Being a Realtor® right now is not as easy as many people think. Consumers hear all the talk about the “hot seller’s market” we’ve been in and assume it’s a gravy train for real estate agents. It’s not necessarily as simple as that.
Low Inventory = More Competition
The reason for the seller’s market is because there is such low housing inventory. Buyer demand is high and mortgage rates are still low, but there just aren’t that many sellers on the market. They may be waiting for prices to keep going up or they are content where they are. As real estate professionals, there’s a lot of competition for limited listings. In fact, there are almost 1.6 million Realtors® in the U.S. according to the National Association of Realtors®—more than there has ever been. There were 6.1 million homes sold last year, which is an average of 3.8 homes per Realtor®! You need to sell a lot more than that to make a decent living. And, if you are primarily a buyer’s agent, the business is quite challenging right now.
Pandemic Challenges and Regulations
In addition, the pandemic has created a much more challenging work environment. Many people get into real estate because they love people. Not every real estate agent was prepared for the abrupt shift to more technology with virtual consultations and property tours. It’s difficult to host an open house with Covid-19 protocols in place. Scheduling home tours is much more complicated, even though you have to try and look at homes immediately in order to see them before other offers start rolling in.
Newer real estate agents have had trouble breaking into the business given these challenging market conditions. Some older agents have had trouble adapting to new ways of doing things. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the nature of the market are not going away anytime soon and many of these “temporary” situations will be here to stay for longer than any of us hoped. Some real estate sales processes will be forever changed even when the pandemic is a thing of the past.
There are also costs associated with being a Realtor®. There are significant licensing, training, brokerage and marketing expenses. When there are fewer listings to go around, some agents are finding it harder to keep their heads above water.
Tough Career Decisions
We’ve been talking to many of our colleagues who have been the business for quite some time. They are now considering slowing down their activity and enjoying more time with friends and family. They realize they are not up for this heightened pace of business. It is understandable given everything that’s been going on the past couple years. We’ve been fortunate to be able to adapt to the changing conditions and regulations. We have always embraced technology and we’re in this business for the long haul. It’s what we love to do and we’re prepared to see it through to the end. Other agents and brokers may not feel the same and that’s okay.
Fortunately, we have helped several agents transition their business while still ensuring that their client’s needs get served. Knowing how we maintain long-term relationships with our clients gives these agents comfort that their clients will be in good hands. The Cyr Team can provide guidance and resources to make things go as smoothly as possible.
To be clear, we are not encouraging anyone to give up on their real estate career. If this is your passion like it is ours, we’ll be happy to talk with you and provide words of encouragement and ideas that can help you thrive. If you are thinking about making a change, however, we’re available to help in any way you need us.