If you are looking to start a career in real estate, then you may be wondering how does a person become a real estate agent. There is no one answer for this question. It all depends on what your goals and qualifications are.
This blog post will cover 8 steps that can help prepare you for the journey of becoming a professional in the field, while also giving some insight into what it takes to make it as an agent.
I’ve been a real estate agent for over 8 years. Through my experience, I’ve learned that becoming a real estate agent is an uphill battle. You are going to earn every single commission you get and work hard for your income because it’s tough out here in the field.
First, before we hop into it. Let’s discuss what do real estate agents do?
What Do Real Estate Agents Do?
The main job of a real estate agent is to help people buy and sell a property. They market homes for sale and also help prospective buyers purchase homes.
Real estate agents are required to negotiate contracts, facilitate transactions, and connect buyers and sellers with the resources they need to buy or sell a home.
When you are thinking about if you want to become a real estate agent, you should know that you will be required to put in a lot of hours.
Steps To Become A Real Estate Agent
The first step to becoming a new real estate agent is to get a license.
To get a real estate license, you need to have a high school diploma or GED, and you must pass the licensing exam. You do not need a college degree in most states but they do require some sort of schooling.
In addition to your high school diploma or GED, you will need to take real estate courses.
Most real estate courses are done online but you can also take them in person. I have an article that discusses the cheapest real estate schools online if you’d like to check it out.
When you attend real estate school, you will learn what you need to know about passing your state exam. There are different course requirements for each state and the number of hours you will need will depend on where you plan on practicing real estate.
After you complete your real estate courses, you will need to take the real estate licensing exam for your state.
Pass The Real Estate License Exam
Most people know they need to pass the real estate exam, but many have no idea what is on it. You will take a test with at least 150 questions and some states require you to get 100% of them correct or near-perfect before passing.
If you want more information about the specific state requirements for taking your licensing exam, you’ll want to check the website for your state’s real estate commission.
The state exam can be a little tricky so be sure to study before you take it. You may also want to take an exam prep course just to make sure you are ready.
Pass A Background Check
Once you’ve passed the exam, it’s time to get your background check.
This is an important step because even though licensed agents aren’t allowed to have a criminal record, some states require them before they are able to take on clients as well.
When going through this process, make sure that if there are any infractions in your background.
Pay Your Fees
There are fees associated with getting your official real estate license. .
Each state has a different fee system so make sure to check your website.
Depending on where you are located, the cost can range from $75-$150.
When all is said and done, it could be up to 500 dollars before you start making any money as a real estate agent which makes this process both expensive and time-consuming.
After you’ve passed your exam and paid your fees, then you will need to choose a real estate broker to hold your license.
Choose A Brokerage
A brokerage is a group of real estate agents that work together to sell homes.
You will need to choose which broker you want to hold your license with, just like any other profession. .
Different brokers have different levels and types of services they offer so do some research beforehand!
One tip is to find a brokerage that has the same values as you or seems compatible with what type of business ethic you would like for yourself. The best way is to ask around from people who are already working in this field about their thoughts on certain organizations.
It’s also important not only to think about the size but also how big an area it covers because larger areas often mean more opportunities than smaller ones and vice versa (depending on where you live).
You will have the opportunity to interview different brokerages to find the one for you. If you want to know questions to ask during your interview, download my 60 Questions To Ask A Broker When Interviewing guide to help you.
Join the National Association of Realtors
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offers many benefits for its members including discounts on certain company products as well as state licenses for those that are required to have one.
The easiest way to join the National Association of Realtors is to do it through your local real estate board. Most areas have a governing board of Realtors that can help you with this.
When you join the board, they will give you access to the multiple listing service, lockboxes, continuing education, and more. Its recommended that you join after choosing a broker because if you are in a major area, there may be multiple boards and you want to choose the right one for your brokerage.
Once you’ve done this, you’re pretty much ready to start selling. There’s one more step I recommend before you hit the ground running.
Get Some New Agent Training
Although you went to real estate school and received your real estate education, the learning doesn’t stop there. It’s important for real estate agents to be well educated on how to do an actual transaction.
There is a ton of real estate agent training available. Some agents go to courses that are from their brokerage, others may attend classes that vendors offer.
I’ve even seen some agents do things like take online real estate classes on Udemy in order to get new skills for selling homes.
The type of training you choose should depend on what your interests and needs are as an agent. For example, if you’re just starting out, it’s important to understand how all parts of the transaction work before you start working with clients who have more experience than you- this could be residential or commercial transactions, contract law, escrow instructions, or any other topic related to being an agent.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Real Estate Agent?
The time it takes to become a real estate agent can be very short. It just depends on the path you decide to take.
A person could take a few hours or days to complete online classes, work with an agency for experience and mentorship in order to get licensed, then go out on their own as a real estate agent.
Or it might take months of hard work and commitment working full time at the office before taking the necessary tests in order to sit for your licensing exam. This is something that’s up to the individual considering how quickly they feel comfortable jumping into being self-employed without any previous experience.
The average amount of training needed can be anywhere from 12 weeks – 12 months (or more) depending on what type of license you’re needing for your state and if attending school counts towards your course hours.
The process to become a real estate agent is not easy. You will need to show persistence and determination in order to complete all the steps involved, but it will be worth it when you are able to find your own success as an agent.
This may require you to take on more responsibility and work longer hours, but it’s worth it for that all-important unlimited earning potential!
Once you’re ready, check out my coaching for new real estate agents that I have available. It will help you get your first 3 deals within your first 90 days.