Becoming a Real Estate Agent in a Down Market

Some people think that being a real estate agent is easy and unfortunately they are wrong. The easy part is actually obtaining the license. After that, a bad market has a lot of distressed homeowners and tough competition among agents.

There are new agents, who often receive a minimal amount of help from the more experienced agents. That fact, coupled with a bad market, makes becoming a real estate agent much less desirable for most people. In a good market, prospecting for new clients is easier and you can succeed even though many other agents are coming into the business. However, being a new agent in a bad economy is difficult and most real estate agents suffer financially during this period.

Whenever the market crashes, there is almost no way to make a living, except short sales and foreclosures. The banks have their favorite brokers that they want to work with and becoming a foreclosure agent takes time, effort, and know how.

Short sales, on the other hand are even worse. Everyone you are working with is in trouble. They are losing their jobs, their houses and their whole world is being turned upside down. You really can’t do anything to help them except sell their house and save their credit a little bit. If you’re lucky, you can get them “cash for keys” or a HAFA incentive.

During this time, many agents are leaving the business and the remaining agents either hold on tight and try to outlast the dry spell, while only a small percentage of agents thrive and acquire most of the business.

Becoming an agent in a down market has one major advantage that you will not get in a good market. If you work as an agent when times are difficult, you will gain a lot of experience and will be very good at your job when the market improves. At that point, there will be floods of real estate agents who join the office and they will be at the beginning of the learning curve, while you have already become seasoned.

Once you’ve been through tough times, you will probably see years of a good market to follow. Then when the market begins to turn downward again, you will see it coming and you can position yourself early to become a foreclosure agent and save yourself from experiencing a hard financial hit while many agents who haven’t experienced a bad market will retreat from the business once again.