6 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent
Becoming a successful real estate agent is a combination of the investing time on education, researching a broker who can help you get your first clients and passing state and national licensing exams. But that’s not all there is to the industry. Read on to find out some of the move overlooked aspects of the real estate business.
1. Get Educated – No matter in which country you live, you must take pre-licensing courses. However, country requirements differ greatly. Fir instance, California, USA requires a different set of education. Can tact your country’s real estate commission for your requirements for licensing.
Some real estate agencies have specific education requirements. Thus, you may have to take an additional course after being hired on with an agency.
2. Choose a Brokerage – A real estate brokerage is the agency or office from which real estate agents and brokers work. Since working with a broker is a requirement in order to practice as a real estate agent, you will need to contact a broker before graduating from your training course. Brokers have at least three years additional real estate training, and can guide you through questions you have when it comes to working in the field, as well as listing and selling homes.
When you look for a broker, think about size of brokerage, its reputation and additional training offered. Check broker reputations by reading online comments, asking friends and neighbors who they’ve had experiences with and getting advice from your instructor on choosing a brokerage.
Another way to learn more about a brokerage is by carefully crafting your interview questions. This will not only help you gather information, but solid interview questions help the broker determine if you’d fit in well with the agency.
A few questions to ask:
- Does your brokerage require additional coursework?
- How many years of experiences do you have?
- Is there someone within the brokerage I can work with a majority of the time while learning?
- What is your client contact style for developing leads?
- How long does it take on average to earn commission checks?
Which answers are acceptable is up to you. For instance, one person may prefer a brokerage that does ask for additional coursework because of a desire for more training before jumping in, while another may appreciate having someone who will work with them everyday while learning.
3. Get Licensed – Real estate licenses require the passing of state and national exams. In addition you may have to provide a criminal background check. Between the exam and license fees for a real estate salesperson, you can expect to pay at least $200 in USA, thought prices vary from country-to-country.
4. Develop a Real Estate Agent Budget – While becoming a real estate agent isn’t cheap, it’s cheaper than entering many professions. Start up fees are estimated between $1500-2000, which should be divided between licensing courses, business cards, signs and advertising and association fees – not counting additional exam fees.
Since real estate is a commission-based business, you’ll also need enough money set aside for you to get by for few months. These are approximations of actual costs because they can vary based on individual choices and country-by-country costs.
5. Make the Realtor/Real Estate Agent Decision – In order to utilize the title “realtor”, you must join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is done by choosing as affiliated brokerage as well as attending a set number of meetings designated by your local chapter.
6. Build Your Client/Referral Portfolio – The best way to build your portfolio is twofold: get a mentor, and use your personal network. Barbara Kennon, the vice president of the National Association of Realtors, says the best arrangement for a new agency you choose who guides you towards buyer/seller contacts and splits commission. You’ll learn the profession from your mentor, while gaining your first commission checks.
Also, asking your friends and family for referrals of people who are considering buying or selling a home is a great way to begin networking. Someone’s always looking for a new home, and the referral may get you started in your new business.
Conclusion – Becoming a real estate agent is similar to starting a small business. Even though you’ll work within a brokerage of established realtors or real estate agents, you need a start up fund for business expenses and to cover several months for personal expenses while you build your client base. Take every step seriously, and you’ll have you first “sold” sigh up with your saving account still intact.
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