Because of the high cost of living and high real estate prices in New York City, agents make a significantly higher average annual salary than in many other parts of the state. This makes the idea of becoming an NYC real estate agent that much more attractive. However, NYC real estate agents are paid so much because of specific challenges they face, too. So if you’re planning to make this the next step in your career, before you sign up for an NYC real estate licensing course, it’s important to know everything that comes with the job. So to help you decide whether being a real estate agent in NYC is the right step for you, here are the biggest challenges for real estate agents in NYC.
What are the most difficult challenges for real estate agents in NYC?
On all sides, the real estate business is in shambles. Environmental change, altering political climates, volatile markets, rising mortgage rates, and growing technology trends are just a few of the problems that real estate brokers worldwide are dealing with. In fact, when you ask different agents for a list of their biggest obstacles, you’ll get many nearly identical answers.
However, real estate agents in NYC face some unique challenges on top of what we’ve listed above. Further in this article, we’ll let you know what they are. If you feel they’re too difficult to handle, perhaps you should consider a different career. For instance, you can think about applying for a mortgage loan originator license.
Most New Yorkers rent
There’s a lot of potential business in the NYC rental market, with almost 66% of New Yorkers choosing to rent rather than buy their next property. Unfortunately, the commission for a rental is far lower than the commission for a sale. Rental agents often receive a commission of 15% of the annual rate or one month’s rent. This means you’ll need to make a lot of these deals in order to make a living in NYC.
There are no lockboxes in NYC
If you’re a New Yorker, especially if you don’t have real estate experience yet, you must be wondering what a lockbox is. A real-estate lock box is a padlock-shaped box that is usually hung around the doorknob of a property listed for sale. The device stores the keys to a house, allowing all real estate brokers to access it while still keeping the property safe. They are very common in different regions of the country. Quite helpful, right? Well, don’t get your hopes up because, in New York City, both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent must be present. This means that scheduling a simple viewing can quickly turn into a game of long calendar gymnastics.
Co-ops are way too complicated
Condos make up the majority of apartment stock in other cities, but in New York City, we have both condos and co-ops. Buying a co-op is more complicated than buying a condo because of the cooperative ownership structure, and it requires co-op board permission. You will be in charge of assisting your clients in preparing for their co-op board interview, as well as preparing their co-op board package. Be aware that co-op board packages often necessitate a lot of paperwork and, in some cases, a printer! Because of how complicated they can be, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions during your real estate exam prep.
New Yorkers find floor plans crucial
While home buyers in many other markets expect to see listings with garages and pantries, buyers in NYC expect listings with floor plans. They might even be skeptical or demand to see a floor plan before visiting an apartment if the ad does not provide one. While floor plans are widespread in sales houses, they are less typical in rental properties, which can be a significant drawback.
The competition is fierce
In almost every line of work, coming across competition is completely normal. Heck, in some cases, it is even considered healthy. However, when it comes to being a real estate agent in NYC, you need to be prepared for some really tough competition. This means you need to find ways to stand out. For example, let’s say you have clients who bought a condo and are about to move locally from the other part of the city. Your job can end with contract signing, or you can add a little extra and recommend local NYC movers to help them settle in a new area. Your clients will appreciate the gesture. You can expect them to recommend you to their friends and family members in return.
Many co-ops and rentals don’t have square footage records
We already mentioned that most co-ops and rentals in New York City lack square footage records. This makes marketing and selling them that much more difficult. As most NYC home buyers prioritize square footage, this is frequently the first question they’ll ask. Condos, on the other hand, do offer square footage information. This truly makes it all the more aggravating that co-ops and rentals don’t. However, The Department of Buildings maintains a database of for-sale floor plans that you can access for free. But if you can’t find the floor plan you need there, we strongly recommend you at least consider investing in a floor plan if you’re advertising a listing without one.
Travel expenses and time can be very high
Real estate agents in NYC must prepare for presenting listings all around the city. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method for getting around quickly and efficiently. Public transit is frequently unreliable, particularly on weekends when all agents are most busy. On the other hand, driving is no better, and finding a parking spot on the street is close to impossible. Many agents take cabs or rideshares for those reasons, which can quickly become expensive. So your best bet is to invest in an excellent pair of shoes and a monthly MetroCard.
The bottom line
Even with all the challenges for real estate agents in NYC, real estate agents are still among the best in the entire country, not just by their salaries but by their expertise and knowledge, too. If you want to be one of them, all it takes is to choose a quality real estate learning center, and in a matter of days, you’ll be ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way!