Learning how to get into real estate means analyzing the different pathways. You need to make a decision about which of the real estate careers you want to pursue. For example, you can get a realtor license for being an agent or a brokerage. You can also learn how to get into real estate investing. This post focuses on the two most common paths: real estate agent and real estate broker.
How to Get into Real Estate | Choose Your Path as a Broker or Agent
In This Article:
How to Get into Real Estate as an Agent or Broker
This is an overview on how to get into real estate as an agent or broker. Either way, you need to have a real estate license. The requirements can vary according to the state where you plan to practice.
There are some important reminders, though. One, you may have to take some pre-license courses before you can take the examination that will help get you the license. Some states also have mutual agreements.
It means you may practice your profession in another state without having to take all components of the exam. You may just have to deal with those that are pertinent to the state rules.
Your real estate license isn’t free, but it can open many doors for you. From your agent license, you can take more courses or further education. Then you may decide to open your own brokerage. If you have sufficient capital, you can learn how to get into commercial real estate investing. In fact, you can learn how to get into real estate investing with little money through other passive strategies. These include real estate investment trusts (REITs).
How do you become an agent or a broker? Here are some steps:
1. Meet the Requirements
You need to be at least 18 years old, although some states require you to be a year older. Check your state’s real estate commission’s website for more details.
You must be a legal resident in the United States and complete the educational courses your state requires. If you have a full-time job, you can verify if it allows you to take online or home-study courses.
If you want to know how to get into real estate as a broker, then the process is still similar. The courses you need to take, however, may be more comprehensive. In California, for example, you should complete 8 mandated college-level courses plus three electives from the list.
2. Pass the Exam
Make sure you prepare for the test, especially if it has been several weeks since you finished your pre-licensing courses. Look for exam prep courses or practice tests to increase your chances of passing the first time.
A day before the test, make sure you have a good night’s sleep. Stress can affect your focus and memory. Maintain a positive attitude.
The exam is no different from that in college. It can have more than 120 multiple-choice questions. You may have about three hours to complete everything. The passing score can differ between states. Some consider 70 as the minimum grade. In most cases, it is 75.
To those who want to learn how to get into real estate as a broker, there will be a few requirements. Before you can take the test, you should be working as an agent for a year or two, depending on the state. Sometimes it can be as long as three years.
After taking the exam, you may also go through a background check of your criminal history. In some states, fingerprinting and background checks come before the exam.
3. Get Your License
Passing the license exam can already be your ticket to getting a license. Besides the fees, however, there is a waiting period. It can be a few days to weeks. The bulk of the wait, though, is in completing the state’s required courses. It can run for half a year, depending on your pace and the state’s requirement.
4. Locate a Real Estate Broker
This is for those who want to know how to get into real estate as an agent. Usually, you cannot get your license if you don’t work under a brokerage. Note you can work for only one while brokers have the option to deal with other brokerages and a lot of agents.
It’s a good idea to start looking for a broker during the early stages of your application process. Brokers manage their offices differently and have requirements for their agents. Meet with several of them to find someone you feel you could work with. After you pass the test, they will have to complete the final paperwork so you can get your license.
Understanding Your Duties as an Agent
Becoming a real estate agent can pave the way for higher income and career such as a broker. Do it right, and you can succeed in your future endeavors.
What does it take to be an agent, however? Here are some of the duties to remember:
1. Business Management
Part of your job is managing your business. You will most likely do your own office paperwork including taxes and preparing documents for your clients. You also need to develop relationships with other real estate agents and brokers, clients, and suppliers. It is also your responsibility to manage your contacts.
You are also responsible for your own income, although brokerages can set quotas. While you do make money by showing houses and getting a percentage of the listing agent’s commission, it will probably not be enough to live on unless you have several closings each month. Your money lies in being able to get listing referrals and then selling the homes or businesses you list.
You must be willing to put yourself out to the public. You will have to convince sellers to list their home or business with you. You need to know your job as a listing agent inside out. You must be able to explain how you will advertise your client’s property and listing contract to your client.
3. Vendor Partnership
In many cases, your broker will have a list of professionals they would like to use. Some may allow you to have your own, though. You can refer clients to a home inspection, repair, or pest control agency.
If you’re not comfortable with taking good pictures, you can hire a professional photographer. You then review the photos and choose the ones you like.
4. Office Supplies and Advertising
Some brokers do not provide office supplies unless you are paying a higher commission to them in exchange for the office space. You may have to purchase business cards with your name and your broker’s firm on them, pens, paper, computer, printer, and other office supplies.
Your broker may also provide some advertising for your listings, but it is up to you to make sure they get out to the public. The multiple listing service (MLS) charges to list properties, and that will most likely come out of your pocket unless your broker agrees to pay for that service. You’ll be responsible for advertising on social media and other outlets.
How hard is it to get into real estate? It means passing the exam. Get some tips on how to do it from Bradley de Comarmond:
The way on how to get into real estate may not be easy. In fact, it can be long. However, it remains to be one of the most rewarding careers. This makes it worth pursuing.
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