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6 things I wish I knew before becoming a real estate agent
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Before becoming a journalist, I took a stab at a career as a real estate agent. From having a flexible schedule to working independently, many aspects of the job appealed to me.

But as my fingers glide across the keyboard behind my desk at National Mortgage News, you may be able to guess that things didn't pan out as planned. Perhaps my biggest downfall was being unprepared to take on the real estate career ahead of me. There are a number of "surprises" I wish I had foreseen before diving in. Today, I realize working as an agent equates more with being a business owner than it does working as a freelancer at your own pace.

Mortgage loan officers and real estate agents serve the same customer and play complementary roles in the home buying process. And the right partner can be a key source of referral business. But the LO/agent dynamic is often strained by a lack of understanding about the difficulties that professionals face — when the reality is that many of those challenges are felt on both sides of the mortgage and real estate equation.

With that in mind, here's a look at the six things I wish I knew before becoming a real estate agent.