Are you thinking of getting into real estate, or maybe you are already into it, but
in a phase where you doubt if you are on the right track?

Then you might be wondering if real estate is the best sales job.

Having a real estate sales job as a realtor checks all the boxes for optimal requirements of a good sales job.

Compared to other sales jobs, it ranks at the top in terms of yearly commission earnings, and it has a high degree of freedom. So from this angle, you could consider it the best sales job.

Would you like to learn how I got to this conclusion? Then read through the rest of my article.

The General Benefits of Being in a Sales Job

When you have a regular job, you usually get a salary. Still, you can only grow in terms of your salary increase.

The only thing you can do to increase your salary is to ask for a raise, once a year.

To be fair, in some companies, you can also get shares of the company and get a tiny bit of a “leveraged income.”

But what is a “leveraged income.”

A leveraged income means that your hourly income is not fixed with time but can grow based on your performance.

This performance can increase when you use other methods of leverage.

Suppose you are a real estate agent (not a broker yet). You leverage other people’s traffic (e.g., Google or Facebook) to generate many seller leads.

And you manage to generate so many leads outside of your state where you hold a license that you can refer those leads to other agents.

Now you leverage not only other people’s traffic but also other people’s time, in this case, your partner realtors’ time.

If on top of that, you are specialized in properties on the higher end of things, you can multiply the hourly income you may have had before.

You get paid commissions based on the value of your transactions.

This means the more you sell, the more you make per hour. On the downside, this also means that you don’t make any money if you don’t sell anything.

Which is something you won’t experience with average jobs.

What is Considered a Good Sales Job

From above, we can conclude that a good sales job is a job where the average transaction value is as high as possible to give you an excellent earning potential via commissions.

Secondly, it is a job where you have the freedom to explore and exploit different types of leverage.

The types of leverage you should be able to take advantage of in a sales job are:

  • Financial leverage (other people’s money, e.g., in case you are also a real estate investor and apply different investment strategies with third party money)
  • Time leverage (other people’s time, e.g., several partner realtors in other states that can work your leads)
  • Technology & systems leverage (e.g., you managed to automate your real estate business with the maximum amount of apps that run like an oiled machine and also have business systems implemented via an operational manual)
  • Communication & marketing leverage (e.g., an effective real estate content marketing strategy that brings in quality leads regularly and a follow-up system on top)
  • Relationship leverage (e.g., this would be your sphere of influence)

By the way, the different types of leverage I mentioned here are from the book “The Leverage Equation“, which I highly recommend. I applied them to the use case of being a realtor.

The Best Sales Jobs According to Median Income in Commissions

Before I can conclude whether real estate is the best sales job, let’s also compare sales jobs in other fields in terms of median income.

So I looked at income data from payscale with a focus only on commissions.

Why this focus? Because I was interested only in truly scalable income.

And I used the sales jobs that are commonly considered across different articles as the best sales jobs, which are:

  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Medical device representative
  • Enterprise sales/account representative
  • Realtor
  • Software sales representative
  • Sales engineer

In the following table, I collected the different commission incomes to better compare the jobs and reach a conclusion.

Sales JobMedian Commission on the Low End (per year)Median Commission on the High-End (per year)
Realtor$25,000$181,000
Enterprise sales/account executive$20,000$158,000
Medical device sales representative$10,000$91,000
Sales engineer$5,000$43,000
Software sales representative$4,000$61,000
Pharmaceutical sales representative$3,000$40,000

As you can see, when we only focus on the commission, realtors come out on rank number one.

I would also assume that all the other sales jobs have lower degrees of freedom when it comes to leverage from the list.

Most of these jobs are embedded in a corporate context where sales reps have to deal with more constraints than a realtor.

These constraints could be using only a particular type of marketing, corporate bureaucracy, or inefficient technology.

If you know people who tried to motivate changes in a large corporation, you will know what I mean.

Is getting Into Real Estate Worth It [Bonus]?

Provided you either have already good sales and thus communication skills or you are motivated to develop and improve them, it is worth getting into real estate.

There are only a few other careers in sales where you earn the same or more with the same overall flexibility.

From above, we learned that real estate agents are ranked at least in the top five regarding commission income.

There are also other real estate jobs, some earning fixed fees, others also with commission earnings, such as the following:

  • Commercial real estate loan officers
  • Commercial leasing managers
  • Commercial appraisers
  • Residential appraisers
  • Commercial real estate loan officers
  • Commercial real estate brokers
  • Compliance specialists
  • Community development managers
  • Foreclosure specialists
  • Escrow officers
  • Lease administrators
  • Leasing consultants
  • Land administration managers
  • Lease administration managers
  • Mortgage credit analysts
  • Mortgage collection managers
  • Mortgage loan officers
  • Mortgage loan processing managers
  • Mortgage loan processors
  • Top retail real estate executives
  • Top mortgage loan servicing managers
  • Top commercial real estate executives
  • Real estate consultants
  • Real estate attorneys
  • Residential property managers
  • Property managers
  • Retail real estate managers
  • Real estate zoning managers
  • Real estate sales agents
  • Real estate and relocation directors
  • Title examiners

The majority of the previously mentioned jobs are also related to sales. So having sales skills is again the key.

To answer whether it is worth getting into real estate, we need to answer the underlying question if you either have good sales and people skills or are willing to improve them.

In this article, I covered how you can improve your real estate sales skills. I also mentioned that to improve your sales skills, you will need to become a good communicator by employing the following skills:

  • Knowing to use the correct communication method
  • Being able to listen actively
  • Being confident
  • Communicate with friendliness
  • Showing empathy
  • Being able to provide and accept feedback
  • Mutual respect (you respecting the potential customer and vice versa)
  • Being responsive
  • Having enough emotional intelligence to pick up nonverbal cues

If you either don’t have good sales skills or are not motivated to develop or improve them, getting into real estate isn’t worth it, in my opinion.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher

Tobias Schnellbacher