Even in the best of times, only about 10-15% of people who start in real estate will still be in it five years later. If you’re an agent who joined the industry in 2021 and you’re questioning whether this will be your forever career, it’s probably not.

In May 2022, Fortune Magazine called real estate the year’s ‘hottest career path.’ We saw new agents enter the market at twice the pace they had in the previous two years, driven by the huge dollars moving around in the post-pandemic housing rush. 

Today, the fervor of facing our collective mortality has subsided. While home prices are still high and inventory is even lower, the dynamics of the market have changed. Due in part to higher interest rates and ever-shrinking inventory, total sales were down in 2022 and are not expected to rise in 2023. 

There’s just not enough business out there to feed everyone, and there will be attrition. Consider these stats:

  • Getting and keeping your real estate license costs about $2,000 per year. 
  • When you consider that the median gross income for agents in the first two years is $8,800, that dues burden hurts.
  • You can make 10x that amount, but according to NAR, it takes 16 years to get there. Can you afford to wait that long?
  • The truth is that 4-5% of the agents make all the money. Are you willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be one of the best?
  • As an independent contractor, you are running a small business, so if you can’t afford to hire anyone, you have to do it all: bookkeeping, marketing, planning, etc., and nobody is good at all of it

Nobody would blame you if you decided to call it, and you would be in good company. 

But if, despite all that adversity, you are determined to keep grinding it out in a real estate career, good for you. Because there are ways to make it happen—just ask any agent who persevered through 2008-2012. 

The choice to stay or leave the industry is yours. And either way, it’s the start of a brand new journey. Godspeed.