Is Becoming a Real Estate Agent Right for You?
Do you want to be your own boss?
Do you have great sales skills? If so, becoming a real estate agent might be the perfect career for you. But before you invest time, money, and effort in that new career path, make sure it’s right for you by asking yourself these three questions…
The Basic Requirements
You must have three years of work experience and be at least 18 years old. You’ll also need to live in one of the states where the company has an office, and pass a criminal background check. The cost of becoming an agent varies from one company to another, but we’re including these fees from real estate giant Keller Williams below as a reference:
– $145 per hour for pre-licensing coursework – $35 exam application fee – Upfront payment of $50 or more for licensing (depending on the state) – Ongoing dues and expenses that vary by region.
The Costs of Being Licensed as a Realtor
The process of becoming a licensed Realtor varies by state. First, you’ll need to pass the required exam (all states will require one). The licensing test includes sections on professional duties and law, finance, marketing and listings, principles of negotiation and salesmanship, business management, and operations. In addition to passing the test and applying for your license, you may have to undergo additional training or submit an application for approval to work with a brokerage before being granted approval. Once approved by a company there are still fees involved such as application fees, exam fees, and annual renewal fees (if applicable). Read more about the costs of getting your real estate license.
What Are the Educational Requirements?
In order to become a real estate agent, you will need to attend either an accredited high school or accredited university where you can obtain the following degree: Bachelor’s Degree in any subject. It is recommended that you take courses in business administration, finance, and economics. Courses may also include negotiation skills, legal aspects of real estate, accounting principles, and analysis of financial statements. Once you have your degree, then you’ll need to find an approved broker-training program from one of the many schools around the United States. Once you have completed your broker training program, then you’ll need to pass both states licensing exams before being able to be licensed as a Real estate agent. There are several other things that go into becoming a real estate agent such as obtaining your own office space with utilities included and buying all necessary furniture/equipment. The total cost of becoming a real estate agent is $12,000+.
Going the Distance
People often choose to become a real estate agents for the money. A successful agent in one of the top markets can make $200,000+ per year (not including equity earned). However, that is not always the case. So before you decide on pursuing this career path, read on to find out if it is worth your time and effort. First off, becoming a real estate agent is expensive! It will take approximately 10 hours at least 40 hours of training at a cost of $400-$2,500 (plus travel costs) with only an 18% chance of passing the state exam on your first try.
Working with an Agency vs. Going Solo
Many real estate agents start by working with an agency and slowly transition over to going solo once they have the experience needed to succeed. They also need to invest in their own office space, signs, business cards, marketing materials, and even education courses. This can cost up to $40K and does not include ongoing expenses like leads or software programs. Individuals without sufficient funds are encouraged to work with an agency until they can afford all of the essentials on their own. Once an individual has built up their portfolio of clients and reputation in the community, they may choose to strike out on their own. A real estate agent license is required before applying for jobs with different companies. To be licensed you must take classes from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR offers 2-day live classroom sessions where students learn about contracts, negotiating strategies, appraisal techniques, and other relevant topics that will help them become successful agents.
Where Can I Get My Start?
First and foremost, there are two types of agents in the real estate industry: buyers’ agents and listing agents. A buyer’s agent represents the buyer and negotiates on their behalf. They do not share any commission with the listing agent if they sell to another agency. They can act as a mediator to find that perfect home or they can represent your bidding interest at all times. Listing agents, on the other hand, work solely for sellers of property and maintain 100% of their commission on transactions as long as it’s sold at another agency (they don’t have to share it). They create listings through various forms of advertising in hopes of generating leads with potential buyers or seller clients.
Tools & Resources To Help You Succeed
The National Association of Realtors has some helpful tools and resources for aspiring real estate agents. Some of the things you should consider before choosing this career are how much time and money it will require, what your strengths and weaknesses are, how committed you are to success, whether or not you have enough experience in this field if you’re able to make yourself look professional enough that people can take you seriously, etc. It’s important to ask yourself all these questions beforehand so you don’t waste time on something that might not be a good fit for your lifestyle. To read more about becoming an agent or find out if this is right for you, check out their website