I’m excited to continue the “My Corporate Life” series on the blog. My goal is to bring in some other corporate perspectives and career paths, so that we can all learn from some other corporate areas and environments. If you would like to be featured in the “My Corporate Life” series, please contact me for the details. I’ll be featuring the guest posts as time permits in my regular posting schedule, and I would love to hear from you!
Today’s post is written by Dustin “Dusty” Baker, a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Bankers in Santa Barbara, CA. If you’re looking for a great realtor, or for any questions, you can reach Dusty here!
Why Real Estate?
In writing from the perspective of a real estate agent in Santa Barbara, CA, I feel that I should first explain why I chose this career. If you are not familiar with Santa Barbara, it is a very desirable, beautiful coastal town in southern California – and the prices reflect it. Since I want to live in Santa Barbara and survive the over-inflated prices, I knew I had to work in something “Santa Barbara” specific. Why take a run-of-the-mill corporate position that pays the exact same here as it does in Dallas, TX (where the cost of living is significantly lower)? I wanted a career where pay was directly correlated to Santa Barbara’s expensive lifestyle – in comes real estate. The exact same home that would sell for $200,000 in Dallas sells for over $1,000,000 here. It takes roughly $5,000,000 in sales to obtain a 6-figure salary. In Santa Barbara, that is about 3-5 deals a year. You do the math.
How To Get Here
Another great plus about real estate: incredibly low cost of entry. You simply need a high school diploma and a state-specific real estate license (which can be obtained in less than 2 months for only a few hundred dollars). That is all you need, however generally the most successful agents in town come with a college degree and a lot of experience. Once you are an agent, you can become qualified in many other areas such as a foreclosure specialist, short sale specialist, “green” agent specialist (selling homes that are eco-friendly), etc.
Be Your Own Boss
To me, the greatest part of real estate is being my own boss. That entails two very important things to me: 1) making my own hours and 2) getting out what you put in. Making your own hours is priceless; when I speak to friends and family members that have set lunch breaks and times they HAVE to be at work, it makes me sick. I refuse to be treated like a child and told what to do and when to do it. The funny thing about making your own hours and working for yourself is that you actually end up working harder and longer, which brings me to my second point: getting out what you put in. When your paycheck is directly related to how hard you work and how good you are, you better believe you get to work early and stay late. Working harder doesn’t even bother me, because I know I am fully compensated for every bit of overtime. I’ve seen employees that are fantastic at their job and true assets to their company, but unless their boss chooses to see it and reward it, they are simply spinning their wheels. I, on the other hand, get larger and more frequent commission checks the harder I work.
At its core, real estate is sales. It does not matter how knowledgeable you are in the field, or how great of a job you would do if you do not have clients. The day-to-day of a real estate agent involves a lot of sales: phone calls, meeting people, getting your name out there, etc. All the stuff people dread in a sales position. Because it is sales driven, and also very relational, your day never really ends. If my clients can’t see property until they get off work at 5… well it looks like I’m working past 5. If an offer needs to be submitted immediately… well it doesn’t matter if the Lakers game is on. With that is incredible freedom as well, so don’t think you are signing your life away becoming an agent. It is a lot of fun working with people, getting out of the office frequently throughout the day, and choosing when and where to do your work.