One of the toughest parts of starting a new career in real estate is the lack of a regular income. Real estate agents are paid on a commission basis, and there is a direct correlation between a real estate agent’s salary and his or her experience.
Salary.com reports that the average real estate agent salary in Maryland is $43,427 (as of January 20, 2020), with a typical range of $42,424 to $55,238. However, real estate agent salary is highly dependent on years of experience as well as how many hours per week you are willing to work, with the top 20% of real estate agents in Maryland making an average of $125,304 a year.
Although being a real estate agent continuously ranks one of the best jobs to have—particularly in terms of job satisfaction—there are still bills to be paid, so that first year working as a professional can be rough for some. Making top wages in the real estate industry can often take a few years to master.
How can you make ends meet while you get your Maryland real estate career off the ground? We put together our top tips for how real estate agents can boost their salaries during the first crucial years while they build their business.
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#1: Increase your earning sources
Experienced agents will tell you that the best advice you can get to increase your salary is to start saving now. Having money in the bank will make it much easier to get through those first few years.
Being a real estate agent gives you the freedom of being your own boss for the most part, but just like any small business owner, you will have expenses. In most cases, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for business costs such as advertising, website management, transportation, and healthcare.
Another idea is to consider supplementing your real estate income with other income sources that will bring you additional experience in the industry while you build a name for yourself. The list below offers a few choices for supplementary income sources that will blend perfectly with your real estate profession:
- Property inspections
- Providing BPOs
- Writing contracts
- Apartment manager
- Market evaluations
Not only are these all good side businesses to bring in extra income for new real estate agents, but the experience you obtain will be invaluable. Any of these can help you learn more about the non-sales side of the business, show you other facets of the real estate industry, and put you on track to becoming a specialist in the field.
#2: Broaden your experience
Consider having a specialty in a secondary real estate market. In addition to residential real estate, consider property management, relocation specialization, and commercial property sales. If you are able to broaden your experience to include even more niche areas like real estate consultant, land development, or appraiser, you can boost your income.
#3: Earn a real estate bachelor’s degree
A great number of real estate agents typically hold a degree in some area of business, sales, or marketing. Analysis from the National Association of REALTORs shows that real estate agents with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned 5 percent more money than those without degrees and more degree holders made over $100K than those without a degree. Graduate degree holders made even more money than all others by more than 20 percent.
#4: Find a seasoned mentor
First-year real estate brokers can get a head start on their counterparts by mentoring under another broker with experience. Maybe even find a mentor in a specialty that you wish to acquire like a broker to start building your career for the future.
It’s also crucial that you do your homework and find the right brokerage with which to work. Find one that aligns with your real estate career goals.
#5: Continue your real estate education
In addition to that college degree, continuing your education in the real estate field is essential. Not only will you need to take courses to maintain your license, but they can also help boost your salary. Even better is earning specialist designations in desired niches that can help you market yourself as an expert in specific areas.
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