Trendy housing industry and pandemic drag new real estate agents into the business


Jodi Santosuosso started taking real estate classes last fall after the pandemic and rising costs forced her to close her cold-pressed juice store in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District. She took her things, Daily Press, online and spending Mondays delivering juice to customers’ doors. The switch to e-commerce has left Santosuosso with a lot of free time.

She passed the state real estate exam in early January and signed with eXp Realty, an online brokerage company. In March, it closed its first sale, in the city’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood.

“I’m working with a handful of buyers right now, but some people just take their time,” said Santosuosso, who is 38. “They want to wait until it’s the perfect home or property for them. And then I work with an out-of-state client who is an investor. These also go so fast, houses in rehab . We’ve made three offers so far that have been outbid. It’s tough, but I feel pretty good where I am. “

The state requires agents to take 120 hours of instruction, obtain sponsorship from an Ohio real estate broker, and pass a licensing test. According to a recent report provided to the Ohio Real Estate Commission by Anne Petit, superintendent of the real estate and licensing arm of the Department of Commerce, about 72% of applicants in the state have passed this sales exam.

As of April 5, there were 48,865 active, inactive, or suspended sales licenses in Ohio.

“It’s cheap to get a real estate license, and I think a lot of people would think it’s relatively easy to get a real estate license,” said Task, a former restaurateur who started a career in the business. real estate after the collapse of his business following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“But it’s not easy to be successful in real estate – or any other business venture,” he said. “It takes determination, hard work and persistence. “

A record-breaking inventory can be intimidating, but a shortage of listings doesn’t necessarily mean that new agents are more likely to fail.

Sales are generally up, despite the low supply of housing on the market. In Cuyahoga County, for example, March sales were 6% above last year’s levels, according to the MLS now registration service. The average selling price of a home last month was $ 210,944, a 5.2% increase from March 2020.

And new registrations are on the rise, said Jackie Cassara, vice president and manager of the Cleveland Heights office for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. The Pittsburgh-based company is putting more emphasis on teaching new agents how to search for listings, she said.

“A pivot that we have really done is how to do it in the days of COVID, how to do it safely, how to work with sellers who, for various reasons, might be reluctant to put their homes on the market,” said Cassara, who has twenty years of experience teaching real estate.


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