To hundreds of people all across the country who sit for their real estate exams, finally getting their license to practice their trade feels like freedom. All they need to do is to find a prospect or two, and they've struck gold, they feel. Three out of four of these fresh graduates though lose hope after constant disappointment for a couple of years and give up the trade. Of the ones that remain, many have to have a day job. They only hang on to their licenses to save something on their own real estate investments or the ones that their friends and family make. What can anyone say - it's a tough business becoming a real estate agent is. Anyone who dreams of becoming a real estate agent needs to go in completely aware of how tough the trade is. If they don't, they waste their time and their money - something they could have used to better effect elsewhere.

The problem is, as easy it is becoming a real estate agent, practicing the trade can require a heavy investment of time and money. To help with this, an agent needs to find a broker or an agency to work under. It's like Glengary Glen Ross. There are expenses like carrying errors and omissions insurance that the state requires, for instance. It's like malpractice insurance that doctors have. You can't even get to keep your license if you don't carry insurance. And then there is the cost of membership to multiple listing services. This is what lets you list a property online and search for properties for buyers. And it costs hundreds of dollars in membership fees. Membership to the National Association of Realtors can get pretty expensive too. And then of course, this membership requires that you keep updating your knowledge of the field with continuing education courses. All of it adds up.

But that's not all either. Becoming a real estate agent is the easy part; what you have to put yourself through in an effort to actually get customers can take a heavy toll. They're all kinds advertising expenses - flyers, stickers, free pens and gifts to hand out. As if that weren't enough, every customer that you gain, you need to treat like your own personal best friend with birthday greetings and Christmas cards. Once you have someone's business and they expect you to sell their home for them, you'll need to advertise that home in every paper. It can cost you hundreds of dollars too. After all the trouble you go to showing homes to people, they may decide to just buy directly from someone who's selling his own home. And of course there are no holidays or weekends. You're always on call to make your next dollar. It can be an exciting trade to be in, in, in a market that is responsive. In a market like the one we have now, becoming a real estate agent can be less than satisfying to say the least.