The Steps You Need to Take to Become a Real Estate Agent
According to the National Association of Realtors, there are approximately 1.5 million real estate agents working in the United States alone (NAR, 2015). But did you know that 80% of new agents fail within their first two years? If you’re thinking about becoming a real estate agent, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before committing. The steps you need to take to become a real estate agent include getting your license, building your client base and network, and increasing your skill set with continuing education.
1) Get Educated
To sell real estate in most states, you need to become licensed. There are several ways to do so; search online for your state’s licensing requirements and then begin researching accredited schools or training programs that offer classes in your area. Becoming licensed allows you to legally work with clients and conduct business, which is crucial if you want to launch your own business down the line. There are also continuing education requirements; these will vary by state but will usually require between 8-16 hours of annual training every year.
2) Get Licensed
If you’re interested in being a real estate agent, your first step is to get licensed. This involves taking classes on laws and regulations surrounding real estate transactions. Your state will be able to tell you how much education is required, what tests need to be passed, etc. Once you’ve got your license in place, it’s time for some good old-fashioned job hunting!
3) Register Yourself
When you go to become an agent, you’ll need some form of government-issued identification with your name and address. Some agents choose not to list their home address on their license, preferring instead to use a P.O. box as their address. This is perfectly acceptable and it doesn’t cost anything extra. However, if you do decide to use a P.O.
4) Get Experience
There are three primary ways that aspiring real estate agents can gain experience in today’s market: be an intern, work at an established firm, or start your own business. Whichever path you choose, it’s crucial that you find yourself in one of these situations as quickly as possible so that you can truly learn what’s involved with being a real estate agent. Without hands-on experience under your belt, landing an agent job after graduation will prove difficult.
5) Build Your Network
As a real estate agent, you’ll be in constant contact with home buyers and sellers. Making yourself known in your community is an important step to getting your foot in the door at a real estate agency. One of my best pieces of advice for real estate agents is don’t be afraid to get involved with community events. This will not only expose you to potential clients, but it will also get people talking about you and generate positive buzz about your services.
6) Be Flexible
While there are many guidelines and regulations you’ll need to abide by as a real estate agent, your job can be as flexible as you make it. Because real estate is such an expansive field with its own set of laws and regulations that vary from state-to-state, there isn’t really one specific type of agent you need to be. For example, some agents work full-time hours at their local office while others work remotely from home.
7) Understand How Much Work It is
Becoming a real estate agent takes hard work and perseverance. It’s not an easy gig by any means, and many agents find themselves pulling 18-hour days for months or even years at a time. So if you don’t have what it takes, get out now! Your clients will want someone who is willing to work hard for them; there is no other way around it. There is no other way around it.