The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a Real Estate Career.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a Real Estate Career.November 8, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, we had a class of new students in our Cherry Hill real estate licensing class. “Why do you want to become real estate agents?” I asked them on the first evening.

The answers were as varied as the makeup of the students. Some said they loved TV programs that show real estate agents in action. Some said they would love to see other people’s houses. Some said it was a career that offered them flexible hours that would accommodate their lifestyle.

Then one of the asked me, “Why did YOU choose a real estate career?” I don’t think anybody has ever asked me that, even though I got my real estate license way back in 1988.

Why I chose a real estate career

I was in sales in the airline industry. My first airline went bankrupt. My second airline was a wonderful company and I became top salesperson in North America. Then a civil war erupted in our home base—Beirut—and we all lost our jobs. The third airline was owned by the government of Belgium, and the European Union decided that member governments should not operate businesses that could be run by the private sector, so  . . . well, you guessed it!

I got a little tired of being really successful in my job and then losing it for reasons beyond my control.

You can (almost!) never be fired

If you become a real estate professional, you can never be fired (unless you do something so outrageous that the Real Estate Commission takes your license away). Want to work three hours a week? You can. Want to work 70 hours a week? We Realtors(r) have done that to. I know Realtors® who are quite new in our industry and who make a half-million-dollars a year, and I know some who never sold a house in the two years they have been licensed.

So I guess I should correct my earlier statement. The only person who can fire you is . . . yourself!

A real estate career offers you tremendous freedom. I got to watch every one of my son’s track and cross-country meets throughout his elementary, middle, and high school years. As a Realtor® I am an independent contractor, so I don’t have to beg permission to take a day off to go to the beach or take an extra week’s vacation to visit my family in England. As a Realtor® I have the freedom to create my own marketing campaigns for my clients, to team up with another agent or agents and build a team. If I want to wear a three-piece suit or a golf shirt to work—it’s my choice.

Call me to talk!

Even if you are not ready to sign up for one of our real estate licensing classes, call us at 609.923.0590 to discuss what the real world of a licensed real estate agent is like. We will give you the good—and the bad—points and let you decide whether real estate could have great promise for your next career.

David C. Forward is a licensed real estate broker and instructor and was first licensed as a Realtor(r) 30 years ago. He is School Director of Garden Real Estate Academy, has won numerous awards for real estate sales, is a much-requested public speaker who has addressed audiences on six continents and is the author of 13 books. David can be reached at

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