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Is a real estate career right for you?

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Pros and cons of working in a key Bermuda industry

by Susan Thompson
When someone thinks of real estate, they naturally think of working as a real estate agent, but there are other careers in real estate as well …. appraisers and property managers for instance. 

In Bermuda to qualify as an appraiser you need to be RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) certified which requires an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree, joining a firm as a trainee surveyor, getting experience and taking your APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) structured training.

You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent or property manager, although education is typically helpful in any career you pursue. Starting out, you’ll have to pass a government-set exam that is offered monthly at the Bermuda College. The exam itself can be challenging, so make sure you study.

Imagine working in a flexible career where you can set your own schedule with annual earning potential of $100,000-plus. There are so many reasons to choose real estate as your career. But there are always two sides to every story, and a real estate career is no different.

At first, your cashflow direction will be mostly out. You will need a good cell phone data plan, reliable transportation and funds for marketing yourself. Most new real estate agents need a nest egg to begin their careers.

Getting your first sale to come in will take some time, and it will likely be a couple months or more before you get paid. Depending on the market you cover and existing relationships you can farm, it can be a feast or famine situation.

Having a flexible schedule in real estate means you have to be flexible to the customer/client’s needs. In real estate, you tend to work when everyone else is not and that includes weekends.

You aren’t going to become a top agent at a top real estate company immediately. You really have to pay your dues, and prove that you have what it takes to be successful, which can take years.

As a realtor, you will be taking on a lot of jobs and wearing many different hats. This means that your work is never going to get boring. The job involves showing property, negotiating terms, working with attorneys and bankers, holding open houses, marketing yourself, following up and lots of networking.

Real estate can also be extremely emotional as we are dealing with people’s home and finances and the reason for selling is not always a happy one.

When it is all said and done, a job in real estate is not easy, it is a lot of hard work, but it can be fulfilling and the people that work in this industry love it.

If you have been considering a career in real estate, don’t believe what you have seen on TV, do some research on the topic the same as you would with any career move.

This article was originally featured in the TOP TEN 2019 edition of the RG Business Magazine.

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