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Ask Curbed: Should I Become a Real Estate Broker?

This might be the finest Ask Curbed question we've ever received:

Hi Curbed, should I become a real estate broker? I'm sort of frustrated at my current job and have always fantasized about entering the real estate fray. Becoming a broker seems intriguing, but I have a few questions:
Hours: I love the idea that you make your own hours, but considering I've mostly been able to look at apartments on the evenings and weekends, I assume that's when I'd be doing most of my work?

Money: The thing that scares the hell out of me is the no salary thing. I know that there could be a big pot a gold at the end of that tunnel, but what do you do in the meantime?
Timing: How long does it usually take until you can be up and running and making some cash after you have your license and are hired at a firm? (I know its different with everyone...just trying to get a ballpark feel). NOTE: I did not grow up on the Upper East Side, Palm Beach or Greenwich, therefore I have no built in cache of rich, trust fund kid friends with money to burn.

I would love to hear from others who have switched industries to try their hand in the wacky world of NYC real estate...the good, the bad and the ugly.

To head off any snarky comments:

· No, I am not an idiot.
· No, I do not think becoming a successful real estate agent is "easy" or will "solve all of my problems."
· Yes, I do realize that not EVERYONE who grew up on the Upper East Side, in Palm Beach or in Greenwich is a rich, trust fund kid with money to burn.
· Yes, I understand that there are likely better sources for getting career advice than strangers on a blog. I just happen to love curbed, read it a lot and guess that there are likely many (dozens ?) of other fast-talkin, moving and shakin' successful brokers out there who also read your site and could give a naive chump like me some advice.


Let us practice civility, utility, and joy as we respond in the comments.