Seven Reasonable Reasons To Leave Real Estate

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Last week we did a teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio on a rather sensitive subject - QUITTING. Yeah, quitting. As in, throwing in the towel and calling it a day. The goal of the show was not to talk anyone out of quitting, or shame them into staying or even to sell them a bunch of my books so they'll miraculously turn their career around; no, the goal to assure agents that IF quitting is right for them, there's no need to apologize, feel guilty or be ashamed. In fact, I believe it takes a lot of courage to admit that something isn't working and go do something ELSE!

QuitDuring the show I described seven Reasons to Leave that I believe are perfectly valid Reasons to Leave. Not that anyone needs my permission or blessing, of course, but if you, or someone you know is struggling, and any or many or all of these apply, leaving might very well be the best course of action.

1. Your market truly sucks. Contrary to the rah-rah's and Pollyannas, there may NOT be enough business to go around and some markets are truly awful. If buyers aren't buying and sellers aren't selling, there's nothing we as real estate agents can do to change that. To determine if your market is viable or not - take a look at how the top five agents in your office are doing. If they're busy and seem to be going to closings on a regular basis, then there probably IS business to be had if you could figure out a way to get some for yourself. But if even the top dogs are struggling, your market may not be viable, right now anyway.

2. You aren't suited for self-employment. Not everyone is cut out to be self-employed. And there's no shame in that. Here's a great article about the entrepreneurial personality:

3. Your understanding of what a real estate agent does all day was wrong. Before going into real estate, many agent-wanna-be's think the job revolves around showing property, writing offers, attending closings, creating home brochures and holding open houses. Which, as we all now know, isn't the case at all. If you didn't realize how much of your time would be spent pursuing business, trying to solve unsolvable problems and dealing with grumpy idiots, and you don't particularly enjoy these activities, perhaps real estate wasn't a good choice for you.

4. You don't handle confrontation and conflict well. Most normal people would prefer not to have a lot of conflict and confrontation in their lives, but if you tend to avoid it at all costs and literally make yourself sick when in the middle of a disagreement, it's likely a career in real estate will be miserable for you.

5. It's simply time for a change. No one ever said real estate had to be your last career. Hey, if you're bored or burned out or ready to do something different, go for it!

6. Your lifestyle has changed. Perhaps you've had children since you got your license... or maybe your children are now at an age where they're more demanding of your time. Maybe you've gotten married... or divorced... maybe you're having health issues or are caring for an aging parent. Life happens... and sometimes a lifestyle change will also require a change in career to accommodate your new reality.

7. And my favorite... Real estate is just too hard right now. You know what? Selling real estate is freakin' HARD right now. And often not much fun. And often not too profitable. If you aren't having any fun; if you aren't sleeping well at night; if you aren't making any money and don't see that changing - GO DO SOMETHING ELSE! Life is way too short to get up every morning and hate what you do.

If you're struggling with whether Real Estate is/was a good career choice for you, you might check out a new (free) newsletter mini-clinic I just put together. It's specifically for aspiring agents (people who are thinking about going to real estate school), but it's a fairly hard-core look at the realities of the career - and might be helpful for you in making your decision. Just go here:



Posted by

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!










Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chris Ann Cleland 09/04/2011 05:56 AM
  2. Not a real person 09/04/2011 03:53 PM
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Selling Soulfully
Silent Majority
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
Real Estate Professionals
all blogs
sws teleseminars

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

All absolutely valid reasons to leave. Or better yet, for some - it may not be a full STOP but a pause until the forces re-aligned again.

Aug 29, 2011 03:24 AM #1
Ken Tracy
Coldwell Banker Residential - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hmmmm.  An article on quitting...

There is always a need for agents.  In any market.  People will always be moving.  Death, job transfers, divorces, etc...

Yes, the market is challenging, but there is always a need...


Aug 29, 2011 03:57 AM #2
Dana McGary
Crye-Leike Champion Real Estate Group, Searcy, Arkansas - Searcy, AR
Realtor - White County, Arkansas

Great Blog.  Certainly a worthy topic!  It is hard to make it, there are variables beyond our control sometimes.  I have heard a statistic that 80% of new agents do not make it past the first 2 years.  Commission only while spending money is not a situation that everyone can be in when times are tough.

Aug 29, 2011 06:10 AM #3
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor


I really like this blog.  It speaks to the voice of many who are not focused about all the aspects of their lives.  Cherise and I have chosen to live holistically and with excellence, one day and one step at a time... g

Aug 29, 2011 06:26 AM #4
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Look at the alternatives. Especially if you are over 55. real estate will lokk better and better. But I wish the market was better too

Aug 29, 2011 07:23 AM #5
Doug Anderson
Tucker Associates Real Estate Services - Danville, CA
Bay Area Real Estate Views

OK Jennifer...I loved the list and it reinforced for me why I am in this business.

Aug 29, 2011 04:32 PM #6
Karen L. Pietsch
Cary Property Pros - 4 Sale Realty, Inc. - Crystal Lake, IL
Cary Property Pros. Cary Property Pros Premier Real Estate

Way to go Jennifer!  I got to hand it to you for having the guts to talk about a subject area that I'm sure realtors think about constantly .... especially on those kind of days!  I wish I wouldn't miss your webinars so much.  I try to find them and sign up for them but I never seem to get to them.  I love it when you make them available at a later date as I tend to watch webinars late at night when it's quiet and I can concentrat on them.  If you ever do that, please let me know.  Kudos off to you my dear for writing about a subject none of us want to even venture on.  ;)

Aug 29, 2011 05:54 PM #7
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Hi Karen! All the shows are posted in the Club SWS archive ( And thanks for the kudos!

Doug - That's a great side benefit! To realize that you DO belong in real estate!

Charlie - Indeed...

G - Good for you & C!

Dana - the interesting thing is that the numbers of active versus inactive licenses hasn't really changed that much during the recession. People quit/failed in this business in large numbers even when the market was good!

Ken - I agree that there will always be people exchanging real estate... but I don't think anyone can argue that the number of people doing it is far lower than it was (and will be again).

Loreena - that is a great point. There's no shame in hitting PAUSE if things aren't lined up right now!

Aug 30, 2011 12:00 AM #8
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

This market really does separate the professionals from those that are the "wanna bes."  Down cycles purge the market of excesses and real estate is no exception (and not just for Realtors but for surveyors, lenders, appraisors, and title insurers). Those that got into because times were good and business were easy made money but may not have been prepared for a long-term career. But that is normal and just like housing inventory, the number of agents must shake out too. Hopefully, all will find work they can enjoy and excel. As always, right no target Jennifer! G

Aug 30, 2011 06:26 AM #9
Nancy Pav
Century 21 Redwood Realty - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

People reject us all day long...if you can't take it, this is not the business for you.  Thanks for the post.  I hope it helps people stay or go.

Aug 30, 2011 10:32 AM #11
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Jennifer the teleseminar was great, kudos for you and Sharon for putting it out there, I think the underlying issue that kept bubbling up was that many agents know they should not or do not want to be in real estate any longer, but are too embarrassed to admit it, for whatever reason. It takes guts to admit you made a mistake, but those like Sharon that realize it sooner than later will be better off.

Aug 31, 2011 08:16 AM #12
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA

Jennifer, excellent post and no surprise it got so many comments. Truth is if you're in this business you DO think of these things OFTEN - This is my 3rd major career and I'm loving it - but challenging at times is an UNDERSTATEMENT -  Good to know early on as it can save people who "like to look at new homes" and thnk that's what this business is about - Save these people time - Find another career -

Sep 01, 2011 12:41 AM #13
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Great post and very thought provoking and yet people are still getting in everyday.

Sep 04, 2011 01:18 PM #14
Randy Elliott
RE/MAX Gold - Lodi, CA
REALTOR : Lodi / Stockton, CA

I have thought about throwing in the towel on more than one ocassion and going back to my old job.  But thankfully I stayed the course, kept my name and face in front of people, learned a little bit about social media, and decided to ride the storm out.  I'm glad I did.  Bigger things came along, and I'm busier now than ever.

Sep 04, 2011 07:46 PM #15
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I hope those agents out there who are not feeling the love from the real estate business will realize after reading this that it is okay to do something else!  This career - and this market - is not for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Good for you in putting this out there for those folks who are struggling with the concept.


Sep 05, 2011 09:27 AM #16
Karen Salmon
Royal LePage Benchmark - Okotoks, AB
Okotoks Real Estate Agent
Often a sign to leave if you really don't love the work. I often hear other agents complaining about multiple aspects of this career- life is too short to do something you don't like! Especially if you think that it's not worth the paycheque at the end!
Oct 26, 2011 01:41 AM #17
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
Spam prevention