How Much Do Real Estate Agents Really Make Per Year? What it Takes to Become the Best One?

Real Estate is a very big opportunity market and if you become good at it and are really good with people you can be pulling some great six-figure income without a college degree! I really wanted to touch this subject for you to explore as an opportunity if you decide to become real estate agent. To me the best part about this is that you can combine this gig with other career to make the most money.

However, you must know that the market for becoming a real estate agent is growing very fast and you will have to stand out from the rest if you want to become a successful real estate agent.

Many real estate agents don’t make even close to six-figure income, and many quit the work as a real estate agent before even earning first commission.

How Much Can You Earn as a Real Estate Agent?

Majority of real estate agents are commission-based. What that means is that you earn money when you sell or help to buy a house. In general rule, usually when a seller is looking to sell their house, the real estate agents come in to help and charge 5-7% commission on whatever the amount the house will sell for. Then, that commission is split between the buying and selling agent. So, 6% commission split in two will give 3% to each agent. An established real estate agents could make some great money if they sell just a few $1,000,000 houses per year and of course a lot of the houses are well-below a million dollars which gives a smaller commission.

Where it gets particularly interesting is that the 6% might be split among other places and not just the selling and buying agent. The broker or the company that the selling or buying agent working for is most likely be receiving some sort of commission as well. Another thing to know is that the agents are also responsible for their own expenses like signs, gas to drive customers around, advertising, association fees, and other expenses. Tip: The expenses can be written off for taxes each year.

So if an agent sells 3 houses worth 1 million each at 6% split by two which equal to $30,000 for selling and buying agent. That $30,000 might run into $20,000 after the agent pays the broker, then all the expenses come in as I mentioned above which could really bring that $30,000 income initially to just $10,000.

So, how much can you earn as a real estate agent? According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average real estate agent as of 2017 (latest) is $47,880 per year or $23.02 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned $23,130. The highest 10 percent earned more than $19,490.

How to Become Successful Real Estate Agent?

I know at this point you might be wondering, how would you know any of that? Are you a real estate agent? Well, I spent a lot of time researching before writing this post and personally living in Southern California where the real estate agents are honestly almost everywhere I really looked into becoming one as I would think it is a great field.

So, how do you become successful real estate agent?

If you want to make six-figure income as real estate agent, then you will need much more than just getting your license and wait for people to call you to sell their house.

It is just like owning any business as you have to gain trust in community or in other words establish your name. You need to make sure that you also find sources to advertise yourself and even print the signs on affordable sites because the less you spend, the more you will be able to take home.

Every real estate agent has their own ways of investing into themselves and at first you will have to explore the options and maybe even lose some money, but then as you see which source gets you the most attention, your best bet is to invest more into that.

Establishing relationships is crucial in this kind of business or any other in reality. As I stated earlier in the post, it is important for people to gain trust in you and you need to be a likable person to be a successful agent. Then, after you establish yourself… Guess what? People will start coming to you because they heard about you from somebody and the word got out and you won’t have to spend much anymore on advertising fees, but instead focus on meeting people and making some great money in return.

Also, know the difference between selling $200,000 house vs a $2,000,000 house because it all comes down to you and the market you are targeting. So, aim higher and higher as you start making the real estate gig happen.

How Soon are You Going to Make Money?

Firstly, it is a very competitive type of business and because no college degree required, it is rather packed field with many joining almost daily. You will spend some money before you start the career with expenses as I mentioned earlier. So, this is not something you can just switch to unless you have plenty of money available at your disposal. This is perfect if you are getting your real estate license on the side as you are working somewhere else to cover your daily living expenses.

Some best ways to start making money in real estate is while you working on getting your certificate is to land a job at real estate company – to gain experience and connections and some agencies will even pay for your real estate license which can be pricey

After you get your real estate license it is recommended that you let your friends and family know that you are a real estate agent and hopefully the word will spread around to their friends and family. Referrals are crucial in this business to succeed, especially in the beginning as you start out.


I hope you know this, because in order to become real estate agent, you’ll need to become licensed. It is important that you learn as the years go and things change in real estate, so you need to be self-learner to be up to the industry updated. Simply quick reading on the real estate news will do fine.

Bottom Line

As anything goes with almost no college degree required, this field is fast growing and highly selective if you want to become top real estate agent.

It is important to have people skills, people need to like for them to share your name with others and I believe that this is the most important skill to have in this kind of business.

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