It's a question I've received from many people: Why go into real estate? For those newcomers to the blog, I took a two week intensive real estate class about a month ago to help prepare for the real estate broker licensing exam. After receiving class high marks on the mid-term and final for the class (94% and 97% respectively), I sat for the exam yesterday in Naperville and passed. Now I have to find and interview with a like-minded real estate firm. And that's where we get to the "why".
So why would a semi-retired CFO of a $100M company, a CPA and a small business consultant decide to sell real estate? Well, first, I'm not going to "sell" real estate. My mindset, like with my small business consulting, is that I will only work with people I like, not just anyone. Money isn't a huge motivating factor for me (see "semi-retired"), so no reasonable amount of money is going to justify me putting in hours at night or on weekends to show homes to people I don't like. Ain't gonna happen. What will happen though is, if hired, I'm going to do my damnedest to help my friends find and evaluate their next home and one of the most significant purchases of their lives. You will have fewer homes than jobs on average (not counting rentals), so think of that impact.
And that's what I like to do: have an impact on people's lives and business' lives. Helping achieve a goal is a huge reward in and of itself. My consulting business doesn't charge Hewitt Associates rates or Huron Consulting rates. We provide affordable services to our clients: owner operated small businesses. In place of compensation we get to have a real impact on our clients' lives and their businesses. That's what I think can be appealing about real estate as well.
You could just go through the motions and try to churn out sales, but I find that very hollow. Sadly, many if not most of the agents in the business prescribe to that model: how much money can I make at this? They may not have a choice though, so I get that. If you have to feed your family, you're going to push hard to close a deal and get paid. That's not how I'm going to work though. My concern isn't over the almighty dollar with this venture; it's trying to genuinely help and bring value added to one of the most important decisions in a person/family's life.
Also, as with consulting, being a real estate agent is something I can do for the next 25-30 years if I want pretty easily. Plus, like being a CPA, the continuing education requirements will help keep me learning and active mentally.
So if you live in the Chicagoland area (yes, I can buy or sell anywhere in Illinois), give me a holler if you're interested in me helping you with your home.