Why a Real Estate Career is Better than a Corporate Job

I have been a Realtor for over 10 years and love the freedom, money and control. Coming out of college I had the choice of joining the corporate world or finding my own route. I decided to take the route, which involved joining my father’s real estate team. I did not choose real estate because I spent time researching the pros and cons; it was more a choice of convenience. I couldn’t find a job out of college in the corporate world, and my dad offered me a job in real estate. I am extremely happy things worked out the way they did after seeing how my friends are treated in the corporate world compared to how I run my business.

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A career in real estate has more freedom than a corporate job

Real estate agents have a lot of freedom, because they are their own boss and make their own schedule. They can work as much or as little as they want, which is a good thing for many people, but can be a challenge for others. You have to have a great work ethic to make yourself work hard and create business as a Realtor. Real estate agents have to work under a broker or be their own broker, but that broker is not exactly their boss. The real estate agent is usually a self-employed contractor for the real estate office. That means they set their own schedule, they take vacations when they want, they take time off during the day to watch their kids plays and recitals. A Realtor can do these things without asking for permission from anyone!

I think most of us know how the corporate world works. You work your butt off to rise through the ranks of the company. You get raises with each promotion and usually, you take on more responsibility and more work. You work for a salary; your hours are dictated by your boss and they can be daunting. I know many successful people in the corporate world who work 60, 70 or 80 hours a week! Since they are salaried workers, they don’t make more money the more they work. Hopefully, at some point, they will be rewarded for that hard work with another promotion. That promotion may mean even longer hours and less time with your family. 20 years down the road, maybe they will become a top-level manager or CEO. That assumes the company they are working for still exists and they enjoy working 80 hour weeks for the twenty years leading up to that “dream job.” The crazy thing is this is the route I was taught to take in college. They made it seem glamorous and the expected thing to do when you graduate. Thank goodness I was not paying very good attention in school!

A real estate career allows you to make more money than a corporate job

Many people see the average incomes for a real estate agent in the $40,000 range, and assume real estate agents do not make much money.  Those statistics count part-time real estate agents and agents who treat their job as a hobby. I mentioned an agent has to motivate themselves and make themselves work hard. Not everyone can or will work hard unless they have a boss telling them they have too. I talk about how much money real estate agents make in more detail in this article and they can make a lot of money! It is not uncommon to see a Realtor make well over a hundred thousand dollars a year (very early in their career). In fact our office has 38 agents, and I know at least four of them make well over $100,000 a year, three make over $300,000 a year consistently year after year. That may not seem like a very good percentage of agents making over $100,000 a year, but most of those agents work at home part-time. There are only ten agents working a full-time schedule in the office. The top agents in our area, which is not a massive metropolitan, area make over 1 million dollars a year in real estate. It did not take them 20 years to build up that business, it can take as little as five years. I know a couple in Arizona who made over 1 million in real estate two years after becoming agents. Not everyone will make this kind of money, but it is possible with the right plan, goals and team. Once you build the right team, the team will start to make you money. You own a business as a real estate agent and if you plan well, that business will run itself.

How to start a real estate team.

In the corporate world, you can make a lot of money as well. I know a few people who make six figures plus they get benefits like health insurance. Benefits are something real estate agents do not get since they are self-employed. The people I know in the corporate world making that money have worked crazy hours for years. They also find themselves running into a ceiling on pay once they make it to that six-figure income. There is a lot of competition in the corporate world and you have to be the best of the best to make six figures. Once you reach a certain age in the corporate world, you run into the problem of younger cheaper talent replacing you. These reasons are why my good friend left the corporate world (where he was a top-level manager) to learn about real estate from me. I think he can reach the same income level in real estate in two years or less that it took him ten years to reach in the corporate world.

If you are interested in taking online real estate classes I recommend Real Estate Express.

Real estate forces you to run your own businesses

We have all heard the best way to get rich is to start your own business. Real estate is one of the easiest business to start with very high-profit potential. In real estate you need very little capital to get started, customers are easy to find, marketing is relatively cheap and you need a few assets. If you want to be a Realtor, you have to treat it as a business, not a job. You are the boss, so you have to make big goals, plan well, work hard, and great things will happen. If you expect everything to fall in your lap without doing any real work, you are going to be very disappointed.

In the corporate world, you have no chance to start your own business. You are constantly working for someone else making money for their business. Usually, you have no time or flexibility to create something on the side and you get stuck in a rut that can last for years. You are also busy helping someone else achieve their dreams instead of making your own dreams.

For more information on how to become a great real estate agent, check out my eBook: How to Make it Big as a Real Estate Agent is available at Amazon as a paperback or ebook.

Real estate makes you take control of your life

When you are your own boss, nothing is planned for you. You don’t have hours you have to be at work and no one tells you what to do and when to do it. Many people like having their lives planned for them because it is easier than taking control. To get the most out of life, you have to be in control. You have to make your own schedule, plan for your future, plan your own retirement, plan vacations and plan exciting things to do. Here is an article that describes my goals for 2014.

A real estate career allows you to invest in real estate easier

I love investing in real estate, because I make over 20 percent on my rentals and make half my income from fix and flips. There is no way I could have the time and market knowledge I do if I had to work full-time in another job. I have a very flexible schedule that allows me to look at great deals anytime I want to, and I can make an offer in hours. This give me a huge advantage over other investors who have to work during the day. I also save money when I buy houses, because I am a Realtor and I don’t have to pay someone else a commission to sell me the house!

Real estate agents have unlimited room for growth

As a real estate agent and business owner, I can keep hiring people and growing my business as big as I want. The only ceiling present is the ceiling I put on myself. I can keep hiring staff to meet increased workloads as I grow and I do every year. I keep growing every year, hire more people every year, and I actually work less now than I did a few years ago. The staff I hire to take care of the increased management that more staff requires. I love real estate and I am really glad I stumbled into it after college and did not get stuck in the corporate world. Real estate is not easy; it takes hard work and a great plan to succeed. If you think you can make it in real estate I highly suggest you give it a try. If you want more information on becoming an agent check out my blog articles under the real estate agent tab.

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35 thoughts on “Why a Real Estate Career is Better than a Corporate Job”

  1. I can’t say enough how much I love this article and just how deeply it resonated with me! I am the proud owner of a wholesaling business for the last two years now and the experience has been one of (if not THE) greatest experiences of my life. I definitely got into this business for the first point you made (freedom) but one of the points that you didn’t discuss which I believe deserves a mention is for the amount of personal growth that an individual goes through when venturing into this business. Seriously, most of the people that I know within this industry are all stand up people, with excellent morals and strong wills to do great things. I love being apart of the real estate industry, thanks for sharing this!

  2. I’m about to begin my first step towards a career in real estate, and after reading your inspiring story Mark, I am very happy to have made this choice.

    Thank you for the great article Mark, it’s very positive and encouraging to those of us seeking self ownership and control of a schedule!

  3. My dad has a Real estate company in Puerto Rico, and my path of being a doctor got blurred, because I did not want to see my entire life, studying and paying student loans. So I dicided to go towards real estate, but my question for you is, at what age should i start ? im 19

  4. Mark, I am a 24 year old bartender tired of the hours I work and seeing drugs and poor choices made by those around me including co-workers and management. I worked for Cydcor doing cold sales face to face in Wal-Mart for over 18 months. In that time period I was a top sales representative for DirecTV and AT&T. I made alright money but more so, enjoyed the hunt of the sale. I also got flown around the nation for my success, however, it was an MLM (Multi Level Marketing) and I did not enjoy that aspect, the room for growth was there, but on there terms. I am reading everything I can about a career in real estate. I am about to take the plunge and hope for the best. My question is, I am in Houston, Tx which is a very saturated market for agents. What should I look for in beginning my career, and yes I want a career out of this, not another job. Should I look at the large names brokers? Should I take an online class? I am absolutely beginning phases of this entire process and already feeling nervous, but excited too. I am looking for some guidance and honestly, a mentor. Thank you for your time.

  5. Sir now i m pursuing degree in cse after completed my degree i will do job 5yrs then i will start my business is it best or not.?

  6. I left the corporate world last year to become a Realtor and be my own boss. I absolutely love it and wish I would have made this move years ago. But….finding clients is not easy and I work harder now than I did as an Executive Assistant to the CEO and I worked extremely hard then! You have to create a footprint in an area where there are existing Realtors that have held that marketplace for years. So, that’s why most new agents quit within the first year. It takes that long to get your first client, unless you are blessed enough to have a family member or friend that uses you in that time. So, hang in there. Make sure you have savings in the bank to carry your through and continue to work your behind off. I’m marketing like crazy right now and hitting the streets! I really do love it. Oh, and if you know anyone who wants a GREAT Realtor in Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Westlake Village, Simi Valley (The Conejo Valley) call me: 805-341-5173

  7. I am a young man (20) that is scared my age and baby face will scare people away. Should i invest in a planner to help with the busy schedule?

  8. Thanks so much for this article. I am currently in the 3rd week of the 75 hour portion of the Broker Pre-License class. Already completed the 15 hour principles class. I have been in corporate America for the last 37 years and I feel like life Is passing me by. I just read an awful, discouraging article on becoming a real estate broker and it almost scared me off – but I googled a little more and found a few to boost myself back up again. Failure is NOT an option and I am pumped!!

  9. Hello mark,
    Like to read ur blog. It’s really motivational for all. I wants some suggestion, i’m an IT graduate but wants to make career in real state, is it right choice for me
    Plz suggest. Thank you

  10. Mark,

    I have been in banking since I was 16, I am now 50 and would love to try my hand in real estate. Have you seen anyone at the age of 50 become successful in real estate?



  11. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the informative article. For someone who has been an experienced and successful small business owner, what do you think about them going into a real estate broker position right away? In other words if they know marketing and sales, would you think they can succeed right off the bat with starting their own real estate brokerage business? Also please tell me do you believe that for such a person it is better to buy a real estate franchise or would they have a reasonable chance at success going it independent? Thank you and happy new year.

  12. I just started taking classes online and I am scared to death. I have never really been good at anything I have done, so of course my fear is this will be the case yet again. I appreciate finding this article and thank you very much.

    • I think you have probably been good at many things, but think about the bad things. Try concentrating on what you have been good at and assuming you will not be good at something usually makes it true.

  13. Not doubting your capabilities or work ethic, but would you say working under your Dad’s team made it a bit easier to set yourself up and develop your business pipeline? The challenge of Real Estate is building your client base, getting your name out there, and creating a reputation. It seems that would be much easier having a close family member guide you, as opposed to others who jump into the fire without someone holding their hand.

    • Hi ken, now worries, that is a great question. The answer is it actually made it harder because I got stuck in my comfort zone. I never really succeeded until I found REO and started my own path away from my fathers path. You are right about guidance. That is why it is so important to pick the right broker or join a team.

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