Log In   ·   Become A Member

What Aspiring Real Estate Agents Should Consider Before Entering Into A Career In Real Estate

John A. Viteritti

  |   1 Comment · Print Article

Thinking about a career in real estate? The author suggests joining a local firm. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

Having been a real estate instructor over the past twenty years in New York City and the Hamptons, I am asked by aspiring agents what they should consider when entering a career in real estate. Since this is a subject of interest to many who have similar thoughts on the East End of Long Island, I have decided to explore the topic.

First, an often, unrecognized reality is the ability to sustain oneself financially independent of any income from their real estate activities for an extended period, two to three years is not uncommon. Like any other business, start-up capital is essential. For the overwhelming majority of agents, there is no paycheck and no company sponsored health insurance or retirement programs. The agent may not be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as automobile and entertainment. The sponsoring broker may provide office space, administrative support, advertising, and training. You don't receive any compensation other than commissions earned for work performed. You file quarterly estimated taxes with the IRS, and may deduct from your income certain expenses incurred in the course of doing business. You are not covered by workman's compensation or unemployment insurance. As an independent contractor, the sponsoring broker will have limited control over your activities. While part-time employment may provide income, it will also delay success in your real estate career.

The most frequent question I am asked is how to go about choosing a sponsoring broker. My first answer is work where you live. The demands on your time will be such that the less time traveling around, the better. My second answer is, become associated with a brand-name firm. It offsets the fact that starting out, you are unknown, and it is likely to have a significant number of listings which you will be able to sell or rent, and agents from whose experience you will benefit.

I also suggest that a quicker path to earning income is to go after listings. All of your experienced colleagues with their customer bases will be trying to sell those listings for which you will be compensated. Sales take longer although pay higher.

One way to earn and learn is to attach yourself to a top producing agent in your office. The many activities involved in listing new properties for sale, arranging showings, open houses, and the gathering of information related to the properties are critical but time consuming tasks, often ones that the top producing agents would like to delegate to an administrative assistant, which provides the new agent with experience and income.

Becoming part of a team is a common method of doing business. It provides the team members with the opportunity to divide responsibilities and benefit from the mix of skills, and has a defined method for sharing commissions.

It is important to realize that when going on an interview with a potential sponsoring broker, that will be your first "sale." Do not approach it as you would a job interview. The broker will want to know how you intend to achieve success. The broker can't make dollar two until you make dollar one. You should want to know the kinds of support that will be provided, some of which I have already mentioned.

Your biggest investment will be your time. Spend it to its maximum benefit.

Real estate is a highly competitive business. You will be competing against not only highly skilled agents from other brokerages, but also your own, while at the same time, having to develop a reputation for professionalism and trust.

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at LIU, NYU, and Cook Maran Real Estate School, and is a well-respected consultant to the real estate industry. www.johnaviteritti.com

Related Articles:

Guest (Katie Foster) from Hamptons Realty Group, Amagansett says::
Wonderful article, John. You will be sorely missed!!!
Dec 15, 2016 12:30 pm


Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions on the East End and since 1995, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In 2008 he was Corcoran's top broker on the East End by sales volume and rental units; and ranked as the nation’s 4th top broker. In the 2017 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #26 nationally, #4 in the Hamptons and #3 at Corcoran overall by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year. His office operates with four licensed assistants allowing him to build a business stretching from Southampton to Montauk and Sagaponack to Shelter Island. gdp@corcoran.com

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.