So, You Wanna Be a Real Estate Agent… How Much Money Will I Make?

So, You Wanna Be a Real Estate Agent… How Much Money Will I Make?

Guest Post by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

As promised, we’re going to help you determine if a career in real estate is right for you and if so, is NOW the right time to jump in?

So… let’s get started! Let’s (try to) answer that burning question every aspiring real estate agent asks… ‘How much money can I expect to make?’

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

I’ll start with the good.  A career in real estate can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.  Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but yes, it is perfectly possible to make a whole bunch of money as a real estate agent.  Personally, I made around $70,000 gross ($40,000 net) my first full year and doubled my income every year after until I was over $300,000.  Okay, so that’s not filthy, stinking rich, but I was happy with it.  I imagine you would be, too.

My “worst” year (once I was up and running) was $179,000, and that was the year I stopped working in August because I was a little burned out.

Of course, there are caveats to those numbers; I worked in a market where home prices were above average, the market was strong, at times even booming, and my net income was somewhat (about 40%) less than those gross figures.  Oh, and just FYI – I was selling between 40 and 70 houses a year to produce those numbers.

So, yes, you can do the math and figure out the potential upside to a career in real estate.

Now for the bad news.

According to the National Association of REALTORS, the median gross income of new real estate agents in their first two years of licensure is (brace yourself) $9,100.

The median gross income of all real estate agents was $45,800, while agents with more than 16 years of experience earned a median income of just under $69,000.


So there you have it.  Your average real estate agent makes around $22/hour (assuming a 40-hour work week) and there’s no benefits package or vacation time included.  A very small percentage makes over $100,000/year.

Will you?  Maybe… maybe not.  The good news is that your income, to a large degree, depends on YOU.  If this is a career you’re well-suited for, if you’re prepared to work hard and smart and with a little bit of luck, you can, indeed, be in that small percentage making a good living as a real estate agent.

Next up?  How much does it cost to go into real estate?

(look for future posts from Jennifer on this subject)

Sell With Soul

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn began her writing career after ten years of selling real estate successfully in Denver, Colorado. She was dismayed at the low level of professionalism she frequently encountered in the real estate industry and, with her “soulful” message, hopes to encourage the real estate community to self correct the negative stereotypes of the profession.

Jennifer’s message to agents is that they should strive to be competent real estate advisers, rather than competent real estate prospectors. She urges agents to respect the intelligence of their clients, rather than attempt to insult that intelligence with aggressive closing techniques. She preaches that agents should appreciate the significant commissions paid by their clients, rather than complain that they, themselves, are not appreciated.

Allan-Hagedorn is the author of seven books about real estate and one of the industry’s most popular bloggers. She is also an avid dog rescuer in the Panhandle of Florida.

To learn more about Selling Real Estate with Soul, visit Jennifer’s website

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