What's In This Article?
Before we get to discussing why becoming a Real Estate Agent is a smart post-retirement, part-time career choice, let’s look at why so many of today’s baby boomers choosing to work part-time after retirement?
Countless baby boomers have been discovering that their retirement savings and social security aren’t enough to carry them through the rest of their lives. It’s more expensive than ever to live a comfortable lifestyle with extra disposable income. Budgeting on your retirement payouts can become nerve-wracking.
There are other reasons that baby boomers might want to work part-time, even if they already have a comfortable nest egg. Do any of the following sound familiar?
- You don’t have enough money to travel or vacation the way you want to.
- You have home improvement projects you’d like to do, but you can’t afford to hire a contractor.
- You have too much free time on your hands, and you’re bored.
- You want to be able to give more generously to your family and charities.
Whatever the reason, part-time work has become increasingly popular among retirees. But finding the right part-time work can be a challenge.
Your retirement is the time that you get to take for yourself. You’ve earned that and you don’t want to lock yourself into a thankless job that feels like a waste of time.
Common Ways Baby Boomers Supplement Their Income
There are a variety of careers or “side-hustles” that you might pick up part time. Many of these are fulfilling options that give you a chance to connect with other people.
- You might tutor children if you’re skilled in math, English, or other areas.
- You might drive for a rideshare company, provided your car is less than 15 years old.
- You might become a dog walker for your neighborhood.
- You might open an online store for your arts, crafts, and other hobbies.
- You might become a real estate agent and help people buy or sell homes for a commission.
Real estate agents are in high demand in today’s housing market. And on top of that, in addition to paying well, this is a career that lets you help people make very important life decisions! Plus, it can be a lot of fun.
Reasons to Become a Real Estate Agent After Retirement
Getting licensed as a real estate agent might sound like a chore. Isn’t it a whole new career?
But there are actually a lot of reasons why becoming licensed is a smart choice.
Real estate agents get to work as their own bosses. That means you can choose exactly how much you work, what kind of clients you represent, and how you want to structure your day. That’s the dream in retirement!
In addition, the commission for a sale tends to be relatively high. Depending on the properties you sell, you could have enough money for a kitchen remodel or a vacation to Tuscany.
Licenses are also relatively inexpensive and easy to get. You’ll have to complete a basic course and pass an exam, and you’ll need to meet some state requirements. But there’s no need for a full four-year degree – or even a two-year degree.
In fact, you can find all of the courses that you need online. That means that you can work at your own pace to get licensed, rather than needing to keep to a strict schedule. Again, the dream for retirement!
Part-Time Earning Potential for Realtors
The earning potential for a realtor varies widely depending on the amount of hours you put in. Chances are, you don’t want to do more than 20 hours a week. You’re retired for a reason, after all!
Realtors who work fewer than 20 hours a week tend to make an average of $8,550 every year but depending on where you live, that amount may be much, much higher. So, the income you can earn will depend on where you live, the properties you represent, the number of clients you have, and the number of sales you close.
While this income level may not be enough to support yourself on its own, it is a hefty chunk of change to add to a retirement income. In fact, those thousands of dollars could mean the difference between traveling and adventuring versus spending your retirement hanging out at home.
In general, the earning potential of a realtor is higher than that of many other careers. Because it has such lucrative opportunities without needing a four year degree, it’s a great industry to get involved in.
Qualities Necessary for a Good Realtor
Do you have what it takes to be a good realtor?
Chances are you do!
As long as you start your journey with a solid plan, the sky is the limit. You can tailor your approach to your exact values, personality, and overall goals.
But let’s take a look at some of the qualities that will help you truly shine.
You don’t need to be a plan-oriented person to have a successful real estate career. But you will find more success if you know what you want going in!
To make your plan, it helps to ask yourself questions. What does your ideal lifestyle look like? What kind of real estate would you want to sell? What types of clients would you focus on?
The more you know about your goals going in, the easier it will be to draw a map to them.
Everyone has values that matter strongly to them. You might not be sure what yours are off the top of your head – that’s okay!
Your values guide your actions. They make up the bedrock of your beliefs. These core qualities are vital to the way that you live your life. If you identify what your values are, you can figure out how to amplify them in your real estate career.
What kind of life do you want to be living? Do you feel like you exemplify all of your core values right now? Can you amplify them more?
If you’re doing part-time work as a real estate agent after retirement, you probably don’t plan to make it a life-consuming career. And that’s okay too! Your retirement should be your chance to relax and take time for yourself.
But becoming a real estate agent is also an adventure that can enrich your retirement. Don’t think of it as a grueling necessity. Think of it as a door to an entirely new life experience.
What do you want out of that life experience? What would be your biggest dream or achievement in the field?
Consider the skills that you’ve picked up over the years. Do you have any natural talents? What about skills you’ve spent years perfecting?
They might not have obvious relevance to the real estate industry. But consider things like this:
- If you often paint, you have a good eye for design.
- If your space is always organized, you’re good at managing general life clutter.
- If you’re constantly the life of the party, you’ll make a good salesperson.
- If you love to read, you know how to make a space seem enchanting.
You’d be surprised by how many skills can lend themselves to being a real estate agent.
Maybe you need the extra income to live your ideal lifestyle. Maybe you just want the security, or enough money to have an adventure. Maybe you’ve discovered that retirement bores you when you don’t have any work to focus on.
Whatever the case, motivation is a big factor. But don’t just focus on the dollar signs. Focus on the career itself. Are you excited about the prospect? More excited than you would be about a different part-time job?
The Bottom Line
If you’re going to take on a part-time job after retirement, it should be one that makes you happy and excited about the work. If real estate makes you feel that way, then it doesn’t matter if you’re inexperienced! You have all of the most important qualities you need already.
Steps to Becoming a Licensed Agent
If you do want to become a part-time agent, you’ll just need to follow these steps:
- Check your state requirements for getting your license.
- Compare licensing schools to choose the best one for your needs.
- Enroll in a pre-licensing course.
- Get a certificate of completion or official transcripts upon finishing the course.
- Apply for the license with your state licensing board.
- Get Errors and Omissions insurance.
- Submit to a background check and fingerprinting.
- Work with a managing broker to sponsor you.
- Study for your real estate exam.
- Take the exam.
- Get started on your new path!
If you’ve found yourself without the income you needed for retirement, you’re not alone. Many baby boomers are finding that part-time work helps with maintaining independence and disposable income. Becoming a real estate agent is a solid choice.
Real estate agents can become licensed after doing a basic course and passing an exam. You can take the classes and become certified online, which makes it easy to go at your own pace.
Once you’ve gotten licensed, you can begin selling homes. The commission from a successful sale will often be enough to pad a retirement income quite nicely.