Real estate often seems like a fun, easy, high-paying career to outsiders. But it seems even more appealing to people when the market is hot, like it had been over the past few years. Couple that with a pandemic that caused people to either lose their jobs or simply look for something they’d rather do for a living, and the past few years saw the number of real estate agents swell to record numbers.
But now that interest rates have risen — causing many buyers to either hit the sidelines or get priced out of the market — a lot of real estate agents are calling it quits. In fact, 60,000 agents have left the business in just the last 6 months alone, according to this Axios article, and more will likely follow.
This isn’t surprising to anyone in the business for the long-haul. It’s not the first time it happened, and it won’t be the last. Whenever the market seems like it’s going great, a lot of people hurry to get their license, and hurry just as quickly to the exit door the minute they realize it isn’t as easy, fun, or lucrative as they hoped it would be.
Now this isn’t to say that an agent necessarily got into it for the wrong reasons and is doomed to fail and leave the business, just because they got into the business in the past few years when the opportunity looked good. Agents who eventually stand the test of time get into the business every year, regardless of whether it’s a “hot” market, slow market, or somewhere in between. But a lot more people become agents each year who don’t survive past a year or two, even when the market is smoking hot!
Here’s What It Means if They’re Working Through the Downturn
What is telling is when an agent stays in the business during a downturn. While many agents are leaving the business, and more will continue to leave over the coming months, there will be some who work through the changing market conditions and manage to survive.
Whether an agent has only recently become licensed, or they’ve been in the field for years, here’s what it means if you see them working through a tough market, rather than leaving the business:
- They’re not just in it for the money. There are a lot easier ways for someone to make money than being a real estate agent in the best market. But if they’re sticking with it in the toughest market conditions, it’s a sign they’re not just trying to cash in on what seems like a lot of quick and easy money.
- They’re dedicated to helping people through difficult times. Buying or selling a house is stressful for many people, regardless of the market. But it can be even more stressful when the market is shifting. Any agent working through the current market conditions most likely cares deeply about making the process as smooth as possible for their clients, but is also prepared to help guide them through the rough moments.
- They’re determined to succeed. It always takes dedication, focus, and determination to succeed as an agent, but if they’re driven enough to stick with it when times are tough, it’s a safe bet that they’re determined to succeed…
Here’s How to Help Make Sure Your Favorite One Survives
Regardless of whether an agent is a grizzled veteran of the industry, or brand new and still establishing themselves, the support of their family, friends, and past clients is critical to their success no matter what the market is like. But it’s even more important to support an agent you care about when the market is slow, or there just aren’t enough houses to sell.
Here are some things you can do to help make sure your favorite real estate agent is able to survive in the current market:
- Don’t avoid talking to them about real estate. Some people avoid talking about real estate to the agents they know because they think the agent will try to convince them to buy or sell a house. Most agents don’t expect you to buy or sell a house with them, and aren’t going to push you to make such a major life decision just so they can earn a living.
- Be empathetic and supportive. It’s not uncommon for people to ask real estate agents if they have a back-up plan, or even if they’re going to get a “real” job when times are tough. Rather than making a negative or pessimistic comment, try saying something about how impressed you are with their dedication to the business when other agents are leaving it. It could be just the jolt of confidence and pride they need to make through a tough day, week, month, or even their entire career. Don’t underestimate how much your support can put some wind in their sails.
- Send them referrals. If you hear about anyone who’s thinking about buying or selling a house, make sure to tell them how great your favorite agent is, and put them in touch with each other.
- Write them a review. If you haven’t already written them a testimonial or an online review, doing so will not only help them land new clients, but it’ll also give their spirits a boost and keep them motivated.
You don’t have to actually buy or sell a house to support your favorite agent. Simply doing any of those things will go a long way in helping your favorite agent get through the current market, and will be greatly appreciated!
While many people scurried to get their license when the market was “hot” and it seemed like a fun, easy way to make some big bucks, many of them will also leave the business as quickly as they came the minute the going gets a little tough. In fact, over 60,000 real estate agents have left the business in the last six months, and more are sure to follow.
If you know an agent who’s working through the shift in the market, it’s a sure sign they’re in it for the long haul, and aren’t just in it for the money. Do what you can to support them by sending them referrals, writing reviews, and of course working with them if you’re in the market to buy or sell a house!