Considering A Mid-Career Switch To Real Estate? Here Are 5 Things You Must Know

Updated: Mar 26


real estate career switch

You might be considering making the switch to become a real estate agent. Here's what you need to know from Stuart Chng, Executive Group District Director of Huttons Group.


As the trend of the Great Resignation appears in headlines, you are wondering whether you should do the same.


Managing my own real estate team for more than 11 years, I have my fair share of experience onboarding new agents to this industry.


In the corporate world, you might have built some skillsets that can be brought over to self-employment.


For instance, you have excellent interpersonal skills, good salesmanship and perhaps some digital IT skills.


But before you make the leap to give up a regular salary with benefits, ensure you are financially and mentally ready first.


Here are 5 things you must take into serious consideration first.


#1. Prepare Your Finances


This is something that you have to take the time prepare well. If you are married, have a serious discussion with your spouse especially regarding how to manage your expenses.


In starting any business, you need some runway before you can take off.


Besides being able to take care of your own household expenses, you will need to be take care of your own business expenses.


You have to start planning for the standard costs of being a real estate agent:

  • licence renewal fees

  • platform listing fees eg PropertyGuru, 99.co, EdgeProp

  • marketing and advertising fees eg flyers

  • fuel costs

  • digital marketing costs eg website and/or online ads

Commissions are usually paid 4-6 months later - so you have to be prepared how to manage your expenses well.


#2. With Great Freedom, Comes Great Responsibility


Once you make the switch to self-employment, you will find that you suddenly have a lot of free time.


Your time is no longer being dictated by a boss. You don't report to anyone anymore.


You also no longer have income that comes in like clockwork.


But deep down inside, you also have another reason why you made the switch.


You have been thinking for a long time that relying on a single source of income is just as risky in the world we live in today. And because of that....


You sincerely believe that taking charge and full responsibility of your own economic well-being might be a better choice than leaving it in the hands of any company.


If you have been entertaining such thoughts for a long time, then that is a sign that your mind has been preparing to make that leap into the unknown world of entrepreneurship.


#3. The hardest part is letting go of your previous identity


Spending a decade or more in the corporate world with various job titles to your name - you might start believing that you are your job.


The truth is a job title is merely a title.


It is not a true reflection of who you are as a person - merely an indicator of your experience level and skillsets. Your job title does not indicate that you are warm and kind person who is loved by people around you.


Your job title also does not indicate that you are someone who deeply cares about their clients. But I noticed a lot of people who let their job title define who they are. And in turn, they find it hard to assume another identity.


What's the identity?


The identity of being of service.

True, being a real estate agent means you are essentially you are your own boss.

But more importantly, in order to really do well in this business - you have to embrace an identity that you are in the service line.


You might be used to giving instructions in the past.


But now you are the person who has to be humble enough to take instructions and feedback of someone else - namely your prospects or clients.


Or maybe even take up the advice of your