Yesterday I conducted a new member orientation. There were 10 new real estate licensees in attendance. Some have been in the business for a few months and others just received their license from the New Mexico Real Estate Commission. What a great group of people, I wish them well!
It is an unfortunate fact that 20% of all new real estate licensees will leave the field within the first couple of years. Real estate is a tough business! Sure, there are some great success stories but I find that most just make a living. The most successful are the ones that have been in business for a long time and work on repeat business, have found a niche that they fit into or maybe they have previous job experience that lends itself well to making a success of real estate. As state licensing entities start strengthening licensing and education requirements it will get even tougher to get a license. We’ve seen a change here in New Mexico. It used to be that one could take 60 hrs of correspondence courses and get their license. That much hasn’t changed but in 2006 the commission added 30 hrs of classroom time. New licensees are now required to take 10 hours of continuing education each year until their first renewal and take a test at that time. There are licensees that have been in business so long that they were able to get out of taking any more education, this rule changed in 2006. The qualifying broker is now required to take a broker refresher course every three years. While the transition into the new requirements is difficult I feel the changes are for the better of the industry.
In New Mexico we are currently have about 13,000 real estate licensees. I think over the next few years with the slowdown in the market we’ll see the record numbers get back to the average 8,000 to 9,000. In a slower market real estate brokers will still be able to make a good living if they have a good work ethic, an attention to detail, great follow through and… guts. Real estate is a tough business! Yes, sometimes costs seem high but what other business allows a person to spend about a thousand dollars to get their license and on average another couple of thousand to get fees paid, business cards and signs ordered and are able to hit the streets running? Historically it’s been said that it takes 6 months to make a first commission. The last few years have been an anomaly; I’ve seen some make a commission within the first month. As with everything real estate is cyclical and I think we’ll start seeing the 6-month commission be the norm once again. Real estate is a tough business!
So, I say congratulations to our newest REALTORS ®! You are definitely embarking on a great journey. Selling property can be fun, it can be scary, it can be rewarding and it can pay the bills if you can just make it through the tough business of real estate!