RE agents income – articles

I am considering my options for going into real estate full time next year. Part of my income will (hopefully) come from a couple of flips. The rest I want to make as relevant to my flips and rentals as possible. So, real estate agent for a couple of first years is a natural choice, but the financials overall need to be considered. Hopefully, the byproduct of my efforts to find good flips will be finding many properties that are not a good flip but could still be sold. I am hoping to be the first person to interact with the seller, and therefore have the opportunity to list the property. Nevertheless, I have to count on the worst-case scenario. So, here is my review

Average REA salaries in Texas by city are listed here (2019). Long story short, the average is about 41K/year for Dallas. Since I am doing this to educate myself about the buyers’ tastes, I can consider this to be paid internship. But 41K is a little low for me for a year overall, assuming that I won’t make much on my first couple of flips. But for year 1 it might work.

This article suggest starting real estate agent income as a part time income.

1 year ago

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Doing our taxes I came upon our savings account statement from March 2018, showing $1,566.37 in it. It dropped from $7,162 in January 2018 to $1,566 in March 2018 due to the car payment, house payment, HOA payment, student loan payment, insurance payments, and about $2,000 worth of min payments on credit cards all going out each month. March was the last month we had money for, and then we would have to start cashing out our retirement accounts.

Now, exactly 1 year later, we are in much better shape. I am grateful to the universe, my spiritual teachers, Osho and Thich Nhat Hanh, and to the power of my Life Pyramid for getting through those difficult times in 2018.

Reviewing “The Dhandho Investor”

Reviewing “The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns” by Mohnish Pabrai

This is the best book on investment principles I have read so far (but I only read 2 or 3, so…). It is closely aligned with value investing principles of Graham and Buffett, but takes a slightly different approach. It uses several formulas and ideas (for example, Buffett’s idea of the “moat,” Kelly’s formula, the Magic Formula, arbitrage,) and throws in some fascinating thoughts on an ancient military battle formation called
chakravyuh (one of the deadliest formations a general can encounter) and the ways to break through it, and ties this all together into a neat little story to describe the main tenants of his “philosophy.” The main among them is this one: “Heads, I win; tails, I don’t lose much.”

With this approach in mind, Mohnish goes on to examine stories of outstanding success, often by immigrants (Papa Patel, Manilal Chaudhari, himself) who came in the United States with nothing but a solid dhandho (work) philosophy, which transformed into an investment philosophy, which transformed into the above average successes.

There are a ton of examples and mathematical formulas that Mohnish uses to demonstrate the basics of the value investing (or Dhandho style investing). I made so many highlights in the book it is not even funny. Most importantly, his ideas are focused on ordinary, poor, underprivileged individuals who make it all the way through the chakravyuh and come out victorious, all presented in an angaging story-telling style, so they really stay in your head as vivid images long after the book is finished. The main differentiator between this and other books I have read is that this book describes a philosophy first and strategy and techniques second. I hated to put the book down, it was too short!

Reposting: 45 creative real estate marketing ideas (from FitSmallBusiness)

This is a truly outstanding list of marketing ideas that could apply to almost any business, although in this case these are ideas for marketing a listing of a property

Stolen from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/real-estate-marketing-ideas/

Market Yourself Using Zillow

This is the most obvious one, obviosuly

Offer Home Valuations to Capture Seller Leads

This is a good one. Many people want to know what their property is worth, and you are offering this service to them for free, and you make it automated, so it won’t suck you into time-consuming projects. So a win-win.

Create Subdivision Website Pages

I am not sure about this one, looks like alot of work, especially if you have to market several subdivisions

Write a Killer Real Estate Newsletter

This one is also alot of work, and only a tiny section of your mailing list will see it, so I am not 100% sure ROI will be as good as on some other initiatives

Employ Google AdWords

This one is another one that I am not sure how it really pays off. So many other people are using the same adwords. I never found adwords to be all that useful in my previous marketing attempts.

Master Your Elevator Pitch

This one seems to be pretty obvious. A 30-sec value statement should be the must on the landing page at the minimum

Host Local Neighborhood Tours

I am not sure about this one, sounds like alot of trouble, and alot of the tour (like traffic congestion, weird things happening, etc) are outside of your control during the tour. But it might be worth trying a time or two.

Livestream Your Agency’s Day to Day

Kind of like a reality show. I am not sure who would have the time to watch an agency day-to-day, most people who are working probably have better things to watch. But it might be worth a month try.

Use Decor to Set Your Listing Apart

The decor has a funky item that is easy to remember even after many houses have been visited. Serves as a memory tool for the buyers.


Optimize Your Facebook Page

Ok, sure. It is almost like saying “Optimize your web page.” Good idea that most people would probably ruin with a bad execution

Use SEO to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Ok, another bland idea, but a good reminder about the basics


Highlight Homes With Professional Photography

People think in pictures, and feel in pictures, and dream in pictures. So yeah, this one should be the basics, I think.

Send Postcards That Are ‘Fridge-worthy’

This is an excellent suggestion about the types of topics to cover in your mass mailing. Make the ad of the company a tiny thing at the bottom, but a big important thing in the body. Do it regularly enough, and they will start looking forward to those postcards, I think

Use Instagram Stories

That is a topic of a whole different discussion, but sure, let’s not forget to get to strategize on this.

Choose Words That Sell

Yes, emotions eat logic for breakfast. Get emotional juices flowing, but how? Another interesting topics of research.

Use Strategic PR to Stay Relevant & Build Authority

They suggest using Help a Reporter Out (RARO) web site. I would need to see a more detailed strategy for that one, as it might be time-consuming and has too wide of an audience

Become a Lifetime Learner

Duh. But it is a good reminder to check out new classes from your local RE associations

Showcase Your Charitable Side

A good idea, I thought about the ways to do it myself, but I think it is such a long-term project that a good base of other cash-generating ideas is needed to execute that one consistently year in and year out. People forget quickly.

Create a Blog That Answers Client Questions

All blogs are pretty time consuming, and are lost in the noise quickly unless they provide serious valie. So, this might be a good add-on, but not the main vehicle.

Elevate Your Listing Photos With BoxBrownie.com

Seems more like a plug-in for a vendor than a real suggestion, but sure. The more images and the different-er and richer the images, the better. I have a feeling there are a ton of other sites that can help with the virtual staging process.

Stand Out With Handwritten Notes

Sure, if your buyers can read your handwriting.

Learn the Best Ways to Engage on Social Media

How is this not a repetition of like 5 previous suggestions? C’mon, FitSmallBusiness! Stop feeding us gruel.

Grow Your Network With Regular Events

Again, good old basics (happy hours), but probably could be worth refreshing on. Do them only if you have a budget and the attendees are pre-qualified. Otherwise – networking not necessarily converts to sales.

Create a Client Testimonial Packet

Probably a good suggestion, with some work, one-time effort can pay off

Make a Personal Connection With Video Emails

I would give it a shot just to see what the engagement is really like, but I would not hold high hopes for that one. How many videos of yours will they want to see? Everyone is busy.

Think Outside the Box

Oh, I LOOOOOOVE this one. Just check it out:

real estate marketing - Tips from the pros

Bring the Open House to Clients

A good idea, if your clients are tech-savvy enough to utilize this technique to the fullest, or to know what an iPad is. I would think of a different prize if I was the realtor. Something all ages and OS-fans could find attractive.

Harness the Power of Cold Calling

Really? Really? This is the ground-breaking thought of the day?

Create Viral Infographics to Share on Social Media

Goes hand-n-hand with the “fridge worthy” suggestion. But – lots of work and research and paying someone for design, for a subliminal message that may or may not hit the target when they ARE ready to buy or sell. This is not an immediate conversion type of idea, so do it only if you have the time and budget to make long term moves like that.

Maximize Lead Generation With Landing Pages

Uh, ok. Sure. If you have a web site at all, I recommend just a good web designer. Let him or her tell you more good tips like that.

Use Retargeting Campaigns to Drive Traffic Back to Your Site

Seems like a full-time web designer will be needed, unless you want to spend your time generating web pages and tracking moves.

Choose the Right Farm Area

I am not 100% sure I understood this advice at all, so I am not going to comment.

Utilize Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

Ok, ok. Can we just make a separate post for all social media strategies and keep everything together in THAT post?

Learn How to Market to Millennials

Good idea, I am sure there is a lot of literature on that online

Start a Direct-to-Door Marketing Campaign With Door Hangers

I would give that one a shot for a quarter or two to see if this leads to real results

Learn Facebook Messenger Marketing

Grrr. More ways to stock poor prospects everywhere they go. A good way to become annoying I think

Invest in Your Community to Generate Strong, Top-of-Mind Referrals

Community events, charity events – I already commented on this. Those are a long term strategy. People forget so quickly. I would go for more immediate and direct approaches first.

Make a Viral Real Estate Video

Making ANYTHING viral is an art and a science in its own. I would not count on any one of your videos becoming truly viral. Plus, viral videos are by definition not targeted. It might be viral, but is it seen by people in my geographics are who are currently looking for THAT type of house?

Set Up Local Community Pages

I would need to see that executed in practice to buy that this is a good investment of time, but ok, anything could be good to try out

Craft a Personalized Message for Your Buyers

Sure, why not. This is more of a small technique rather than a strategy, and hopefully not the only technique in his toolbelt.

Create a New & Eye-catching Logo

I think a logo won’t do much difference if you have no TRAFFIC to your side. Logo is not going to make or break the sale. It might be just a tiny, tiny, tiny grain than tips the scales in your favor.

Create a Video Series to Share With Leads

That is actually a good one, provided that your audience is tech savvy to view them. But it is a time consuming and not targeted, much like the viral video suggestion

Optimize Your Listing Photos

I thought it was already covered by like, 5 other suggestions?

Make Your Website Your Storefront

Jesus Christ, is this the Ground Hog Day? I thought we have been through this already? Get yourself a web designer who knows what to do for modern viewership

Leverage Influencer & Community Marketing

This is actually another good one. Just a few quotes


…..reach out to local bloggers and Instagram influencers — whose followership matches your target buyer — and have them create related content and share it with their followers. 

Also, you can partner with a business in the community to host an event at [a property you’re selling] to gain publicity and get foot traffic. For example, if the space is great for showcasing art, you can partner with a local gallery to host a “gallery night” in the property and invite anyone you can to the property.

Obviously, this is something that requires a ton of planning and collaborations, so it will come with its own costs. But worth a try.

HOW TO GET A TEXAS REAL ESTATE LICENSE

I am starting to look for info on getting the RE agent license. Here is the rundown:

To earn your real estate license in Texas, you must be 18 years of age, complete 180 hours of approved education, obtain a sponsoring broker, submit required fees and forms to Texas Real Estate Commission, submit to fingerprinting, and pass the state exam. While the process to become a real estate agent is similar in most states, each state has its unique steps that must be adhered to. The seven steps to becoming a Texas real estate agent are as follows:

Requirements to Obtain Your Texas Salesperson License

Step 1: Must be at least 18 years of age.

Step 2: Register for and complete 180 hours of required education:

In order to apply for the Texas Real Estate License Exam, the state requires you to complete 180 hours of TREC-approved college-level real estate courses. Kaplan offers four education options that fulfill the 180-hour requirement.

View Licensing Packages

Step 3: Consider obtaining a sponsoring broker

In order to practice as a real estate salesperson, you must be sponsored by a licensed Texas real estate broker. You and your sponsor will both need to complete and submit the Sponsorship Form.

Step 4: Submit forms and fees to TREC

After completing the required 180 hours of licensing education, submit all education documents to TREC, including real estate school certificates.

Active or inactive initial license?

You’ll need to decide if you’d prefer an active or inactive license.

  • To apply for an active license to practice real estate, include with your initial mailing the Salesperson Sponsorship (SSF-2) form signed by a licensed Texas real estate broker.
  • To apply for an inactive license, submit only the Inactive Salesperson Application forms at this time. Submit the SSF-2 form later to activate your license.

Note: These forms can be downloaded at www.trec.texas.gov, or you may complete this process online athttps://mylicense.trec.texas.gov/datamart/mainMenuTXREC.do.

Step 5: Schedule your license examination and fingerprinting

After you receive your response letter from TREC approving you and directing you to the Candidate Information Brochure, you can schedule your exam with Pearson Vue. You will also receive direction on how to submit your fingerprints for review. You have one year from the date your application is filed to pass the examination.

Step 6: Prepare for the exam

By taking Kaplan’s world-renowned Exam Prep course, you will have no surprises on exam day. The Texas Real Estate Exam Prep program is available as a Live Class or video OnDemand Course.

Step 7: Take the state exam

Once you have passed the state exam and your fingerprints are on file, you will receive an Active or Inactive Salesperson License from TREC via email (remember to monitor your junk mail folder).


These are the TREC approved schools where I can take the necessary courses. It looks like there are 6 two-week courses in total, running $180-$220 per course, to get the right number of hours.

Online courses:

Realestateexpress.com: packages starting from $500 to $1000, originally it was a redirect from MyMetroTex web site, they have some CE info as well

RETTSchool has the in-person courses at $800 on weekends in Plano, some start in June and end in August, might be perfect for me

Dallas County Community College has pretty expensive courses, at about $200/piece, for prep courses but also for additional courses that might be useful later on