Are you looking for a change in career? Perhaps you would like to get back into the workforce after some time in retirement? It is never too late to start a new career path!
In fact, your golden years are a prime opportunity to get into a new field. You have years of both life and professional experience that can ease the transition and give you insight into a new skill set. The American Institute for Economic Research shows that most older workers who make a career change are successful, especially if they can utilize skills they already have. Becoming a real estate agent is an excellent choice for seniors for a variety of reasons. You won’t be alone, either. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average realtor is 57 years old.
Why is Real Estate a Good Option for Seniors?
Although becoming a real estate agent requires a license and some training, seniors have been in the workforce for years and can utilize many of the skills they may have from personal and career experience. If you have any business experience, your skill sets in negotiation, marketing and client acquisition will allow you to get the first jump on making money from your new career. Any senior with experience in customer service or working with people will have an edge in real estate because once you acquire clients, convincing them to buy a home with you is where you will make your money. Most seniors also have the personal life experience of purchasing their own home, allowing insight into the customer perspective.
Another wonderful benefit of being a realtor is the flexibility it offers. It can be a full- or part-time career simply depending upon the amount of time you want to dedicate to it and the money you want to make. For the most part, you can make your own schedule. Sometimes the client’s schedule will dictate when you meet with them, but the research required on behalf of the client can be completed on your own time. You will need to interact with clients often, updating them as you receive new information on their homes or homes in their price range. If you live alone, becoming a real estate agent is a wonderful way to avoid social isolation.
In addition, realty is a great option for seniors because there are many senior homebuyers who feel more comfortable working with agents close to their own age. There is a special certification provided by the National Association of Realtors for realtors of any age to specialize in real estate for seniors. However, there are many senior homebuyers who prefer to work with someone in their age range because of similar life experience.
How to Get Started
If realty sounds like a great career fit for you, the first thing you need to do is research the amount of education you need for your real estate exam (each state has different requirements). After you contact a broker and they take you on as either an employee or an independent contractor, you can take your licensing exam. In order to take the exam, you have to pay for and pass a criminal background check. Each state also has its own exam for obtaining a license.
Keep in mind that if you are retired and you are younger than 67, your Social Security benefits might be reduced. If your income rises above a certain threshold, your Social Security benefits may become taxable. Planning out your finances is beneficial for you to determine a reasonable amount of weekly hours to work with clients so that you do not lose any of your current income.
Realty in Your Golden Years
If you are still worried about getting back into the workforce or changing careers late in life, you should know that the average baby boomer has held almost 12 different positions before they were 48 years old. You are in great company! More than 85 percent of homebuyers purchased their home through a real estate agent in 2015, and 88% of these individuals reported that they enjoyed working with their agent so much that they would recommend their services to friends and family.
As a senior with both professional expertise and life experience under your belt, you have the skills necessary to succeed in a real estate career. Helping people find the homes of their dreams is a wonderful way to enjoy this special time in your life!