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Re: Retaining wall fees - Real Estate

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"If you really think real estate salesmen make that much money
you should try being one!  But first do some research; divide the total
real estate commissions by the total number of real estate salesmen (a
friend of mine actually did this) and you'll be surprised at how low
their average income actually is and you will understand why there is
such a high turn over in sales personnel."

As you hint at when mentioning high turn over, the number you arrive at when dividing fees by the number of real estate agents is skewed by the large number of amateurs and dabblers who enter the field half-heartedly looking for easy riches.  Many of these drop out in a year or less when they hit a dry spell in sales, or discover they don't want to sacrifice all their evenings, weekend, and holidays driving people around looking at houses.  Add to this the number of people who try to do it part time (not usually a great strategy), and you get a theoretically large pool masking a number of dedicated full-timers that is a small fraction of the total.  The dedicated full-timers can do very well, and take little or no liability for their efforts.  It is a feast or famine profession.  Perhaps it is a little reminiscent of acting in that respect.  Even for the successful, though, remember that the percentage taken as fees is generally split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent, and a chunk of the fees they collects are generally taken by their office, so they don't see the whole figure.  You might look at it as a poorly structured profession that makes up for its definciencies by highly rewarding those persevere.  One of the arguably smartest engineers I have know left engineering for a few years to be a real estate agent.  Being a smart and social guy, he did pretty well, but ultimately found the driving people around who may or may not actually buy anything and shuffling papers around didn't excite him, and he returned to engineering.  Ultimately you have to enjoy what you do.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE



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