UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Are you considering a career change, switch, part-time, or side hustle for extra income? Are you considering doing it full-time? Well, if you are thinking of a real estate career, here are some factors to consider before you make that life-changing career decision to jump into the real estate divide.
General Sector Outlook
Uganda’s real estate industry is still informal. However, it is developing and budding with great potential. It is also a relatively unregulated industry, especially the entry process into the industry. Anyone can become a real estate broker or an agent since no explicit laws govern the profession, and neither are formal requirements or qualifications needed before joining the sector. This means that entry is easy, just like the exit if it doesn’t work out.
The limited regulatory framework in the real estate industry, or lack thereof, leads to the attraction of many players hoping to make huge profits, thereby leading to cutthroat competition.
However, considering the above outlook, a career in real estate is still within an arm’s reach with its underlying benefits like being your boss, meeting new people, and helping people through one of life’s most significant milestones.
According to My Wage Uganda, the average salary for most real estate workers, agents and property managers ranges from USh498,849 to USh2,610,749 per month as of the calendar year 2021.
At the start of their career, real estate agents and property managers typically earn between USh498,849 and USh1,743,039 net per month. After five years of service, this increases to between USh650,684 and USh2,413,823 per month for a working week of 48 hours.
Still, building a successful real estate career is more work than many people imagine. Let’s a closer look at the job to help you decide if a career as a real estate agent or broker is right for you.
Job Outlook for Real Estate Agents and Brokers
Uganda’s real estate market is poised for growth because of the county’s growing population, economic growth, declining inflation, a large rental market, and good yields. And since it’s real estate agents and brokers that help clients buy, sell and rent properties, the expected demand for such workers will keep growing. This is because people turn to real estate brokers and sales agents when looking for a property to buy, sell, rent, or lease.
Pros and Cons of Selling Real Estate
Some pros may be the very reasons someone goes into selling real estate. A career in real estate can be flexible, but success depends on the time and energy an agent invests in their quest to become successful. The benefits include:
- You get to set your hours and be your boss.
- There is an opportunity to earn substantial commissions.
- If you enjoy selling and meeting people, selling real estate can be an engaging way to spend your workday.
However, making a living out of selling real estate requires hard work and meticulous organisational skills to keep yourself abreast of all of the administrative work involved in making sales and managing multiple listings.
In addition, it’s also essential to consider that sometimes you may go without a paycheck for a considerable period because the work is mainly commission-based, rather than salaried, like in most other sectors. If you don’t sell, you earn nothing, irrespective of the general overhead and administrative costs that you might incur in the same period.
Real Estate Agent Duties
A real estate agent undertakes various duties and plays different roles. Whereas an established agent or broker might have a budget to hire an assistant to offer administrative support, it’s even more hectic for someone just starting because you have to do most or all of the work by yourself.
Some of the duties a real estate agent or broker might expect to carry out are listed below, among others:
- File real estate documents, such as agreements and lease records.
- Organise appointments, showings, and open houses.
- Create and distribute promotional materials, such as flyers and newsletters.
- Create budgets (monthly, quarterly, annual).
- Develop marketing plans for listings.
- Create and build client databases.
- Research active, pending and sold listings and draft comparative market analysis (CMA) reports.
- Update websites and social media profiles.
Finding clients is an integral part of being a successful real estate broker or agent. Therefore, lead generation is central and good quality leads are what it takes. Besides, for a transaction to be complete, one needs buyers and sellers; otherwise, there would be none, and as a result, no commissions. One sure way to build contacts and generate leads is through a real estate sphere of influence (SOI) strategy, which focuses on generating leads through people you already know, including your:
- Business associates
- Other social contacts
Therefore, your day as a real estate agent or broker might include:
- Meeting and speaking with many people regularly.
- Handing out business cards.
- Sharing contact details.
- Filing away contact information to build out your SOI.
After you make first contact, you’ll need to follow up with phone calls, emails, or text messages, so the people you meet will remember your name for the future.
Remember that most people buy, sell, or rent property at some point in their lives. Therefore, every person you meet may be a client someday.
Are you comfortable selling yourself? Are you willing to drum up business with family, friends, neighbours, and other social contacts?
Working With Real Estate Clients
A career in real estate is mainly people-facing, and therefore, it means you will spend most of your working hours dealing directly with clients, whether they’re buyers, sellers, or renters. You must be flexible as well, since this may overlap with your leisure time and require the sacrifice of some of your time -time you would otherwise spend with family and friends.
As a seller’s agent, you’ll prepare listing presentations, take digital photographs of properties, stage homes, so they show well, marketing properties, and host open houses.
In contrast, as a buyer’s agent, you may comb through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to find relevant listings and send them to potential buyers. You’ll also show the property to interested buyers and accompany your clients to inspections, meetings with loan officers, closings, and other activities for which your presence is required or requested.
Are you comfortable working with the public? Can you maintain enthusiasm and professionalism, even when you have a tricky or demanding client?
Real Estate Agent Earnings
As already mentioned, most real estate agents and brokers don’t earn a salary. They mostly make their money through commissions, which is usually a percentage of the selling price of the property, or sometimes a flat fee.
Therefore, like other commission-based jobs, it can be feast or famine because they only pay the commission when a transaction is settled.
Do you have the financial reserves to go weeks or months without a paycheck? Are you OK with an uncertain income? Though many real estate agents and brokers work part-time, the most successful ones are available whenever their clients need them – whether that’s during business hours, evenings, or weekends. Are you OK with giving up your nights and weekends? Are you in a position to dedicate that much time to your career?
The Bottom Line: Should I Become a Real Estate Agent?
If you are comfortable with all or at least most of the questions above and will work hard, are a self-starter, and like the idea of being your own master, then a career in real estate might be right for you.
If you sell enough properties, you can earn yourself a decent living with a sizable disposable income.
A career in real estate can be both challenging and financially rewarding. It requires hard work, dedication, and persistence.
The real estate industry offers unique career opportunities like becoming agents, appraisers, professionals, and investors. Therefore, whatever you choose, be sure to meet the job requirements and prepare for hard work.
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