I’ve said this line more than I should have needed to over the last few weeks.

Yes, the real estate market has been great for the last couple of years. Lots of agents hitting goals, humble bragging on social media, taking luxurious (well-deserved) vacations and enjoying the fruits of their labor. It’s easy to see this and think, ‘hey, I’m going to jump into real estate and make a few quick bucks on the side’.

Unfortunately, I keep hearing this over and over again, but, I’m sorry, you’re not going to work for me. We’ll talk, I’ll tell you what it takes. I won’t sugar coat it. And, when you tell me you aren’t planning to make it a full-time career soon or in the future, I’ll wish you well and we will part ways after I make myself crystal clear.

You see, real estate IS the career. It’s not the side gig. It’s not Uber. It’s handling the largest transaction in people’s lives. It’s emotional, it’s deep, it requires professional knowledge of the market and the process.

Let’s take real estate out of the picture for a second. It’s your anniversary and you’d love to take your spouse to the best restaurant in town. It’s the best restaurant, so you’re making reservations and counting on them to deliver an amazing experience. From the greeting at the door, to the meal and dessert, you’re sure that your money will be well-spent at this place. Your spouse will be totally impressed and you’ll have an enjoyable evening. Get the picture? So, you walk in and you’re greeted by a frazzled host that seems to have lost your reservation. They say, ‘sorry, the entire regular staff is out sick and they called in some temps to help out. I only use this computer system once a year, I’m sure your reservation is there and I’ll seat you as soon as I find it.’ Suddenly, that awesome night you were counting on turns into a nightmare. <—All this stress was just over a meal. Can you imagine that type of experience with an agent? Would you want someone who’s only dipped their toe into real estate assisting you with the largest transaction of your life?

The behind the scenes of those beautiful vacations and surpassed goals is much more than what everyone sees on the surface. Real estate is an all-consuming career that requires dedication and focus. You certainly cannot be working that 40 hour per week job and provide the level of customer service consumers have come to expect from their real estate professional. During those 40 hours, you’ll be missing calls, saying you can’t show at that time, hiring someone else to handle the inspections and so much more. You’ll have to lean on your co-workers and probably stress out the agent on the other end of the deal.

Are there agents that do this and get away with it? Sure, they’re everywhere. Now, I’m not saying an agent can’t have a couple of side gigs beyond their real estate career; a few hours here and there is totally manageable and sometimes even enhances your career. If that side gig is a position where you come in contact with lots of people and also get to talk about real estate, it’s a definite networking bonus. Many agents volunteer, or are on boards, are involved with the city or other groups, etc, etc. You see, these are side gigs. Uber is the side gig, real estate is the career, and I simply don’t have the time or the need to hire anyone that doesn’t understand or respect this.

I don’t have the need. You see, my company is different. We hire for professionalism. We hire for reputation. We hire to give the consumer the best experience. There is no number on my head that says I’ll be fired if I don’t hire xxx number of people. We simply don’t operate that way. It’s why I’ve stayed in my position with my company. We believe in the industry and we believe in the professionalism of it. I know the weight of a transaction and I respect it. I see first-hand how hard it is not only to earn the money for that beautiful vacation, but to actually let someone handle things while you take it.

There are companies that will accept and/or encourage those that want real estate as a part-time job. It’s simply not me.