West Side Spirit
BUYERS CROWD THE MARKET – AND BROKERS DO, TOO
In one school for brokers, enrollment’s tripled
By Patricia Greco
The cost of housing has skyrocketed. Bidding wars are the name of the game. The real-estate market is a battlefield. Yet there’s no shortage of recruits: as the industry grows more competitive, many real-estate schools are reporting enrollment rates have soared.
The National Association of Realtors reports a 27 percent increase in its membership over the past three years, to 977,000. According to Laura Rubinfeld, executive officer of the Manhattan Association of Realtors, established in 2001, 450 of those members work in Manhattan.
Esther Muller, master teacher and president of the Real Estate Academy, said the average number of students in a single class at her school has grown from 20 to 60 people. Interest rates are the lowest they have been in more than 40 years, Muller explained, and as buyers are crowding the industry, many people see a future in the profession.
But Muller said that it is not just
the hot market that attracts so many
“A lot of bright people have lost their jobs,” she said, adding that real estate offers them a chance to establish a profession where their “entrepreneurial spirit” may prosper.
Arthur Shinensky, a former student
at the Real Estate Academy who now works for Goodstein Realty, left
a 33-year career on Wall Street to enter
“It’s an exciting field,”
he said, and one that requires a lot of initiative.
“If you have the ability to get
out of bed in the morning, go to work and
Of course, you have to get your salesperson
license first. In New York
According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in 2002, there is another difference between the two: a broker typically earns more. While the median income of a salesperson is $39,300, the median income of the broker is $65,300.
To become a broker, an applicant must have at lease one year of experience as a licensed real-estate salesperson, or a minimum of two years’ experience in the general real-estate field. In addition, the applicant must complete a 45-hour real-estate broker course and pass another 2.5-hour qualifying exam.
An expired license can be renewed within
two years of expiration if
But Muller estimated that only 60 percent of her students remain in the business once they pass their licensing exam.
Because there are so many misconceptions about real estate, people drop out of the field at the same rate as they enter it, Jacky Teplitzky, an executive vice president at Douglas Elliman said.
People who enter the field thinking that as independent contractors they will work less are in for a rude awakening, Teplitzky said. In reality, she said, agents have to work more hours, and even weekends, to make the big bucks.
It’s not just about showing kitchens and bathrooms, she explained. It’s about knowing the ins and outs of the market.
But not everybody attends the course to become a salesperson or a broker. According to Muller, 15 percent of her students attend classes to learn more about real estate and make educated investments. The real-estate industry, she believes, is much more competitive because clients are much smarter.
“Buyers are very, very savvy,”
said Marjorie Magid, a vice president
According to Victoria Medina, a Halstead
agent, buyers should have a “checklist” of what they want,
including neighborhood, space and cost,
According to Teplitzky, the boards are very concerned with whether or not prospective buyers invest their money in “volatile” places. And of course, she added, boards expect buyers to have a solid income and substantial savings. For a $1 million home in Manhattan, in a building that requires no more than 75 percent of the cost be financed, Teplitzky estimated a client would need a $300,000 salary and $200,000 in savings, after down payment, to pass the co-op board.
Overall, Teplitzky said, the market
is strong and it is a good time for people