Choosing your career is a big and major life decision. There are many things to take into consideration when deciding on your career path. What do you enjoy doing? What are your best assets? What are your weaknesses? Do you enjoy working with others or prefer to work alone? Do you enjoy sales? Do you enjoy managing? The list goes on.
Becoming a real estate agent is a popular choice among people looking to change careers, at all stages in life. Real estate is considered a potentially lucrative field with many benefits for those who want to be self-employed. In this post, we will discuss the various aspects of being a real estate agent, how to get certified and more. If you’re interested in how to become a real estate agent, follow these simple steps.
1. Think about the qualities that make a successful real estate agent
While real estate can be an exciting field, it is also a very crowded one. In order to succeed, you’ll need to stand out. Even more, it’s important to consider if you are a good match for the field before getting started.
If you’re interested in being a real estate agent, here are a few of the most important qualities required to be successful:
- Negotiation skills - You’ll need to negotiate deals and sometimes be aggressive in doing so. It’s important that you feel comfortable with this and not be afraid to talk about money.
- A strong personality - Selling homes is about much more than the home itself. You’re selling a lifestyle and often a dream. You’ll need to be able to connect to people’s emotions and earn their trust.
- Networking skills - This is a must for a successful real estate agent. Connections are everything in this field and you’ll need to connect with other professionals, agencies, etc.
- Motivation and determination - Selling real estate can be difficult. You’ll need to have a sense of motivation and a strong sense of determination. You’ll face obstacles along the way and you’ll need to be resilient in order to keep going.
2. Check out requirements and qualifications for being a real estate agent in your area
The requirements for being a real estate agent differ from state to state. It’s important to check out what you’ll need to do and the requirements for becoming a real estate agent in your specific area. Most states have the same basic requirements:
- Age requirement: 18-21 years old minimum
- U.S. Citizenship
- In certain states you may need to do a background check including fingerprints.
- Coursework before exams
- Licensing exam - this is the exam you need to take in order to get your license.
3. Choose real estate agent training
There are various options available for real estate agent training. These include face-to-face classes and courses, online real estate agent training and more. As you consider beginning your real estate training and certification, take into account which method is best for your studies. Make sure to check the requirements for your state. There are states which do not allow for online studies!
If you do decide to go for online classes, there are various online schools specializing in real estate training. If you prefer (or your state requires) in-person courses or classes, check out the leading schools in your area. You’ll have to take into account location, time, requirements and more when making your decision.
4. Take the licensing exam
In order to become a real estate agent, you’ll need to pass the certification exam. Once again, different states have different requirements so make sure to enquire about your location.
The first step is to register for the exam. Do this by visiting your state’s real estate commission’s website. You’ll have to provide proof that you did pre-licensing coursework and then you’ll be able to pick a time and location for the exam. You’ll also have to pay a fee which is typically between $50-$100.
Once registered for the exam, it’s time to start studying. One of the best ways to do this is by completing practice exams. These exams are in the same format as the real exam (usually 100-120 multiple choice questions). You may find it helpful to form a study group with other aspiring real estate agents or to attend a course in your area.
If you pass the exam, you can continue in the certification process. If you fail (don’t worry, many people fail the first time), you can retake the exam after 24 hours.
Once you pass the exam, you’ll have to find a sponsoring broker. Schedule meetings with potential sponsors. This is a requirement in order to receive your certification. Once this is arranged, you can submit your license application to the state.
5. Get to work
Once you’ve completed the licensing and certification process, it’s time to get to work. Branching out into a new field can feel overwhelming at times but also very exciting.
As a new real estate agent, you’ll have to decide how you plan to work. Most agents will join an agency or work with a broker when getting started. A broker often has more managerial experience and has a team of agents under him/her.
In order to land your first deal, you’ll need to get started marketing, networking in the field and joining professional organizations. Don’t forget to build a website, create printed materials to give to clients and to buy the appropriate insurance. When starting out, most realtors don’t think about what can potentially go wrong in their business. However, it is very important to protect yourself in the event that something doesn’t go as planned. Every small business needs to have business insurance and if you’re working in real estate, we recommend getting real estate agent insurance specifically tailored for your needs.
How to Become a Realtor - Final Thoughts
In this post, we’ve laid out the steps that will help you answer the question, “how do you become a real estate agent?”
Choosing to become a real estate agent is an exciting step towards a new career. As we’ve mentioned, the steps are relatively simple and you’ll be able to get to work before you know it. Good luck!