This is the Biggest decision I have ever had to make...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 North Shore

I have been in the business for 7 years now. I enter when the market was booming. Making alot of money doing what I always wanted to do,"Sell Real Estate". Now as we all know there are far and few closing now. But we still have fees to pay. Board memberships, Real Estate fees,Licenses, classes,signs and on and on. 

With only 3 closings this year, being a single mother of two and supporting a household. I have to decide to keep my license or to give it up. I can't afford the fees anymore. But I love what I am doing. I have stuck it out so far. Do I continue to stick it out? Or throw in the towel? I would love some feedback on this. Is there others out there feeling the same way as me?



Cory Barbee
San Diego, CA
Broker (760) 563-4022

Stick it out!! Follow your passion and follow your heart. You need to get really focused on lead generation and do whatever you have to do to make that happen.

Aug 17, 2011 05:26 AM
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert!

Focus on a market, increase your blogging, complete BPOs, sign-up for REOs, research and learn as much about the short sale market as possible, there is always value in learning more and new information. Set your self up so you can be found, revamp your real estate strategies and business plan.


Aug 17, 2011 05:29 AM
Pam Miller
Realty Associates - Conroe, TX
Broker Associate - Water Crest on Lake Conroe

Maria - don't give up your license.  There is nothing wrong with taking a job to support your family and working real estate part-time.   Many top-producers need experienced assistants - you might try that route.  Wishing you the very best no matter what you decide.

Aug 17, 2011 05:36 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change
Get a mentor. Chances are that when the market was booming you didn't have to set up systems to attract and maintain prospects. There may be some things you never did that you should be doing now.
Aug 17, 2011 05:46 AM
Bart Vickrey
Bart Vickrey & Co Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN


You are in an excellent position, no not stressed, agitated, and desperate... you on in a position of tremendous motivation.

This can be a life defining moment for you.  One you will look back on and write about in your book.  This is a moment to be seized and celebrated.  You are in a profession that offers no cap on income, no glass ceiling of advancement.  Do not give in to the temptation to join... them.  Them are the people stuck in life.  Stuck doing a job on a daily basis that they dislike.

Them are trapped in dead end jobs, working around prople and bosses they cannot stand.  They are trapped because they've accepted medocrity.  They're trapped because they've created expenses in their lives that prevent them from having options (at least they believe there are no options).

But not you!  You have a choice everyday.  You can choose to have a successful and productive day.  Or you can choose to be a victim of circumstance.  Based on reading your post I can guarantee that you are not prospecting daily.  If you want to change your current situation... get on the phone a minimum of two hours a day.  Call expired listings and fsbo's daily.  You've been in business for 7 years, you probably have an excellent SOI.  When was the last time you called your sphere consistenly?

Contact proquest technologies and get setup on a call capture system.  Use 800#'s on your flyers and do not give away the list price.  People will call and you will call them back within 10 minutes.  If you don't have listings ask agents in your office if you can advertise their listings on Craigslist.  Use the 800# concept in your ads on Craigslist (great ad, no price... call free recorded message for more details and unpdated pricing).  People will call... and you will call them back within 10 minutes.

I can go on and on...

The point is, the market is tough... but homes are still selling.  But if you are not selling homes doing what you are currently doing... then start doing something else.  And it all starts with prospecting.  Look around at the top producers in your marketplace.  How is it they are still selling homes and you are not?

And please do not read this post out of context... I'm trying to help you.  Because I know you have every skill necessary to be a top producer.  So take advantage of this glorious business, and make it happen!

Aug 17, 2011 05:46 AM
J. "Diego" Marin
World Wide Realty - Irving, TX
Real Estate Solutions

Maria, don't give up your license... what some agents here in Texas have done is join a brokerage that isn't part of the Board. They still have access to the MLS for searches, but they're unable to enter properties. That's great if all you work with is buyers. Another option is to help out as a property manager (Which is what I do 3-days/week), on your own or assisting a Mgmnt Co. firm. KEEP YOUR LICENSE IF AT POSSIBLE

Aug 17, 2011 06:45 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Not sure if this option is available in your area, but you can contact your board and ask if you can park your license with them for a period on referral status, meaning you can't sell real estate, but if you do get any leads you can refer them to another agent and still get a piece of the transaction. This way you can take a full time job and still keep your hand in real estate. We know a few agents who have done that here and it has worked out well for them. If you ever want to get back to selling you can just have your license reinstated (for a fee, of course). Whatever you decide, make the best decision for you and your kids. We have all been through this ourselves and come out better and stronger than before. You will, too. We will keep you in our thoughts and wish you success!

Aug 17, 2011 07:07 AM
Frank & Jodi Orlando
Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale - Cumming, GA

The only way I know of increasing your business is increasing a web presence. 6 years ago I knew nothing about web sites and now I have 55. Start with the dummies books at the library. A good domain would be  Check w/ your MLS to see what search engine vendor companies they allow. Ideally you would want one with a client registration some where along the way.

Aug 17, 2011 07:21 AM
Stephen Garner
Hub Media Company - Tempe, AZ
Hub Media Company

Hi Maria, I just read your post and I feel for you. I dont know what the real estate market is like in MA although I would be willing to bet people are still buying and selling homes. The fact that you are asking the community means that you actually like what you do, if that is the case you will likely not be happy doing anything else or worse - wondering "what if" if you decide to throw in the towel.  You are a member of active rain which means you see the benefit of getting found online. I took a look at your previous posts and noticed most of them are properties with no significant calls to action asking a consumer to DO anything. If you like what you do, I would suggest you give it a little more time and change your blogging style to attract more consumers looking to buy of sell homes in MA. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have any listings to create business for yourself. Pick some subdivisions in your market, go take some pictures and write from your heart [as a consumer] what is so great about them. If there are consumers looking to buy in those areas and there are I'm sure - they will find it. Do this over and over again and you can rebuild your real estate business rather fast. I have a feeling that if you were contacted by someone that wanted to buy a home today that you would stick it out a little longer. You are only 1 good, unique, dynamic, engaging and valuable blog post away from this. 


I say stick it out.

Aug 17, 2011 08:12 AM
Karen Turney
Homesmart - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Real Estate

As a single mom of two small children (father passed away) and the sole supporter, I was often faced with that decision. Now 26 years later and two grown kids, I can assure you this is NOT the biggest decision you will ever make, it just feels like it. If you stay in it, you must fully commit, no buyers in your car unless they truly are qualified and well into the process, no over priced listings and always treat your past clients like gold, thats where the business is.

Thats all I can suggest.  If you decide to get out, you will do fine, life will fill you again with bountiful pleasures.  Good luck.

Aug 17, 2011 08:51 AM
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

I know exactly how you are feeling. I got into the business at the end of 2009 during the worst possible time. I am extremely thankful that I had an incredible mentor/father to help pick me up when I fell. I honestly don't think I would have done anywhere near as well as I did if I didn't have him. I held a part time job on the side (until just recently) and my wife also works a ton as well. So we made it a very big family support plan and just kept going and putting one foot in front of the other.

You are obviously in a much tougher position and I completely understand you thinking about giving it up. But maybe there is a job out there you can do in the evenings or something that will allow you to get a little work done while you are there as well as free up your days. That's what I did and it worked for me. I didn't sleep much, but I had to do what I had to do to provide for my family. That's what it's really all about when it comes right down to it. I just kept looking at the money I made at this side job vs the money I made in real estate. Then I compared the hours I worked at each and real estate was definitely more bang for the buck so to speak.

I wish you luck in whatever you decide.

Aug 17, 2011 08:53 AM
Matt Kombrink
The Kombrink Team - Geneva, IL
Chicagoland Residential Real Estate since 1991

I say if it's something you love doing, as you say, find a way to make it work.  Either find another job to supplement your income, join a team as a buyer agent or something.  The market will eventually come back (read, return to a new normal) and those of us that stuck it out will be the wiser for it.

Also consider other forms of real estate income such as property management, performing BPO's for banks or something...

Aug 17, 2011 08:58 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

I guess it depends. There are many ways to make money and family certainly comes first.

But let me ask you something. Have you done research in your market to see if sales are really up or down? There are agents in my market that also state that closings are far and few between but the truth is there are more resale closings than EVER in my area. Their problem is they aren't getting them because they haven't revamped their business. For example: Refusing to list or sell short sales when they make up almost 50% of the market is career suicide. Not working REOS because they are too difficult is the same thing. Career suicide.

So I would check first. If you see that there really are closings then you just need to figure out what's selling, whos' buying and how to get in front of them.

If there really are no closings then getting out of the business may be the best thing to do.

Do an honest assessment and then make the decision that is best for your family. Nothing else really matters.

Aug 17, 2011 08:59 AM
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC

I found this agent here in the rain looking for a good buyers agent in your him!!

Dick Beals

Aug 17, 2011 10:02 AM
Craig Hatcher
Georgia Residential Realty, LLC - Atlanta, GA

It's hard to hang-in but I would say keep trying. Perhaps try and supplement your income or find a way to not have to pay so much in fees. In my market with so many brokers/firms a agent can find someone to work with. I will say sometimes the firms that are lower on fees don't always give the agent the best service or package but if you want to keep in the game it may be the way to go. Good Luck!


Aug 17, 2011 10:31 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Maria, have you thought about hooking up with a high powered agent, in your office or otherwise, and becoming a buyers agent? You'll still get to sell real estate, but you don't have to spend the money marketing. Plus you'll get tons of experience.

Aug 17, 2011 11:13 AM
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC

Maria,  You will do what you have to do.  Keep your license on inactive or referral if you must so you can come back if you decide you must do something else for now.  Hugs!

Aug 17, 2011 06:15 PM
Maria Salvaggio
Century 21 North Shore - Lynnfield, MA

Thank you for the feedback. Just to clarify I am a FULL TIME REALTOR. I have been very succesful up until the market crashed. I do have a lot of business under agreement, but they are short sales and the longest one waiting to close has been 18 months. 2 closings this month and lots of buyers who put in offers but they are lower than the short sale price. I must have put in at least 20 offers for a 2 year client and we finally closed in March. I do know what to do as far as getting the clients, but making a deal stick in this market is hard. If it is a short sale my clients give up after 3-4 months. I am thinking of going on a team as many of you suggested.

I would like to respond to AL BATSON. I am not sure who you are but how do you know so much about me? I am also a Hair Dresser of 25 years, you are correct I am excellent at it and I do love it. But I am doing what my passion in life is Sell Real Estate. 

Oh no Al deleted his comment. I knew he was a stocker.....

Aug 18, 2011 12:51 PM
Maria Salvaggio
Century 21 North Shore - Lynnfield, MA

Wow Al, U must hate women who are sucessful like me.I have an ex husband just like u greedy and disfunctional.  I know who u r i got you email address from my active rain team. I am far from a lose as u r look how u act. I bet you get no business with that attitude. So for that. Have a great career if that is what u have. If u cant be nice on here don come here. U just joined yesterday the day I posted thats why u r a STOCKER. Come by for a hair cut some time it's on me.

Aug 19, 2011 03:52 AM
John Green CHP / e-pro/GRI/CBR Residential Real Estate Specialest
Century 21 North Shore - Lynn, MA

Hang in there Maria with determination and enough effort there is money to be maid. 

Aug 22, 2011 06:09 AM