LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Tens of thousands flocking to a booming real estate industry. Experts warn, don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamour you see on reality tv. Even though the market is booming right now, they say many won’t make it.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says even outside of a pandemic, the first couple years in the industry is tough. Add a low supply and high demand, making your first sale is like striking gold.
Since graduating college, Jaime Kearse went straight into a clerical career. She’s been an office manager at a local healthcare facility for the last 20 years.
Craving a change, she decided to dabble in the real estate industry. She joined Starlink Realty last year.
“I’m really excited about it. I should be making some type of movement, some type of closing deals within the next couple of months,” she said.
It’s already been about five months since she’s been actively working as a realtor, and hasn’t had one closing yet.
She’s not the only one making the switch. The NAR says 66,000 realtors joined their organization from January 2020 to January 2021.
Just this month, Kari Wilbanks with Cooperative Real Estate Welcome Home in Charlotte County has welcomed 4 new brokers to her team - and they’re from all different professions.
“A former Publix manager, a nurse, and there are so many others. We’ve got a lady who owns a cleaning company,” she said.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the NAR says many are drawn to the industry, because they either lost their job due to the pandemic, or because of the high demand for real estate. He says most people have stories like Kearse’s when starting out.
“Many new realtors who enter, sometimes they think it’s an easy business, and It’s not. It really requires a dedicated effort to succeed,” he said.
Yun’s advice to new realtors is focus on your client’s long-term interests, and build your reputation during your first couple years.