Becoming a Real Estate Agent - Let's Break it Down


Whenever the market is up, the real estate industry gets a flood of new recruits. It's true that successful Realtors® can make great income, we are our own boss and we can create our own schedule but perceptions are not always reality! Getting started takes money and time and many rookies end up dropping out after the first one to two years. Being a successful real estate professional takes a lot of hard work, consistency and patience and the money doesn't come easy. If you are a dedicated professional, you work weekends, nights and anywhere in between. It often takes years to build up a pipeline and as with all commission jobs...until the deal closes, nothing is guaranteed.


Newly licensed sales associates don't always understand what will be needed to get started but the biggest thing I tell anyone who asks.....make sure you have reserves to carry you through your first year. Realtors® have monthly recurring costs including administrative fees and marketing expenses. They always say that you have to spend money to make money and in this case....it's true!


Here is a quick overview of some of our expenses:

  • Fees for initial licensing, continuing education and license renewal

  • Annual dues for National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors and our local Association

  • Annual dues for our local listing service

  • Annual fee and monthly dues for our lock box service

  • Administrative fees to the brokerage

  • E&O insurance

  • Commission split with the brokerage that can range from 50%-10% depending on production

  • Franchise fee per transaction depending on brokerage

  • Newspaper, magazine, postcards, brochures and social media advertising

  • Dues for local community and networking organizations

It's a fun and exciting industry and there is nothing better than negotiating a difficult deal and getting to the finish line but it's also a tough business with a lot of ups and downs and you have to be ready both emotionally and financially to weather the storm.