Have you ever thought about a career as a REALTOR®? As with most professions in Canada, the general aging of the nation’s population means there will be a potential shortage of qualified real estate sales professionals in the years ahead. One recent statistic suggests that the average age of a Canadian REALTOR® is 54. In the United States the numbers are even more severe with the medium age of a REALTOR® pegged at 56.

But is this the career for a young person just getting out of university? For many the answer is yes, but it’s not the sort of decision to be made on the spur of the moment. There are a number of factors to consider long before every embarking on such a complex and challenging venture.

For one there is some intense training and licensing requirements before someone can receive the copyrighted designation of REALTOR®. The classes, examinations and other requirements are not free, demand a great deal of dedication and effort and can take months or longer to complete.

Once you’ve passed through the basic training element it’s important, especially for a new member of this demanding but potentially lucrative profession, to become part of an established real estate office. By belonging to an established brokerage a novice REALTOR® will have access to the organization’s logo, website, training aides, other support materials and will in all likelihood have exposure to veteran REALTORS® who often serve as mentors to those new to the profession – an invaluable resource.

REALTORS® are also the ultimate in entrepreneurs. While they may have their license attached to a major real estate franchise or office, they are in essence their own business. If a person is happier as an employee taking orders, than as a boss giving those orders, then a career in real estate sales may not be the best answer.

While they will receive guidance and support from the Managing Broker of the agency they have joined (if a Broker decides to accept the novice into his business family) the newcomer will be responsible for all aspects of his business’ operations. This could include but is not limited to professional clothing, a decent vehicle to transport clients, website, branding, marketing and personal advertising costs and much more.

This commitment does not include the routine expenses that all REALTORS® face while running their individual business. In essence every real estate sales professional is paying for the privilege of going to work each day. The partial list of fees could include franchise desk or office fees, real estate board fees, group advertising fees and others. Depending on the brokerage the monthly costs could add up, and do not stop even if the new REALTOR® has no sales.

Is a career in real estate sales a good choice for young professionals? Yes, but not without doing a great deal of research and soul-searching. One good first step is to arrange a meeting with a real estate Broker / Owner they are familiar with to have a personal one on one interview. The results of such a meeting might be the end of that particular career path for some, or the beginning of a bright future for others. The realities are new, innovative and quality REALTORS® will be needed in the future. Perhaps one of them is you, why not make a call and find out?