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Apr 01, 2024 PropStream

The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Real Estate Agent in 2024

Disclaimer: PropStream doesn’t provide financial or legal advice. We recommend doing your own research before deciding to become a real estate agent.

Is 2024 a good year to become a real estate agent?

Well, that depends on your ability to adapt to the ever-changing real estate landscape.

On the one hand, U.S. homes are selling for more than nearly ever before, leaving agents with higher potential commissions per home sale. On the other hand, real estate transactions are down, which means there are fewer home sales from which to take a cut.

There is never truly an "ideal" time to enter the real estate industry, as each market comes with its own advantages and challenges. However, understanding the pros and cons specific to the current market is crucial for setting yourself up for success.

There’s plenty to consider when contemplating a career as a real estate agent in 2024. Before taking the plunge, let's explore some of the most current pros and cons:

Table of Contents

Start Your Real Estate Career on the Right Foot With PropStream

Key Takeaways:
  • Pursuing a career as a real estate agent comes with several pros and cons regarding income, work requirements, education, and more.
  • Whether this is the right field for you will depend on your personality type, level of flexibility, ability to adapt to a changing market, etc.
  • Tools are available to help make finding success in the real estate industry more attainable.

Earnings Potential

Real estate agents work on commission, i.e., instead of earning a steady paycheck, they typically get paid a percentage of each home sale they help facilitate.


  • Working on commission means your earning potential is unlimited. Your income depends entirely on the amount of home sales you facilitate and at what prices.
  • Unlike in other careers, you don’t have to work for a certain period before you can expect a raise. You can increase your income anytime by securing more or higher-value deals.


  • The agent commission model doesn’t guarantee income. You could earn little or nothing, especially when you’re just starting.
  • Similarly, agent income can be highly irregular, especially given the housing market’s seasonality and fluctuations. In some months, you may earn more than others.

Flexibility and Independence

Working as a real estate agent offers great flexibility and independence. Most are self-employed, meaning they’re essentially running their own businesses.


  • You can set your own schedule and take time off work for emergencies, family responsibilities, vacations, etc., without getting approval from a supervisor.
  • Without a boss telling you what to do, you can work on your own terms: how, when, and where you want.
  • You can work part-time. In fact, according to a Placester survey, 22% of real estate agents work fewer than 30 hours weekly.
  • You can transition to other real estate careers fairly easily. For example, after mastering work as an agent, you could become a broker, real estate investor, coach, property manager, etc.


  • The lack of an employer who provides structure can be challenging for some. Being your own boss requires self-discipline and time management skills.
  • A flexible schedule may lead you to work more. Instead of ending work at a set time every day for a fixed amount, you may be tempted to work longer to earn more money.
  • You could miss valuable personal or family time if your clients demand to see properties at inconvenient times (e.g., the weekends or evenings).

Networking and Personal Relationships

pros and cons of becoming a real estate agent

Real estate is a people business. Between clients and other real estate professionals, you’ll work with many people and form an extensive network.


  • Since the average homeowner only moves about every 12 years, your client base will primarily consist of new clients— meaning you can work with various people, bringing new experiences each workday.
  • As a real estate agent, you can help clients find and close on their dream homes. This can be both financially and emotionally rewarding.
  • You can build a robust professional network. Real estate agents must work with other agents, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, contractors, etc.


  • Working on large home transactions can be stressful (for you and your clients). You must learn to work with different personalities and adapt to various temperaments.
  • Building a professional network takes time. At first, you may have few connections and struggle to make your mark in the industry.

Educational Requirements and Training

Becoming a real estate agent requires training and certification. The profession is highly regulated to protect homebuyers and sellers who are making what is often one of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.


  • You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent. In most states, anyone 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED can become an agent by getting their real estate license. Check your state’s requirements to learn more.
  • These days, there are more online agent training opportunities than ever, and many are highly flexible and affordable. For example, PropStream Academy offers free, self-paced online courses on agent marketing, lead generation, and more.


  • Since they are usually self-paced, online agent training programs require you to be self-motivated. If you’re not, getting trained and licensed could take a long time (if you finish). 
  • You must understand and keep updated with the latest agent rules and regulations. Otherwise, you could face costly legal challenges and risk license revocation.

Job Security and Economic Stability

In 2023, U.S. residential real estate was valued at $89 trillion. In 2024, it’s expected to reach over $94 trillion. This means there’s a massive and growing property pie from which real estate agents can take a cut.


  • Americans will likely always need help buying and selling homes. Even in a constrained market, people tend to move as they age, start families, retire, downsize, etc.
  • The real estate industry isn’t going anywhere. People will always need housing to live (and increasingly to work as remote jobs increase), which means there will always be opportunities for real estate agents.


  • The real estate market is seasonal and subject to market fluctuations. Consequently, your income may be irregular and negatively impacted by downturns. To offset this, you must set aside funds for slow periods.
  • For some, the down months can be discouraging. It can be hard to stay motivated when the money isn’t coming in, but it’s crucial to maintain a disciplined work ethic to be successful in the long term.

Market Trends and Challenges

should i become a real estate agent

The current U.S. housing market offers challenges and opportunities for new real estate agents. Understanding the present trends is vital to your success.


  • Homebuyer demand is high. Millennials and some Gen Zers are entering their prime homebuying years (25 to 45). At the same time, many Baby Boomers are retiring and may want to sell their homes to downsize.
  • Though mortgage rates are up from the recent past, some experts expect them to fall this year. If they do, it could boost homebuyer demand and real estate transactions, creating more agent opportunities.
  • Many southern markets are experiencing high population growth. For example, Florida and South Carolina were the fastest-growing states in 2023, growing by 1.7% and 1.6% respectively. Real estate agents who work in these markets may capitalize on the increased housing demand.


  • Home sales are down. Last year, they dropped to 4.09 million, the lowest level in nearly three decades. Though they may pick up, they will likely remain below historical levels due to a persistent housing shortage. For real estate agents, this may leave fewer transactions on the table.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, skyrocketing home prices incentivized many to become real estate agents. In 2021, the number of agents reached an all-time high. This extra competition can make becoming a successful agent challenging.

Technological Advancements

While real estate agents have been around for over a century, recent tech developments are changing how they work.


  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can help you create virtual tours and artificially stage homes with virtual furniture. This can save you time physically staging homes and hosting open houses and showings.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) tech can help you digitally enhance property listing photos to reduce the need for professional photo editing.
  • You can leverage generative AI tools like ChatGPT to perform marketing outreach quickly and at scale.
  • Real estate data platforms (like PropStream) streamline lead generation efforts with detailed information on properties and the ability to niche down and find motivated sellers that make excellent listing leads.


  • While more tech is available for real estate agents than ever, some of it can have a high learning curve. For example, mastering the ins and outs of a new customer relationship management (CRM) software can take time.
  • As new tech makes agents more productive, it may also reduce the need for as many agents in the market, increasing competition.

Start Your Real Estate Career on the Right Foot With PropStream

If you decide to become a real estate agent in 2024 after weighing the pros and cons, stack the odds of success in your favor by equipping yourself with the right tools.

PropStream offers agents a database of over 155 million properties nationwide, which you can sort through using 120+ search filters and 19 Quick Lists. Use it to help your buyer clients find their dream home, accurately price listings by running comparables, and more.

Complete with a suite of marketing tools to help you quickly get in touch with prospects, PropStream is the premier, end-to-end lead generation platform.

Sign up for a 7-day free trial and get 50 leads on us!


Published by PropStream April 1, 2024