate (mainly fix and flips) and have decided to go after getting my real estate license. I have already taken my pre-licensing classes and I am currently studying for my exams. Also, I am an avid reader so I have read books like Think and Grow Rich, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Slight Edge, and The Compound Effect. I understand that success doesn’t happen overnight and I am driven and have a great work ethic — and I understand the power of great marketing.

    My question to you is… in your opinion, as a new agent (who also invests), which specialization is better for me – Short Sales or REO’s? Also, how does one become an REO real estate agent? I understand what Short Sales and REO’s are and I would really appreciate your insight on this.

    Thanks for your time and advice in advance!

  21. That was a great article. I finish school to become an agent in December and I am excited and eager to get out there and hustle my tail off. I will read more of your articles and hope to see you at the top someday soon.

    • Thank you!

  22. Great article with tons of info I have not found anywhere else. What is your take on real estate referrals? I am currently taking my prelicensing course and truly have no intention on becoming an active agent. I know referrals/referring agents get a percentage of the percentage from the buyer or seller’s commission and that amount also gets split between their broker and themselves. If I successfully market for referrals and I am able to do this nationally, do you think it is possible to earn full time income? Have you yourself ever received a referral that ended in a sale, or know of your one of your team members who have received a referral that lead to a sale?

    • Hi Andrea, thank you!
      I do give out referals all the time. It is a great way to make money, but I think you will make more if you work some deals yourself.

  23. I’m actually very interested in real estate. I live in NYC and work as a legal sceretary for a law firm that deals with homes going through foreclosure. However, I don’t have the proper funds to even rehab a house /apt to then possibly flip or rent to gain passive income. I heard about wholesaling but the logistics confuse me a bit. I’m hoping maybe someone on this forum can assist in guiding me. If there is anyone that can help contact me via email [email protected]. Thank you.

  24. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I recently passed my online class final and I am now studying for the state licensing exam. I have no time to show houses to anyone during the week at all, and only a few hours that I could dedicate on the weekends. Do you recommend trying to specialize as a buyer’s or seller’s agent, or just take what falls in my net first and work with it the best I can?

    • That will be tough either way. I would try to partner with someone or join a team that can help you out.

      • Thank you. That sounds like a good idea.

  25. mark-

    I am thinking of getting back into real estate after being laid off from a management position . what advise can you give me to get my name back on the map. strategic advertising and what can I expect to pay in advertising the first year?
    thank you

    • Hi Dean, I would focus on building your sphere of influence instead of advertising. My team spends a couple thousand a month on advertising, but we have 8 people and sell a lot of houses. Our goal is to building relationships and build referrals not so much get cold leads calling us.

  26. The real estate brokerage business is somewhat flawed, because it requires agents to be entrepreneurs. Most are not! I guess it kinda of the 80/20 principle. Which applies to all faucets of life.

    Perhaps this is why the team concept has become popular?

    • Hi Sal, i think it is awesome that it requires agents to be entrepreneurs.

  27. Hi Mark,

    My name is Rex and i am from Los Angeles. Recently i have been thinking about to become a real state agent. What would you recommond me to do after getting my license? Ps, i am really out of budget right now and totally in debt of thousands of dollars but for the freedom and the desire of money. I am willing to work hard in this field. Any advise would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Rex, Read my articles on becoming a real estate agent. The first step is to tell everyone you know you are becoming an agent, get your license and keep telling them. Focus on relationships and referral business from those relationships. If you can find a team to work for while you get your license that would be ideal.

  28. Mark, great article, thanks. I was proposed by a broker (family friend) to join the team. He has a huge client base and has been in business for 20+ years and wants me to be his head real estate agent. With good work ethic and timely hours, what do you think my first year would look like there already having that big client base??

    • Thanks Dan, an agent who joined my team made over 100k last year, but that is rare. If you have a client base already and work hard I think you could do 100k.

  29. Hello ,
    I am a college student that is going into part-time real estate. I live in NYC and plan to join a real estate company here in NYC. Does anyone know how part-time is in Manhattan.

  30. This is a very motivating piece for those planning to become a real estate agent. Some dream of making it big in real estate but failed because they don’t have discipline and hard work. The trick is to make that step (big or small) everyday to achieve whatever goal you have.

    • Exactly

  31. Wow. This is one great piece of information for budding agents who want to hit the million mark! But you’re right. They need to really work hard.

    • Thank you!

  32. Hi,

    What are things to should know about real estate? How many experience should real estate agent have? Can anyone help me out.

    • Keep reading the blog!

  33. Great content Mark I always try and get other agents perspective on the business but do you have any additional advice to someone who is starting out because that seems to be the hardest challenge. I’ve been working as a realtor for 4 months now and still haven’t gotten my first closing..

  34. awesome share real estate agent income package is quite good

  35. Great info throughout your site, Mark. I appreciate the detailed plans and advice. How does one go about becoming an agent for you and have you as a mentor? 🙂

    • Hi Hunter! I actually have an agent joining our team who found my on the blog. If you want to apply you are welcome too! [email protected]

  36. When I got started it took me about 6 months to make my first commissions… I became a top producer within my company in my second year. Then when the market crashed I struggled really hard for about 5 years but never quit.

    Now I am a consistent top producer with leads coming in on autopilot every day.

    The key is don’t quit and scale up what is working. Spend time on income producing activities and eliminate time wasters.

    • Hi Jason, Great comment.

  37. Do you have to do anything different from just the basic real estate licensing to become a realtor? other than joining the NRA??

    • You have to take an ethics class and join your local bard of Realtors as well.

  38. I am so inspired by you it is not even funny! I have a small amount of real estate ( 8 rental units). I have read a ton of your articles and you are totally awesome! Just want to thank you for inspiring me to keep going and focus on my goals for the rest of this year and the future! Your logic can be applied to any industry. Currently, I am expanding into areas in my profession that will leverage my time and expertise. It is going to be hardwork in the beginning but I know it will bring in several income streams in the future. I plan on taking the income streams and buying more property and dividend paying stock. Thanks and I am staying tuned! I have to see this 100 rental properties goal come true! I had the same idea but chickened out and listened to people who didn’t have goals or vision. It makes total sense to keep buying houses or in my case multi-units and using the cash flow to pay off the mortgages. I don’t think it is anything smarter than a good mix of risk and conservative investing.

    • THank you!Don’t let others who have no idea about real estate stop you

  39. Hi Mark , I like your sharing !
    Your sharing is inspiration and motivated !
    I’m a brand new agent for about 4 months .
    Although I’m not making that much money yet but I’m still have faith on this career .
    Thanks for your sharing .
    Can I have some other sharing like teaching us more about the skills to become a successful agent ?
    It would be very much appreciate if you can do that .

  40. A mortgage loan originator and I deal with several Realtors throughout southern New Hampshire that make well over to $100,000 a year so it all depends on one’s ability sky’s the limit matter of fact I know many realtors in the Boston area then make a million + per year so all up to you

  41. Do you think speaking Mandarin is a useful asset in this career?

    • Yes!

  42. Great article and video, was wondering if you know about the term bpo, broker pricing opinion. I am looking to get my license and am doing a lot research on this field. I am looking into investing and not just selling. I agree with you that agents these days don’t take advantage of all that is out there and I’m the guy that’s gonna jump in with both feet. Thanks and hope for a reply

  43. Very positive attitude. Thanks

    • Thank you Neil!

  44. I have sales experience in the car world, how much would this help translating into the real estate world? Also, how many months of pay should I have as a cushion before I try to transition?

  45. AGENTS DO NOT MAKE GOOD MONEY! It’s all diceptional and then they want you to have more and more in the field so it looks like a great thing, but after spending start up costs usually most give it two years and quit. It costs so much and you end up with very little from the sale of a house after advertising MLS fee is 300.00 every quarter which we are low in Michigan, then 500.00 National Association Realtors, then 500.00 for Franchise fee, then 5% OF EACH SALE AS WELL BACK TO WHOMEVER YOU ARE WITH unless you go with a small broker. So average is 30,000 after two years and then take out all of your auto costs and other expenses. You run run run to get nowhere in this economy. So, 70 split with 30 going to broker you get this 100,000.00 (don’t forget after answering multiple offers and having the listing home question you and maybe hiring you fifty other agents). So, they want more and more because the National and Franchises need money, not good for agents they get nothing. 100000 X 7% 7,000 SOUNDS GREAT HAHAHA Then divide in two because the other agent that sold gets half so that’s 3500.00 then take out broker cost 30% 2450.00 then take out the 5% franchise -122.5 2327.50, then take out your Liability insurance about 130.00 2197.5, then don’t forget the giving the office does you choose so maybe -20.00 is 2177.50, then sign costs required at 50.00 so 2127.50. Now take out gas driving to and from time spent about 20 hours if you were making minimum wage so for this simple example say it’s 10.00/hr which is low. 200.00 so your time is valuable because if you can make double minimum wage you are better of NOT doing real estate. So, you now are down to 1927.50. Don’t forget making copies and handing out flyers, postcards, etc. They say the money goes to advertising, but only for the franchise. Anyone can pop up a website for free. So, generally by the time you are done you may make 1500.00 when commission is suppose to be 7,000.00. Everyone has their hand in the pot. Unless you have business contacts like Donald Trump and sell in New York, most agents make less than poverty and their “NEW CARS”, are all for show. Most can hardly pay their payments. I’ve watched it even some after 40 years. Why do they stay? I have no idea.

    • I would ask why you are still an agent if you feel that way as well. I know many agents who make a very good living

  46. Hello Mark,

    I am a single mother of 3 and looking to get in real estate to provide more financial freedom as well as time with my children. I would love for you to do a seminar or something that would explain the “step-by-step” process. As the summer is approaching and I would like to be up and running by the time school starts in August 2017 if not sooner. Please advise!

  47. You recommend finding the right broker to work for. What are the criteria? For example, how would I rate
    the quality of their training and mentoring? Also, the agent who brokered the house we bought has been in touch asking if my wife ever got her license (they casually discussed this during our house search). I always assume people have an angle. Wouldn’t another agent mean more competition for leads, or is the idea to bring more agents in to generate leads?

  48. Hello Sir!!
    Myself Dimpy Patel and I am from India. I have gone through your blog and it was very informative. I would like to pursue my career in a real estate field as I am migrating in canada on PR visa within 3-4 months. Could you please guide me what are the academic requirements to become real estate agent and if I need to study there to obtain licence?
    Could you also tell me whether you offer training courses and any online courses are available to get licence?
    Thank u in advance. Looking forward to receiving your valuable reply.

  49. Can i get this whole information by reading all of your books?..pls do respond

    • yes

  50. do you have a reference for your statement about 21% of realtors making 100K or more?

    • It was on the NAR website

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