A Career as a Real Estate Associate
A career in real estate is demanding and rewarding. It requires commitment, discipline, motivation and enthusiasm yet, at the same time, offers the flexibility and freedom to work at your own pace.
Choice of Working Environments
Working in real estate offers a choice of environments in which to work. You can choose to join a large, multi-national brokerage or a small independent one. You can work in a busy urban centre, a small town or a rural setting. You can choose to focus your business by property type, by region, by customer type or elect to maintain a broader focus.
Opportunity for Advancement
Becoming a REALTOR® opens opportunities for participation on local, provincial and federal boards and committees, all of which play a role in shaping the field of real estate. With more experience and completion of additional study, the option to become a real estate broker is open to real estate professionals. Brokers can own their own business and employ other real estate associates.
Income Based on Effort
Income directly reflects your efforts, with no limits to what astute, hard-working men and women can earn. Successful real estate associates and brokers are goal-oriented, persevering, ambitious and people-oriented. The rewards of a career as a real estate professional can include a potential for high earnings, status in the community, autonomy, time freedom, and the satisfaction that arises from helping people achieve the dream of homeownership.
Advancements in the areas of technology and communications continue to redefine the real estate professional’s role. New types of property, expanding markets and changing rules and regulations also affect the role, creating new demands and opportunities and calling for a higher degree of knowledge and expertise.
Like any career, the real estate professional faces both opportunities and challenges. Do you have what it takes to be a successful real estate associate?
Real estate professionals operate relatively independently and typically earn their income by commission. Commission-based compensation offers the potential for significant earnings, but more than any other type of pay structure, it directly reflects effort. To be successful, real estate professionals need to be continually pinpointing potential markets, cultivating clients and honing their skills as a consultative professional.
The successful real estate professional can comfortably market their services in a variety of ways to a wide range of potential clients. They are comfortable meeting and working with people because the primary role of a real estate associate is to provide consultative service to individuals buying or selling real estate. If you are reluctant or shy, real estate may not be the field for you.
While the field of real estate can allow you to work as much or as little as you feel you need to create your own life balance, there is no established quitting time in real estate. Because the real estate associate is at the centre of any real estate transaction, your personal schedule will need to be arranged to accommodate your clients’ needs, particularly once a real estate negotiation is underway.
Because they primarily work on commission, real estate associates have to budget their money to last between sales. They may make a sale one week, then not another for two months. Earnings will vary by area, type of property sold, local market conditions and specific brokerage policies. Personal expenses, however, apply to all real estate associates and include licensing fees, insurance, real estate board/association dues, advertising and other costs such as those associated with telephones, cell phones or computer services.
Professional Requirements for a Career in Real Estate
Entry into the real estate profession takes preparation and, as with other professions, licensing is required. See Becoming a Real Estate Associate
to learn more about Alberta’s educational and licensing requirements.
Continuing Education in Real Estate
Like other professionals, real estate associates are expected to continue to invest in their knowledge after they become licensed. Some continuing education is mandated, such as that which is provided through the regulator to ensure real estate associates are current on rules and regulations. All education opportunities, optional or otherwise, are geared to increasing real estate professionals’ knowledge and skills, improving earnings potential and enhancing opportunities for success.