Each month, more than 2,000 people get a real estate in Florida. Do they all become new real estate agents? No. If I had to guess, I would say that about half of them never use their license professionally. What do the other half do? As you learned in real estate school, you can advertise, buy, appraise, rent, sell, auction, lease or exchange real estate for another person for compensation.
In Florida, the most common paths are residential real estate, commercial real estate, and timeshare. Let’s exam each of these individually…
You will have a broker, but you will basically work for yourself. You have the freedom to set your own hours. You get to decide if you will wear a golf shirt or a business suit. You decide how you want to go about selling houses. In exchange for this freedom, you will have to pay your own expenses.
It is generally recommended that you have about six months of living expenses saved up. You will need to live on a budget. You don’t get a check every week, so you have to plan for drier times.
You will work when everyone else is taking time off. No one shows up to an open house on Tuesday morning. You will be doing those on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Many people love the independence this profession offers.
Like residential real estate, you are essentially your own business. You have a lot of expenses, but you also have a lot of freedom.
The sales cycle is looooooong. Often, you will work with a client for six months to a year before the deal comes to fruition. Commercial real estate requires even more budgeting than residential. You will get very large commission checks, but you may only get a few of them each year.
Your clients will be smart. Very smart. They know about business. You need to understand business, so you can keep up with your clients. As you gain experience, you will get the opportunity to work complex transactions. Because of this, few people start off in commercial real estate. Most people move into it later. If you are the type of person who looks forward to waking up and turning to the business section of the Wall Street Journal, commercial real estate might be perfect for you.
Commercial real estate tends to focus more on commercial hours. You won’t be showing property on the weekends, like you would in residential real estate. Your clients wear business attire, so you will too. Your clients speak the language of business and finance, so you will too.
In some parts of the world, timeshare sales is not an option. But in Orlando, Florida, where I am, timeshare is king. There is no better career for a real estate licensee. I know you are thinking, “Of course, you think that Karen. You work for a timeshare company.” That’s true. I do work for a timeshare company. But I was born into a family of commercial real estate investors. My father sold houses. So I’ve seen all sides of the business. When I taught real estate, and didn’t work for a timeshare company, I still told my students that timeshare is where it’s at.
So why do I think timeshare is a great business? First of all, you are an employee of a large company. This means you have the resources of that large company. You don’t have to hire your own administrative assistant. You don’t have to drive your personal car around town. You don’t have to spend hours at networking events to find new clients. Anything you need, the company will provide for you. This includes sales training, marketing material, copies of contracts, clients (yes, the company brings clients to you), and people to do things you don’t do (paperwork, legal issues, follow-up after the sale, etc.).
Because you are an employee, most timeshare resorts also provide health insurance, retirement benefits, paid time off, and many other benefits. Try asking your residential broker to give you a paid holiday.
There is a lot of money in timeshare. Most resorts pay some sort of combination between hourly and commission. You will sell frequently, so you will get commission checks frequently. The sales cycle is quick, like two hours. People show up at the resort to get a free prize and walk out two hours later having bought timeshare. That’s quick.
I can’t speak for every resort but where I work, the good sales reps are easily making six-figure incomes. I’m not talking about the best ones. The best ones make over a million dollars. I’m talking about the good reps. You know, the ones who are slightly above average. They make six-figure incomes. So yes, there is a lot of money in selling timeshare.
Many people love the intensity, camaraderie, and respect for individuality in this industry.
These are not the only three career choices — they are just the most common ones. If I can help you get your career started, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help you.
Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate. My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014. You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.