Preparing For the Future: A Career In Real Estate

by FI Fighter on April 7, 2015

in Progress, Real Estate Updates

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As I wind down my engineering career, I can’t help but feel apprehension for the uncertain future that lies ahead. On one hand, I feel like a life without taking risks isn’t one worth living because if we don’t ever test ourselves, how can we really know what we are capable of? But on the other hand, I’m only human and have my own doubts and fears. As much as I’ve grown tired of the whole engineering scene in Corporate America, I’ll admit that there is a lot of comfort in knowing that I will be receiving a consistent paycheck every two weeks…

But, I know that at some point, I will have to face the music and accept my new reality. At present time, I have no desire to pursue a career that I no longer have any interest in. Further, and most importantly, my body, mind, and spirt are prohibiting me from continuing to do something that will only cause more damage to my health.

The Next Phase

So, if it isn’t time, it’s almost near time for me to say goodbye and start a new chapter in my life. I haven’t yet officially called it quits for good, but I’m already working on freeing up my mind to new possibilities post-engineering.

One obvious career choice for me is this — become a real estate agent.

For long-time readers of this blog, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. I have a burning passion for real estate and I truly enjoy nearly all aspects of it. I’m an introvert by nature, but I do very much get a kick out of meeting new investors and networking with other like-minded individuals. It’s too early to say right now, but I would venture to guess that I would also enjoy trying to sell/buy homes for homebuyers as well. As an engineer who has mostly worked independently my entire career, I will say that I’m very much looking forward to interacting with people for a change!

Getting Started

So, one doesn’t just wake up one morning and become a real estate agent, do they? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that easy, but getting a real estate salesperson license shouldn’t be that difficult either. Definitely, I should be able to obtain my license sometime this year, hopefully.

To get started, I went online and found a reputable school to enroll for online courses. I signed up with Allied Schools, and ordered the California Real Estate Salesperson License FAST TRACK program.

To get licensed, I will need to study and complete three courses:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Real Estate Practice
  • Real Estate Elective

Each course is 15 units, with a final exam that needs to be passed upon completion of each course.

For the elective, you can choose from any of the following:

  • Legal Aspects
  • Finance
  • Property Management
  • Appraisal
  • Economics
  • Office Administration
  • Escrows

I opted to go with the Legal Aspects course. I’m expecting that one to be on the drier side of things, but I wanted to focus on a subject that I think will end up being extremely important to know. Other topics such as: finance, property management, escrows, etc., I’ve already experienced and dealt with as a real estate investor… As a realtor, I definitely want to make certain that I’m not breaking any laws! 🙂

Timeframe

Since there are 3 course, and each one is 15 units each, I’m going to try and allocate 1 unit/day. So, it should take me at a minimum, 45 days to get through the entire course material. At Allied Schools, you must spend a minimum of 18 days (2.5 weeks) on each course, before you are allowed to take the final exam. So, no more than two courses can be completed in any 5 week period. You get 1 full year from the time you enroll to pass all three courses!

Once those 3 courses have been successfully completed, the next step will be to enroll in the State Salesperson Exam. The final exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes. There are 150 multiple choice questions. You need a 70% score or above to pass.

Parting Thoughts

Well, my order has been submitted, so I’m going to hit the books and get cracking on this, pronto! Although nothing is set in stone (who knows, I may never even make use of this license!), I still would like to complete this course and accomplish a life goal. And that’s one of the beauties of early FI/pretirement, you’ll have the free time to pursue whatever goals or hobbies your heart desires.

The key for me will be to go at this at a slow, casual pace. The last thing I need right now is more stress in my life, so I’m going to stick to what’s comfortable. If I don’t feel like studying on any particular day, I won’t. If my eyes get tired, I’ll stop and go outside for a walk. These are the type of luxuries you don’t get when you work the grind for an employer…

Life is already becoming more fun! I’m gonna try and enjoy the ride this time around… 🙂

 

Wish me luck (and skill), I’m going to need it!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gen Y Finance Guy April 7, 2015 at 6:29 am

FI Fighter,

It is really awesome that you are using this awakening to step outside of your comfort zone. I know what it is like to have the Golden Handcuffs of a 6-figure corporate job. It’s hard to give up that nice paycheck every couple of weeks.

Like you, I have been doing a lot of introspection and thinking about what my next move should be. With each passing day I loth my job more and more.

I am tired of the office politics.

I am tired of doing work I am not passionate about.

I am tired of the office time keeper.

I am tired of putting in lots of overtime and then getting scrutinized for leaving early one day of the week.

I am also contemplating a career change and Real Estate is on the short list.

Looking forward to read updates on how its going.

Cheers!

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2 Joshua Myers April 7, 2015 at 6:46 am

I really like the way that you take immediate action. Too often we think, and rethink, our lives, but never get around to doing what needs done to facilitate a meaningful change. Starting something makes it suddenly realistic. I’m a few years behind you in the FI game, but you’re inspiring me to think bigger and faster.

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3 Andrew April 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

Actually, this has been a career that has crossed my mind as well. I think it would be a good way to save on commissions too if you continue to invest in real estate. However, it can probably be a tough career to make a decent living and dealing with clients like homebuyers can have its ups and downs as well. I had this crazy idea that I would start a real estate brokerage that would cater to DIY type homebuyers and sellers which would charge much less in commissions. Because the whole commission structure is antiquated imho nowadays with so much info online.

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4 Tawcan April 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

Very cool that you took immediate action. I think it makes perfect sense for you to become a real estate agent considering you’ll be making more real estate investments. This will totally save you some money on agent fees. I did take a look what it takes to get a real estate agent license earlier last year but found I cannot justify the cost and time right now, considering we don’t have any real estate investment other than our house. One day maybe.

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5 Financial Samurai April 23, 2015 at 12:52 am

Good luck with becoming a RE agent. Sounds like a natural fit. Or perhaps look into real estate developing by starting a fund or something like that.

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