Getting a real estate license isn’t something you should up and do. Just like any other life decision, you want to think it through and decide if it’s the right choice.
A lot of people go into the real estate field, thinking they’re just going to sign with a company and automatically get listings. That’s not how it works. Whether you work for a national company or not, it takes a lot of hustle to get listings and sell houses.
You can’t be afraid of talking to people or hearing the word no, often. Ready to find out how to become a real estate agent? Learn more below.
Decide if You’re The Right Candidate
There are different kinds of real estate professionals out there, and it takes slightly different qualities to be the right fit for each one. For example, a commercial real estate agent in NYC is going to need to be a lot more competitive than a residential agent somewhere in Iowa. It’s all about context.
If you live in a high-competition area (and be sure, there’s always competition in realty), do you have the grit it takes to beat other agents to a listing? We’re talking about friendly competition (hopefully).
Second, are you comfortable talking to people, even cold-calling them if need be? A cold call, if you don’t know the lingo, is when you contact someone you’ve never met before, trying to sell them a service. Ideally, you won’t have to do this for long, as real estate agents build a network of customers who can refer to other customers.
Third, do you connect with people well? During your life, have people told you that you’re easy to talk to, or describe you as a social butterfly? You need to have a socially engaging personality to do well in real estate.
Finally, and this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the qualities, you need to understand general and local housing market trends. Yes, that means you’ll need to do math every so often and keep up with relevant news.
If all that sounds like you, then let’s continue on this learning journey.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent
First things first, you need to learn what the individual state requirements are in your state. There are different age requirements and scores for passing the prelicensing exam.
Take A Prelicensing Course
Just like most skill-based professions, you need to take a national exam to show you’re competent enough to work in the field. In Real Estate, it’s called the licensing exam.
They ask questions about things a layman has never heard of, so it’s essential to at least buy a prep book if you don’t enroll in an online or in-person course.
You’ll need a specific score to pass the course, which differs a little between states. You’ll want to study for at least two to three months before taking it, though it’s possible to give it another go if you don’t do well on your first try.
There may be additional fees, along with the cost of taking the test, like getting officially fingerprinted and background checked pre-license approval.
Take the Exam
You need to apply for the exam well before you plan on taking it. It’s a paperwork-filled process, and the application can take a while to process. When you’re going through the application process, be sure to cross all your t’s and dot your I’s – they can reject applications for lack of accuracy.
Once you’ve been approved, then you can choose a date to take the test. Be sure to read all the instructions for taking this test, especially what to and what not to bring to the testing site.
After you leave the test site, expect to wait 4-6 weeks for your results. If you’re lucky, you’ll get them in as little as 3, but don’t hold your breath.
The length of time it takes to study for, take the exam, and wait for the results is one reason you shouldn’t quit your current job yet. If you do, you’ll be out of work (and unable to work in real estate) for at least two months, if not three.
If you have the capital to do that, then good for you (but most of us don’t).
Scope Out Different Real Estate Companies
When you’re just starting, you don’t want to go out on your own just yet. It’s worth jumping through the hoops to work with a national or established company, as they have access to resources and experience that you don’t.
While you’re waiting for your results, put out feelers to any real estate agents you know, to see if they’re bringing anyone onto their team, or want to in the near future. You can’t flat out apply yet, but it’s good to have a goal.
When you’re trying to decide which job listings or opportunities are right for you, find out more about the general terminology for the best results.
Apply for Jobs
Now, applying to work at a real estate company takes a little more finesse than applying for less competitive positions. You should put out maybe three applications, max, to maximize your options without showing your potential employer that you’re desperate for work.
Word gets around fast in the real estate industry, so keep things professional and never say anything bad about another group/agent.
Your First Day
If you’ve followed the right path and steps for how to become a real estate agent, we have no doubt you’re looking at multiple job offers right now. And if you’re not yet, you will.
If you’re still waiting for those to roll in, up your real estate knowledge by reading other articles on our blog.