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How to know if real estate is right for you

Should I go into real estate? Real estate is a unique opportunity. Let’s go back 10 years, when we had the downturn. What was selling? Even with thousands and thousands of foreclosures, people still bought homes and the industry kept going.

Now, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We have thousands and thousands of homes selling. Many sales are because people are spending more time at home and realizing they need a new one. But there will always be a constant stream of people moving in and out of Southern Nevada. Life keeps going and people still want to own homes. It’s an ongoing industry that can create rewarding careers.

So, knowing that it’s a relatively recession-proof industry, what characteristics do you have that would help make you successful in real estate?

No. 1 Outgoing Personality

You’re not afraid to talk to people. What’s the No. 1 thing a salesperson has to do? They have to ask for the business. It won’t come to you. If you’re afraid to ask for business, real estate is likely not right for you. Companies can lead you, put out programs for you and tell you what you need to do, but at some point you have to engage and actually go out and do it. You can start by talking to friends and business acquaintances, but you have to talk to someone!

No. 2 Work Ethic

Approximately 20 percent of the licensed Realtors in any market complete about 80 percent of the transactions. They are the ones who are consistently working to build their businesses. They are disciplined enough to make a schedule and stick to it. In real estate, work ethic and the physical time you put into it can directly correlate to your success.

A great example of how both of these traits can lead to a successful career is someone who has become one of my company’s top agents. He moved from another city and a completely different industry. Didn’t know anyone. But he had an outgoing personality and wasn’t afraid to ask people for their business. He learned the town, the neighborhoods and developed his own personal network. He went from ground zero to six figure earnings in just two years.

So you have an outgoing personality, you’re disciplined and you think real estate is a career you want to pursue. What next?

Get Licensed

The state of Nevada requires 90 hours of real estate education prior to becoming a licensed Realtor. There are many options for real estate school, and most of them can be done online. They generally take two to three weeks, and you can even find discounts to get into a school for just a few hundred dollars.

Unfortunately, real estate school will teach you the laws and principles of real estate, but not how to actually do the job. It won’t teach you how to market your listings, prepare offers, negotiate or draw up contracts.

That’s where a good broker will come in. Finding the right firm that fits your personality and work ethic will be a key indicator to your success in real estate. The stronger the firm, the better resources and mentoring you have right from the beginning. The firm’s brand recognition also will affect your marketing and business development, as many people want to work with brands they already know and trust.


A career in real estate has both advantages and disadvantages. You are your own boss and set your own schedule. If you’re not great at time management or self-discipline, you could spend more time on things that don’t further your business — and bring you income — than things that do.

It’s not immediate. Even the person at my firm who went from nothing to a highly successful career spent several months investing his time in creating a network and asking for business. Whether you start your real estate career part time or full time, it is going to take a lot of hard work and late nights to build up your business.

If a career change is in your future, real estate may be a profitable and rewarding option. It certainly was for me.

Gordon Miles is president and chief operating officer of Americana Holdings, the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Combined, the companies completed $5.5 billion in residential home sales in 2019 with 35 offices and 3,500 real estate sales executives.

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