Am I too old to become a real estate agent?

by Corben Grant on 04 Feb 2022

Every year, thousands of people are choosing to become real estate agents in Canada. There are many reasons why people are choosing this career path, but some of the major benefits include a low barrier to entry, high earning potential, the ability to be your own boss, make your own schedule, and work with real people to find their homes.

If you are just looking to start your real estate career, beginning real estate classes, or working towards getting your real estate license, you are making a pretty big change in your life which is the start of a long but worthwhile process. 

While anyone is able to start a new career in real estate, many new agents tend to be on the younger side. If you are interested in starting as a real estate agent or looking for a second career where you can start making money but you think you’re “too old” - don't fear!

You can do just as well as any other agents, and, in fact, you may just find that being older offers you advantages that younger agents don't have. Let's take a look at the experience of becoming an agent when you’re older.

At what age can you get your real estate license?

While there is no maximum age to become a real estate agent, there is a minimum age to become a new agent. In order to qualify for your real estate license, you will need to be at least 18 years old before taking your licensing exam.

For those looking to get into real estate at an older age, you may be interested to learn that the average real estate agent isn't actually all that young. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average realtor is 54 years old and has about eight years of experience. Now that's only an average, so while there are many realtors who are younger, there are also likely many older agents as well.

Overall, being a real estate agent is a career that depends more on your attitude and work style than on your age alone, and you should feel comfortable at any age.

Benefits for older real estate agents

In some ways, being older when starting out as a real estate agent can be a huge benefit. Here’s why:

Older and wiser

For one, being older just generally means you’re wiser! You have more life experience working with people, which is a major key skill when it comes to selling homes. You’ll also have more knowledge about yourself and how you like to work. If a very young agent started right out of school, they may not have the same levels of confidence and people skills that take a lifetime to develop.

In addition, many young people choose their careers before they really know if it works for them and can end up changing their minds later on. As an older person, you have likely had a long time to know what you like doing and making a career change at an older age requires a lot of commitment and purpose on your part that can lead to more success as an agent because your goals are more clear.

Working with clients

The conception of 'older is wiser' can also help in your work with clients. Many buyers will be more likely to see you as trustworthy and experienced at an older age compared to a younger agent. That isn't to say that being older does make you those things, but people's conceptions can't always be helped.

This can especially be a benefit if you are working with potential clients who are older who will feel much more comfortable working with someone they relate with. It also means you can help them even better by understanding what their best interests are and what they want out of a property at their stage of life.

Real estate experience

In terms of prior experience, an older agent is also far more likely to have actually gone through a real estate purchase themselves as a homeowner or real estate investor, which will offer some valuable experience and lessons when it comes time to sell houses on the other side of a real estate transaction.

How can being older be a downside?

Unfortunately, there are some ways in which older people may be disadvantaged in their careers. While these won't apply to everyone, they are good to keep in mind anyway.

Active job

For one, working in real estate can be a job that requires a lot of activity. You will often be driving to many different houses, climbing stairs, standing for long hours at an open house, and more. If you are at the age where your mobility is starting to be limited, this could be pretty tiring.

However, you should not feel like this excludes you from this career at all, but you may simply need to work a little differently than other agents. There are also other jobs in real estate that don't require as much activity but are still in the industry, such as a mortgage broker, that you may want to consider.

Working with technology

Another place where older people tend to have more difficulty is technology. These days, the real estate field relies heavily on technology for everyday tasks. From creating listings to managing relationships with current and past clients, marketing yourself, social media platforms, online courses, using MLS, and more, there are plenty of new technologies that any agent will be required to learn to use.

In general, younger people tend to pick up on these things a bit faster simply due to more exposure, but there is no reason that an older person can't learn these systems just as well, even if they take a bit more time.

A busy schedule

One final thing you may want to consider before becoming a real estate agent is your schedule. It’s well known that real estate agents have a very flexible schedule, but this also means that many end up working a lot in order to be successful and make a steady income. This can mean working long days, working weekends, or working many days in a row.

In very competitive markets, this can simply be what it takes to stand out as a great real estate agent. However, if you are reaching the age where you are hoping to relax more, perhaps spend more time with family, or take more vacations, this desire can be at odds with your real estate career. Like everything mentioned before, this does not bar you from the field, but it is worth considering if you would rather enjoy a more relaxing and casual career change at a point in your life when you are starting to live a little slower.

Conclusion

Overall, people of any age should feel comfortable becoming a real estate agent, and though starting out at an older age may present its own challenges, there are also numerous benefits to working as an older real estate agent and you would be in good company among the many older people already working in the field.

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