This year I am honored to on the young professional network (YPN) committee within my local association of realtors (GRAR). There are approximately 3,000 agents in our association which covers most of West Michigan and the greater Grand Rapids area. I had to sort of laugh, because I thought my days of being on the young or junior committees and board were winding down, but not for real estate! 

Here is part of the assignment for why a YPN committee like this matters in real estate: “Young professionals are the future of the real estate business. But in a field where the average age is 54, younger real estate practitioners often strive for a way to connect with each other and to tap into valuable resources that will help them succeed in their business.”

I can remember feeling like a young professional when I started my first corporate America desk job and went to Home Goods and bought all the matchy matchy things for my desk, and proudly displayed pictures in coordinated frames, that was well over 10 years ago and that was when I felt like a young professional. Now I’m in my mid 30’s chasing a toddler, have high cholesterol, and need to find some sort of workout because it appears my diet and metabolism is finally catching up me. So, if realtors want to call me a young professional, I will gladly take it and embrace it. 

The fact is that our industry is hard, in fact it is really hard, and that’s before you factor in all the other commitments like family, community and household stressors. Most realtors are 100% commission, meaning if we don’t sell houses, we don’t get paid. Oh yeah and we only get paid once per transaction, typically after we’ve already invested plenty of time and energy, approximately 4-6 weeks after an offer is accepted. Just because we are 100% commission does not mean we get to keep 100% of that check either, we must pay our brokers, taxes, technology fees, association dues and expenses from that. Guess what no one gets a company car in real estate, its your own car driving around getting miles and wear and tear on. Also, there’s no PTO or retirement in real estate, that’s on you as well. So, if you want to plan for the future, better take some out of that commission check to save. 

Leading realtor coach Tom Ferry states, “In 2014, NAR reported 87% of all new agents fail after five years in the industry, with only 13% making it. Agents don’t leave the industry because they made too much money. Rather, they leave the industry because they didn’t make any.” While I am not past the 5-year mark in real estate yet, I have no plans to leave. From The Close, “The median gross commission income for all Realtors increased to $54,300, up from $43,300 in 2020.” That means we cannot afford to drive all the BMWs and Benzs you see realtors driving on all the reality shows on tv.

I’m excited to be a part of this committee and connect with other realtors and industry professionals so that we can stay the course, find success and help others along the way. 

Posted by Ariel Christy on
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