From Underemployed to Self-Employed: Frugal Tips for Getting Your New Real Estate Career up and Running

Underemployment in America is a growing trend. In fact, according to recent statistics, as many as 22 million Americans are currently working part-time or in a job that does not utilize or compensate them for their education, skills, or past experience. For many of these people, choosing to become self-employed in careers such as real estate sales is a way to get out of the underemployment rut without investing years and and tens of thousands of dollars for a different, more marketable degree. If you have recently opted out of underemployment to seek a new career path as a real estate broker, the following tips will help get your new career up and running as frugally as possible.

Skip office rental fees by choosing to work from home

As a beginning real estate broker, the cost of renting and furnishing office space can be prohibitively expensive. In addition to the actual rental fees, you will also need to have funds for customizing the space, installing internet and phone service, utilities, and payroll for office help.

A far less expensive option is to dedicate a room of your home as your office space. When considering this, remember to check with your local zoning office or homeowner's association to ensure that establishing a business office in your home will not break any current rules or regulations. Most states also require real estate brokerages to install and maintain a proper sign at or near the entrance that will be used to access your home office.

Utilize technology instead of paying someone to answer the phone

Starting a real estate brokerage requires you to be accessible to prospective clients, but paying for someone to answer the phone can be prohibitive when you are just starting out. Instead of incurring this type of expense, make full use of your smartphone to handle incoming calls professionally, even when you are out with other clients.

To do this, record a clear, professional voice mail response that identifies you and your real estate brokerage, tells the caller when to expect your return call, and offers them your brokerage's web address so they can easily access additional information while awaiting your return call. Remember to check your phone frequently for messages, return calls as quickly as possible, and set your phone to vibrate to avoid interruptions while with clients.

Find an affordable way to show homes to prospective clients

A major obstacle for many new real estate brokers and sales professionals is finding a way to afford a larger, more comfortable vehicle to use when transporting prospective buyers to view homes. A great way to do this without taking on a huge debt for a new vehicle is to shop for a pre-owned luxury vehicle, instead. Many of these vehicles are in pristine condition and are an affordable way for a new real estate broker to provide comfortable, quality transportation for their clients.

When looking for a pre-owned luxury vehicle, take time to explain your circumstances to the auto dealer and ask them to help you find a vehicle that will fit both your budget and the needs of your prospective clients.