Benefits and Considerations of Being a Real Estate Agent

For as long as the real estate industry has existed, people have been drawn to real estate careers because of the ability to create their own schedules, work from home, and meet new people. Having a career as a real estate agent can be exciting and adventurous. If you’re working toward a career as a real estate professional, it’s important to know the benefits of such a career and how being a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, can support you in your career journey.  

What is a Real Estate Agent?

Real estate agents are licensed professionals responsible for representing buyers and sellers during different types of real estate transactions. Most states require individuals who become real estate agents to work for a professional real estate broker, which can be a brokerage firm or an individual. 

To become a real estate agent, you will be tasked with taking a pre-licensing course and a real estate license exam, which you’ll be required to pass before becoming a licensed real estate agent. Once you’ve passed this exam, you’ll likely look for a brokerage to join. 

Once you are a licensed real estate agent, you can become a real estate broker. Real estate brokers are essentially a step above real estate agents. First, you’ll need to earn ample experience as an agent and make sure that you meet certain educational requirements.  

What is a REALTOR®?

A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, America’s largest trade association. NAR is comprised of all types of real estate professionals, from agents and brokers to appraisers and property managers. Agents who join NAR have agreed to abide by NAR’s strict code of ethics. REALTORS® have access to proprietary data and research and a variety of educational opportunities through their membership in NAR. 

Benefits and Considerations of Being a Real Estate Agent

If you’re interested in a career in real estate, there are many benefits and considerations of becoming a real estate agent. Keep in mind that some of the downsides associated with being a real estate agent are alleviated through the resources and benefits offered to members by the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Benefits of Becoming a Real Estate Agent

The many perks of being a real estate agent include: 

  • A more flexible schedule: Many real estate agents are contractors or freelance workers instead of 9-to-5 salaried employees. When you enter this type of career, you can essentially set your own hours, providing maximum flexibility for you to work when and where you please.   
  • Strong relationships with clients: Since you’ll regularly be doing business and marketing in your community, you’ll naturally create relationships. As time goes on, you’ll earn the trust of people in your area and become a knowledgeable source of information.  
  • You can make dreams come true: When you represent buyers during a real estate transaction, you’re helping make their dreams come true. Owning a home continues to be a major life goal for many people, with 28% of buyers citing their primary reason for purchasing a house as simply the desire to own a home of their own per NAR’s 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report. 

Considerations of Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Even though there are numerous advantages associated with being a real estate agent, there are also some things to consider, which include:

  • Lack of benefits and job security: Being a real estate agent isn’t the most secure job; often, medical and other traditional employment benefits aren’t provided.  If you decide to become a REALTOR®, you’ll have access to the benefits offered by the National Association of REALTORS® like discounts on popular goods and services through NAR REALTOR Benefits® program.
  • Financial preparation may take some time: During the initial few months of being a real estate agent, it may be challenging to get by while you wait to complete a transaction. You can mitigate this downside by building an emergency fund to dip into should the need arise.  
  • Inconsistent or irregular business hours: Even though being a real estate agent allows for added flexibility, you may need to meet with clients for open houses or showings at different times of the day. That means you may find yourself working on weekends or nights depending on your clients’ needs. 

Benefits and Considerations of Being a REALTOR® by Joining NAR

You will need to pay annual membership dues for national membership, and local and state association dues as well. The good news is that these costs are well worth the resources you’ll gain access through National Association of REALTORS® and your local and state associations. 

Benefits of Joining NAR and Becoming a REALTOR® 

Joining NAR provides you with many tangible benefits that can help you grow your career. The advantages associated with being an agent who is a REALTOR® include:  

  • Industry recognition: The title of REALTOR® is regarded with considerable prestige because of the strict code of ethics that NAR members agree to abide by. Clients may be more inclined to trust someone who has taken steps to adhere to this code of ethics. NAR also has a mentorship program known as SPIRE, which allows REALTORS® to access additional resources and networking opportunities. If you’re not yet a real estate agent, but you’re interested in learning more about a career in real estate, you can also participate in SPIRE. 
  • Support the future of real estate agents: NAR directly advocates for national policies and laws that will strengthen Americans’ ability to purchase, sell, and own property. Along with this advocacy work, NAR supports the interests of its members. NAR provides resources and benefits that can help members have long and successful careers in the real estate industry. 
  • Ample REALTOR® benefits: NAR offers REALTOR Benefits®, which provides members with comprehensive educational tools, resources, industry events, and discounts on everything from rental cars to computers. 

Considerations for Joining NAR and Becoming a REALTOR®

While there aren’t downsides to being a REALTOR® if you’re already a real estate agent, there are a couple of considerations that you should take into account. These include: 

  • Joining NAR and Becoming a REALTOR® Requires a Code of Ethics Training: Anyone who wants to join NAR will need to study NAR Code of Ethics and complete a Code of Ethics training every three-year cycle.
  • Members of NAR Can Commit to Excellence: Those who join can also decide to earn the C2EX (Commitment to Excellence) Endorsement. REALTORS® can promote the C2EX Endorsement working with clients and other REALTORS®. 

Why Joining NAR Is Worth It

While being a real estate agent has its advantages and allows you to set flexible hours, joining NAR can help you advance your career and avoid the downsides of being a real estate agent. As a REALTOR®, you’ll also gain access to extensive resources and support that NAR provides to its members. 

Learn more about joining NAR and advancing your career so you can start changing lives today.