6 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent
Do you have what it takes to be a real estate agent and do it successfully?
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How to Succeed as a Real Estate Agent
Real Estate Agents make on average about $46,410 per year. If you know how to network and market yourself, you might be able to make it as an agent. But how do you get started, and what does it really take to succeed? These steps lay out the process.
Step 1: Take Required Courses
Get pre-licensing training from a certified institution. Every state has different requirements, so you’ll have to check your state real estate commission’s website to see how many hours are required. The courses will teach you about real estate principles, practices, terminology, and legal issues. If you take courses online instead of in a classroom setting, make sure you’re the type of person who can work that. Courses can cost anywhere between $200 and $300.
Step 2: Pass the Test. Get Your License.
The exams usually have two sections: one on federal real estate laws, and one on general real estate principles. The latter is state-specific. Both sections of the test are usually 60 to 100 multiple choice sections. Most pre-licensing courses will provide sample tests. You can retake the exams as many times as you need during the first two years after taking courses, but after two years, you’ll have to retake the pre-licensing courses.
Once you pass, check your state real estate commission’s website to activate your license. Activation fees range from $200 and $400. Then, you’ll have to pay for membership to the local multiple listing service so that you can list properties and people can find you through real estate websites. Membership costs vary with each state.
Step 3: Join the NAR
In order to be able to call yourself a Realtor®, you have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The NAR offers access to real estate marketing data, discounts on courses, and transaction management services. And being a member of the NAR gives you credibility when you try to market yourself.
Step 4: Join a Brokerage
To do your job as a real estate agent legally, you have to join a brokerage. Brokerages pay agents by a commission. They’re licensed by the state to ensure that real estate transactions are legal and ethical. For example, Coldwell Banker is a common one.
Step 5: Networking
Throughout this prep process, you’ll want to budget and make sure you’re prepared to have a low income as you build your network for the first few months of being a real estate agent. You’ll work with buyers, sellers, investors, appraisers, loan officers, mortgage brokers, inspectors, title companies, and others, who will all become part of your network. Attending conferences and events can help you meet other professionals in the real estate industry. You want to make sure to keep track of all your contacts. Establish connections whenever you can, and keep a good social media and online presence.
Step 6: Online Presence
You need to have a website and build your social media profile to help you network online. Respond to any messages quickly on all social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Interact with people, share things that catch people’s attention, and promote your properties on social media. Just like being a good salesman in real life, you want to seem genuine and have your own voice so you don’t get dismissed as being an advertisement.
Real Estate Agents make a good salary, but in order to succeed at the job, networking is essential. Once you pass the exam, get your license, and become a legitimate real estate agent, you have to build your network and get clients. But if you have what it takes, everything you invested in taking courses and getting your license will pay off.