How to become a real estate agent in three simple steps

Working as a real estate agent be a fulfilling and rewarding career. And if you are thinking about pursuing this path there are a few things you should know that will help you achieve your aims.

To help you embark on a successful working life in real estate, here are three simple steps you’ll need to take – covering everything from education and licensing to the opportunities available in the long run.

1) Get education and training

It is worth noting that you don’t need to complete a multi-year degree in order to become a real estate agent. However, you will need to get some education and training.

Trethowans
Trethowans

The main requirement if you wish to become a real estate agent is to complete the relevant licensing exam in the state where you hope to operate.

In theory you could learn all you need to in order to pass this test on your own, although most states make it mandatory to complete a pre-licensing course at a reputable training center in order to progress. The cost of real estate school can vary, although on average a pre-licensing course will set you back between $200 and $300.

There are also variations in terms of the amount of time that state regulators expect prospective agents to spend in training. In Virginia this is set at 60 hours for agents and 180 hours for brokers, for example.

 The institutions that are accredited to provide pre-licensing training are many and varied, ranging from community colleges right up to full-blown universities.

2) Taken an exam

When you get towards the end of your training, the next move is to register for the licensing exam, which also comes with a fee of anywhere up to $300.

The exam will cover both national and state-level aspects of real estate, encompassing the laws and practices that will inform your day to day responsibilities going forwards. A passing mark on each of these two sections is needed to achieve an overall pass, although you can retake the exam if you are unsuccessful.

Questions are multiple choice, and once you pass you will need to complete your application to the state to get your official license. Be sure to wait until the physical paper license has been sent to you before you begin working, as failing to do so could create complications.

3) Look for a real estate job

With a real estate license under your belt, the final step is to find an existing agency or brokerage to work for.

Different businesses take different approaches to salary payments, with commissions often making up a big chunk of what agents can hope to earn in a typical year, and there are other things to look for in a prospective employer as well.

The other option is to establish your own real estate business, of which you are the owner and operator. Working as what is effectively a free agent in this context can be daunting and has its own costs to consider, but could be more rewarding in the long run if you have an entrepreneurial spirit.

There are certainly hurdles to overcome when beginning a career in real estate, but with the right attitude and mental fortitude, you could really thrive in this kind of role.

Photo by Breno Assis