Thursday, December 14, 2006

Trading One Job For Another

I've been thinking about this for a while, but when I read the latest post on one of the real estate investing blogs I follow regularly, I had to write about this.

I follow several blogs of people who got started in real estate investing. Over the past several months, three of them have decided to get their real estate license and become Realtors. It seems to me that this is just trading one job for another. I will admit there are some advantages to being a Realtor, but I don't think they are advantages that couldn't be gotten other ways - such as having a working relationship with a good Realtor.

I remember an article I read in the Arizona Republic earlier this year about the glut of real estate agents. Referring to the real estate boom, the article stated:

Suddenly, helping other people buy and sell houses looked like an easy way to make money, maybe a lot of money. How hard could it be? With investors amplifying demand, houses practically sold themselves, often for thousands of dollars more than the asking price.

People poured into the real estate business: The number of licensed agents in the state increased from 53,478 in July 2002 to 80,210 at the end of March [2006], according to the state Department of Real Estate. But now that the market has cooled and the prospect of quick money is gone, the newbies are starting to pour out, brokers and agents say.

It goes on to say that 80% of new agents quit within a year and 90% quit within 3 years. From my point of view, being a Realtor is even worse than having a 9 to 5 job because agents tend to work a lot of weekends and are on call basically all the time.

I really do hope that all my blogger friends enjoy success as Realtors. Perhaps their REI-based viewpoint will help them succeed where others so often fail. For me, however, I'll stick with being an investor.

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