Rumor has it that real estate agents have a higher than normal divorce rate. Why?
This career can take over your life, physically, financially and emotionally. Physically, you will be Missing-in-Action frequently, often without notice. Financially, you may be dipping into the family nest-egg to keep your business afloat, without much to show for your efforts. Emotionally, oh my. The emotional havoc a new real estate career can wreak in your life can't be overstated. You will be on a crazy roller-coaster ride, most of the time. There are incredible highs and devastating lows... all in the same day.
If you are married or otherwise romantically entangled, please don't underestimate the effect your career will have on your relationship. Maybe it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Maybe not. But your relationship WILL change. Your spouse/S.O. will need to accept that the love of his or her life is spending time alone with other people, sometimes in emotionally charged situations. That they will often appear to place these other people and their needs above the needs of the family. That they will be testy, teary and tardy. They will work late, they will work early, they will work on vacation. They may even threaten to cancel a vacation every once in a while!
If you jump into real estate full-time, your spouse or S.O. may be footing the bills for you. Don't forget to acknowledge and be appreciative of this fact. Often. Discuss it up-front so that no one is blind-sided three months down the line. Don't assume that your partner is happily paying the bills - resentment can build up fast, especially if your new career is straining the relationship in other ways.
Do your best to put your family at the top of your priority list, but know that they won't always stay there. When you are building a new business, any business, you need to be fanatically obsessed with the success of that business. And, unfortunately, something will have to give. You simply can't have it all and do any of it exceptionally well. That's just a fact.
If your family does not fully support your venture into real estate sales, you may have a big decision to make. Only you can make the best decision for your situation, but just know that without your family's support, you will probably be miserable most of the time. And a miserable real estate agent won't be a real estate agent for long.
The good news is that after a few crazy years, you may very well be able to control your time, your energy, your finances and your emotions much better than you can at first. In fact, if you play it smart, you can create a life for you and your family that the rest of the world only dreams about. Work 30 hours a week (you pick which 30!), make a six-figure income and sleep well at night... how does that sound?
copyright Jennifer Allan 2007