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Quitting Real Estate: Possibly a Good Career Move

Apr 18, 2008
I read a post recently where a real estate agent was posting about whether they should leave the real estate profession. The market had slowed in their area and their income stream had decreased rapidly. They worried that if the market didn't pick up soon, they would have difficulty making mortgage payments. It certainly seemed sensible to me.

What surprised me were the responses the post received. Everyone told them not to give up hope. It was a series of quotes that resembled a stack of hallmark cards, quotes about lights at the end of the tunnel. And while I think the commenters were doing what they thought was best I disagree about the advice they were giving. Remember when you see a light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes it's a train coming to run you over.

Let's consider a few facts. The housing market is going from a period of fast paced growth to a downturn. The amount of business has decreased rapidly. If we all stay in the same business we are quite frankly ignoring the economic realities we are facing. And if as a group we can't see that the economy has changed, how are we fit to give advice to our clients about what they should do.

And yes there are some people that will leave because they thought this was an "easy" business and they discovered the hard way that it's not. But I think at the same time a lot of intelligent hardworking people will leave to find other thriving areas of the economy to work in. Or they will leave to pursue other business plans. And there is nothing wrong with that. Simply stated- that is how capitalism works. When certain sections of the economy weaken and others heat up people move around. If that didn't happen we would all be farmers trying to serve a very, very crowded market making very, very little money. I encourage people with million dollar ideas to pursue them and not feel guilted into not quitting a profession that has a slowing market.

I want to give an example of what I am talking about. I have a friend that grew up on a chicken farm. And for awhile after school he continued to work on a chicken farm. But at some point he saw that the future didn't look so bright for small chicken farms. So he went to business school. Today he is the CEO of a multimillion dollar company with 1000's of employees. So I ask you. Is he a quitter? A loser maybe? Or simply someone who found a better opportunity.

In summary I am not saying there is anything wrong with staying in the profession or leaving it. I am simply saying that leaving an industry with declining total revenues to pursue more lucrative opportunities is not quitting. It's simply the way our economy works. So, we should not guilt those who are thinking of leaving the real estate profession into staying, rather wish them good luck in their next adventure and maybe they will flourish there or maybe they will come back to real estate again some day.
About the Author
Ki works a real estate agent in the Austin Real Estate market. His website provides visitors a search of the Austin MLS along with a free real estate mortgage calculator.
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