4 Essential Steps to Starting a Career in Real Estate

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 07 November 2018 13:46

Selling real estate can be a rewarding and lucrative career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 the median salary in this field was $46,000. It can be a fun career that allows you to meet interesting new people and make connections in your community. That being said, you cannot simply wake up one day and decide you are going to sell real estate. There are important steps to follow in order to properly and successfully enter this career.


Step One: Learn Your State's Requirements

In order to legally be considered a real estate agent, you will need to get a license from your state. The requirements can vary between the states, so research will be required to find out exactly what you need to do. This article from Investopedia gives you a good idea of the specific requirements your state may have, including age, education, criminal history, etc.


Although a 4-year college degree is not needed for this career, it is a good idea to have one. Some universities allow you to major in real estate. Starting your own real estate agency is very exciting. Opening your own business is always a scary venture the last thing you want is for your business to fail. Although it is not necessary to have a 4 year degree to become a licensed real estate agent, you will find much more success with a business degree. If you are like most people and don't have the time to go back to school, you may want to look into online degrees. They are much more flexible and you won't be sorry you furthered your business knowledge.


Step Two: Find a Pre-Licensing Course

No matter where you live, you will need to complete the required number of hours of pre-licensing courses. The exact number of hours can vary greatly from state to state. This is where you will need to make a financial investment. Classes can cost upwards of $200. If you are too busy to attend a brick and mortar class, consider taking them online. No matter how you take your classes, be sure to have all of the completion certificates and/or transcripts when you go to apply for your license.


The types of things you will need to learn about can vary, again by what state you live in. Topics to expect include real estate law, principles, and fundamentals. More things you may learn about can be found in this article from The Street. After completing this schooling, you may want to look into an exam-prep course before trying for your license.


Step Three: Take the Licensing Exam

Signing up for taking your real estate license exam will be done online. Check your specific state's real estate commission website for information like test sites, schedules, and fees. At this point, you will need to go through the background check process. Fingerprinting is usually required. These checks are repeated when you renew your license, so be sure to maintain a clean record.


Expect your exam to feature multiple-choice questions. There are two sections, one that covers national laws and one that covers state-specific ones. Once you have passed this test, you can mail off your license application. Assuming this is approved, you will be mailed your license and ready to find a broker and start selling real estate.


Step Four: Starting Your Career

For some people, this is the most difficult step. You will need to become very familiar with the market you are working in. Most importantly, you will need to find a broker to work under. Although you will be your own boss to an extent, you cannot activate your license until you are working for a brokerage. The broker is responsible for overseeing real estate transactions and ensuring that their real estate agents are following all of the laws.


It is important to find a broker that you click well with. They should like your personality and work ethic, and you should like the way they do business. WikiHow suggests finding a brokerage with an established name and a good reputation. Be sure to ask any potential broker what sort of percentage they make off of your commissions.

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Carol Evenson

Carol is a home renovation specialist with a background in organization and sales. She assists realtors with business management and growth.


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