Why become a Real Estate Agent?

No this article will not attempt to harp on the benefits of being a property agent, brainwash you or sell you the benefits of switching careers, instead, it’s a list of reasons why I decided to switch professions. I’ve faced a lot of incredulous people who questioned why on earth would I decide to join such a tumultuous industry where the minimum educational qualification is a just 4 O’level passes and the profession has such a bad reputation to begin with, so in case you’re wondering as well, here it is.

1)   Time flexibility

I wanted to be able to spend daylight hours with my 10 month old daughter, be present during her milestones and be there, whenever she needs me, especially during the critical first few years. I have utmost respect for mothers who juggle an 8-5pm job and family, but thankfully I have managed to  sort of my finances to allow me to take a break from a conventional job and aim towards bigger goals.

2)   I wanted to be my own boss

Essentially you are in control of your own real estate career – you have to be your own boss, do your own marketing, figure out your own strategy and manage your finances. In the end I understand that it’s about figuring out what my target audience needs and how I can best fill that gap. I no longer have to deal with evil bosses and if down the line, a client tests my patience beyond what I can handle (believe me I’m extremely patient), I won’t hesitate to walk away.  Always keep in mind the 80 -20 Pareto rule.

3)   It gels in with my life goals : Passive income

Ironically, it was during one of HR’s career mapping exercises that I realized I was working hard just for a yearly title change and a small increment. ( I was in the civil service and unless you’re a minister, you’ll always be pegged to 70 % of the market salary rate.) A promotion would ironically just mean more responsibilities, more hours to be put in at work. Unlike your own business which you can eventually get people to run, a job requires your presence for a lifetime. If you’re happy at your job and find meaning in what you do, that’s alright but I was at the stage where I was questioning my job fit and my contribution to the larger picture. Not a good thing I guess.

People may argue that it’s actually worse when you’re in the real estate industry, you put in so much effort for an outcome (closing sales) that’s not within your control. I agree. But for me the end goal is not in the sale. It’s about my familiarity with the industry and the opportunity for me to eventually grab properties firsthand – eventually allowing me to live off passive income and enjoy a four hour workweek. (As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of Robert Kiyosaki and Tim Ferriss.)

4)   A “salary” that is in line with inflation.

A quote in Benjamin Graham’s Intelligent investor radiated with me, “It is clear that those with a fixed dollar income will suffer when the cost of living advances”. Sure he was referring to owning stocks which has a somewhat direct relation to inflation, but to me this applies to property as well. People complain that Property Agents or Real Estate agents do not deserve such high salaries for (what they deem) a simple job, but its actually an indicator of where the economy is headed. The more expensive things will be, the higher the salary of the agent.

5)   It forces me to learn a lifelong skill : Selling

If there’s a job skill that all schools should train students in, it is the ability to sell. Presentation skills would soon be the bare minimum because ultimately, in every job, you need to be able to not only present your ideas, but to convince the bosses that your ideas are worth it. Coming from both a marketing and a policy background, I’ve come to realize that convincing people, i.e. selling to them, matters more than ever.  The best part of having selling skills is that you’re able to apply them in more than one industry.  If you’re sick of real estate, maybe you’re next role is pitching to venture capitalists on your new business. Who knows what the future will bring?


Some people might think that I’m sacrificing my present for an uncertain future but to me it makes perfect sense.  You work hard for a payout that would be extremely beneficial and oh, so worth it.  A quote that pretty much sums up my thoughts,

“ Do what others won’t in the short run so that you can do what others can’t in the long run.”

Property Agent Retirement

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Zubz Kadir is the founder of PropertyRocking.SG She believes that real estate is the biggest purchase one can make and such a decision should not be taken lightly. Knowledge can make or break a purchase. Zubz graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) Bachelors with a Degree in Informations Communications and Sociology from the and a Masters of Mass Communications from Nanyang Technological University (NTU).