Today the New York Times set out to understand why 156,000 people joined the National Association of Realtors in 2020 and 2021 combined for a total of 1.5 million registered realtors, a figure 60 percent higher than in the two years prior. The Times cited Google search trends, where the top job-related query between January 2021 and January 2022 was “how to become a real estate agent.”
Of course, during this period Americans were losing their jobs in droves. The barrier to entry for becoming a real estate agent is lower than other lucrative careers: the Times reported that training to become a realtor takes two or three months and costs “a couple hundred dollars, though brokerage and multiple listing service fees can cost a few thousand dollars more.”
Okay, but is that reason enough? Especially when there are only 910,000 homes on the market across the nation, but 1.5 million realtors looking to sell? Especially knowing, via an expert interview by the Times, that only an estimated 1 out of 10 realtors will survive long enough to make a full-time living selling homes? And is this not sounding a bit like a similar situation to the one that the unsalaried women in buttery-soft leggings in the LulaRoe documentary were in?
Only one realtor the Times interviewed was money moves enough to fess up to something adjacent to what I’d guess is the real reason for this rash of high-stakes hustling: While living with his parents in Minnesota after leaving New York, he started watching Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” and read a book by the show’s star, Ryan Serhant (presumably 2021’s “Big Money Energy”).
Serhant doesn’t exactly activate my primal “let's get this bread” instincts, but you know who does make me want to become a realtor? Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, who became an early quarantine star with her breakout role on the Netflix show.
She’s my beautiful little lollipop, and she bagged a nice rich dork while selling him that titular Sunset. She walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Sweet But Psycho.” She’s still saying “boss bitch” and “manifesting.” The one thing she doesn’t have is a vegan empanada brand, but she makes do just fine.
I know I’m not alone.
Who wouldn’t want to live like her? But listen up, fives, because a ten is speaking: you will never be Christine Quinn. You will never have the sacred geometry of her curves or a black wedding dress.
You’ll be begging for commission on a paltry little $1.4 million modern farmhouse in Studio City, and she will be in Mallorca. Quit now.