Is Real Estate the Career for You?
Nov 03,2006 00:00 by (ARA)

Whether you’re a recent grad looking for your first full-time job or a seasoned professional ready to move on to a new career, if you are goal-oriented, persevering, self-motivated and like to work with people, a career in real estate may be the perfect match for you. But how can you tell for sure?

Before you jump in, take a little time to become familiar with the realities of the profession. A good place to start is by picking up a copy of “Your Successful Real Estate Career from AMACOM Books. Now in its 5th edition, it’s a book many in the industry consider a must-read.

“When I entered the profession a couple of decades ago, I looked for a source of information that would give me a straightforward and reliable insight as to what the business was all about, and what I’d need to succeed. I couldn’t find one, so I decided to sit down and write one myself,” says the book’s author, Kenneth W. Edwards, who started at the bottom as a sales agent at a local firm in Oregon after a sterling 28 year career in the U.S. Air Force, and would eventually rise to become manager of the brokerage.

Since its initial release almost 20 years ago, this classic guide for real estate professionals has sold more than 100,000 copies and remains in’s Top Ten Real Estate Books. With his reassuring but no-nonsense style, Edwards points out the traits and skills people need to succeed in a real estate career, the external factors that influence success and the stumbling blocks they’re likely to encounter. “How well you do will be determined by how adapted you are to the demands of the profession,” he says.

For example, Edwards says, throw the 9-to-5 mentality away. Real estate agents need to be available when their clients need them -- which means at night, on weekends and holidays. You may work for an agency, but should think of yourself as an entrepreneur, not an employee; and you need to really know your product. This means taking the time to become familiar with the primary concerns potential buyers will have, such as crime statistics, school information and neighborhood amenities.

Edwards’ book also offers advice on topics like getting a real estate license, choosing the right brokerage firm, avoiding typical career mistakes, dealing with difficult clients and using the latest technology to improve efficiency and increase sales. “I go into great detail about how agents can go about securing their bread-and-butter: listings or inventory to sell,” says Edwards. “Most people, when they decide they want to list, will call several different real estate companies. To be competitive in such an environment, you need to convince the owners that you are a highly competent practitioner who is capable of selling the property.”

“This book could easily serve as a textbook for a Real Estate 101 course, or even as a nice addition to the library of a guidance counselor or career advisor,” says the Miami Herald.

“A hard-hitting and comprehensive guide. A valuable book on the real estate shelf,” says Dave Liniger, chairman of the board for RE/MAX International, Inc.

The 5th edition of “Your Successful Real Estate Career” is available for purchase at bookstores nationwide, or you can buy it online at