Real estate can be a fulfilling career. Helping people find their perfect home can be extraordinarily satisfying, while at the same time having control over your income can be financially rewarding.
But how does someone get started in real estate sales? The process is straightforward and involves learning the laws and regulations of the business and finding the right team to work with. You can also try to find a local career online if you search through the right websites.
Determine if Real Estate Sales is Right for You
The first thing to think about when considering a career in real estate is the lifestyle that comes along with selling real estate.
On the plus side, it’s not the typical hourly job, or even office work, with regulated hours and a boss making sure that you’re assigned tasks and getting them done. Being a real estate agent provides you with a great deal of flexibility in your schedule, and you can work as much or as little as you like. You are your own boss.
On the other hand, there aren’t regulated hours, and there is no boss to assign you tasks and keep you on track. Your hours are largely defined by your clients, and when they are available. Remember, most home buyers are looking at homes in the evenings and on the weekends.
And without someone managing you, you need to be a self-starter. No one will force you to work. You also won’t have someone watching out for you, ensuring that tasks are getting completed. You’ll have to outline and schedule your own tasks to make sure you’re able to reach your goals. Do you think you have a firm grasp on home valuation? You'll need to stufy up to remain competitive in some areas.
The New Challenge of Online Marketing
Creating a presence online can be extremely difficult if you are a first timer to real estate. Setting up your own website, using proper social media and search optimization techniques can be very overwhelming. "Getting yourself in front of sellers and buyers can be very difficult in the real estate niche," says SEO company WitBlade. "There are a lot of massive authority websites that tend to knock down the smaller guy."
Other up and coming agents wonder if it is even worth creating their own website, or if it's better to simply create a presence on sites that have already been established. "To remain competitive, your website needs to be technically up-to-date, mobile-friendly, and properly maintained," says Curotec, a web development company specializing in enterprise level software and mobile apps. "Most realtors don't have the ability or budget to create a truly dazzling web presence that will get noticed."
Take a Pre-licensing Class
While requirements can be different in each state, one thing is consistent no matter where you are. Those looking to become real estate agents must take a pre-licensing class. What is different from state to state is the number of hours of training that must happen before you can take your state’s licensing exam.
For instance, in Alaska, you must take 40 hours of training before being eligible to take the exam. But in Colorado, the requirement is 162 hours.
The classes are offered in both online and classroom formats and typically cost a few hundred dollars. You’ll be taught both state and federal laws as well as the ins and outs of being a real estate agent.
Take Your State Real Estate Licensing Exam
After completing your classroom requirement, you’re eligible to take your state’s licensing exam. Don’t worry, if you don’t pass it the first time you’re allowed to retake the exam. In some states, you’d be in good company. Florida, for example, the first-time pass rate is 50%.
Once you’ve passed, you may consider also joining the National Realtors Association. While becoming a member of the NRA isn’t required, most real estate agents opt to do so for the designation of Realtor. Education is always at the top of the list.
Join a Brokerage
Acquiring your license is an accomplishment, but as you’ll learn in your class, a licensed agent must work under a real estate broker. To give your career the best start, spend some time while you’re in the process of licensing to review brokerages in your area and find one where you’ll be comfortable and can learn the most.
As you’re looking for and interviewing potential brokers to work under, be sure to ask them the following questions:
What is the commission split for agents?
Are administrative services offered?
Are there benefits?
Will I be working on commission only?
Is there a mentorship program?
Upon becoming a licensed real estate agent, an exciting a rewarding career awaits you. Completing your state required exam is only the first step. Working under a qualified broker, setting your business goals, and working hard you’ll be on the road to success. The employment market has been fluctuating, but there is always a need for a smart real estate agent!