Economists say Arizona's job growth and our housing market are getting better. Things are starting to turn around. As a result, one valley firm is looking to hire dozens of real estate agents each month to meet up with the demand for homes.
It's been a rough few years for many real estate agents after the housing market crashed and foreclosures skyrocketed.
But in another sign the market is turning around -- HomeSmart plans on hiring thousands of new realtors this year.
About 150 people packed a conference room in Phoenix Thursday in a training session for realtors.
HomeSmart CEO Chuck Lemire says they'll be hiring 120 new agents in Arizona every month in 2013.
"The real estate industry over the last number of decades has seen real transition. Because when things are tough -- really those seasoned veterans who know the industry and they know it well -- are the ones who are able to survive," he says.
But again now that the market is improving -- and looks like it will continue to -- many people are jumping in and trying their hand at the real estate business.
"People are seeing the real estate industry as a viable career to provide the financial support for their families."
People like Rich McHone, who worked for a baking company for more than 30 years before going to real estate school 3 months ago.
"I saw that real estate looked like it was really going to start taking off in '13 and '14. So when my wife and I discussed whether or not it was a good time -- one morning by lunch I called her and said I'm signed up for school," says McHone.
When the market crashed, many realtors quit the business. But now with home sales and prices on the upswing, many agents who were only working part-time during the lean times are now back to full-time sales.
McHone says he's optimistic about his second career.
"Well it's interesting, friends and family when I tell them I was in it, they would just say 'well it's about time.'"
Lemire says inventory is moving quickly, and across the nation, home prices are expected to show their first gains since 2006.