Becoming a successful real estate agent is a combination of getting the right education, finding an established broker who can help you get your first clients, and passing state and national licensing exams. But that’s not all there is to the craft. Read on to find out some of the more overlooked aspects of getting into the real estate business.
1. Get Educated
No matter in which state you live, you must take pre-licensing courses. However, state requirements differ greatly. For instance, California requires three college-level courses. Others (such as Idaho, which requires two courses totaling 90 hours) require a set number of hours of education. Contact your state’s real estate commission for your state’s requirements for licensing.
Some real estate agencies have specific education requirements, so you may have to take an additional course after being hired on with an agency.
2. Get Licensed
Real estate licenses require the passing of state and national exams. In addition, you may have to provide a criminal background check. Between the courses, exam and license fees for a real estate salesperson, you can expect to pay at least $200 (usually more), though prices vary from state-to-state.
3. Develop a Real Estate Agent Budget
While becoming a real estate agent isn’t cheap, it’s cheaper than entering many professions. Startup fees are estimated between $1,500-2,000, which should be divided between licensing courses, business cards, signs and advertising and association fees – not counting additional exam fees.
Since real estate is a commission-based business, you’ll also need enough money set aside for you to get by for a few months. These are approximations of actual costs because they can vary based on individual choices and state-by-state costs.
4. Make the Realtor/Real Estate Agent Decision
In order to utilize the title “realtor,” you must join the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is done by choosing an affiliated brokerage as well as attending a set number of meetings designated by your local chapter.
5. Build Your Client/Referral Portfolio
The best way to build your portfolio is twofold: get a mentor, and use your personal network. Barbara Kennon of the National Association of Realtors says the be