Real estate agents are licensed professionals. If you want to become a real estate agent, you need to qualify for the position by meeting all the requirements set by the state you live in. The requirements to be one are slightly different in each state. But some things are common.

To get started as a real estate agent, you should get the right education, look for an experienced broker and then clear the licensing exams. Let’s read about these steps in detail.

1. Take the required courses

First of all, you must get the pre-licensing courses, which may consist of two or three college-level courses. The real estate commission of your state can provide you with the exact licensing requirements.

To be part of a real estate agency, you may have to have specific education, which means more courses even when you get hired by a reputable agency in your state.

2. Opt For a Real Estate Agency or Brokerage

Real estate agents work in a real estate agency or brokerage. If you want to work as a real estate agent, the law requires you to be a member of a real estate agency. For this, you need to get in touch with a reputable broker in your state prior to completing your courses.

Here it’s important to note that brokers get real estate training for at least three years. These professionals can help you answer your questions related to the field you are going to work in.

When searching for a good broker, you may want to take into account a few important factors, such as the size of the agency, its reputation and the training you may get from it.

It’s easy to check the reputation of an agency by reading reviews online, asking friends, colleagues and other people who may have had experience working with real estate agencies.

Aside from the factors given above, you can also get a pretty good idea of the agency’s reputation during your interview through your questions. So, make sure you have a  list of relevant and important questions to ask during the interview.

The questions on your list may be related to the additional coursework, the experience of the agency, their approaches to develop leads, and other queries related to commission checks.

The answers to these questions will help you opt for the right agency.

3. Apply for a License

Your next move is to get a real estate agency license. Apart from passing the state and national exams, you may have to cooperate with the authorities to run a background check on you.

And then there are some fees to pay. Besides the fees for courses and exams, you have to pay the license fees to serve as a  licensed real estate salesperson. You have to go through this stage in order to move towards becoming a real estate agent. The fees vary from state to state.

4. Set a Budget For fees and other expenses

Although you can’t become a professional real estate agent for free, the entry into this field won’t cost as much as other professions do. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for licensing courses, association fees, signs, advertising, and business cards. And don’t forget to pay for additional exams.

Here it’s important to consider that real estate agents make money when they earn commissions. So, make sure you have saved enough money to make ends meet for a couple of months.

5. Consider Becoming a Realtor

You may have heard the term Realtors. Even when you have become a licensed real estate agent, you can’t use the title “realtor” with your name.

To earn this title, you have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which has a few more requirements. However, you don’t have to become a realtor to start your career as a real estate agent.

6. Develop Your Portfolio

Now, the final stage is to develop your portfolio so you can buy or sell contacts and earn commission in the process. For client portfolio building, you can turn to a good mentor within your real estate agency or you can use a personal network.

It’s better to ask a mentor for advice so you can get your first commission check as a professional.

It’s also a good idea to ask your friends, family and neighbors to recommend you to their contacts when they are in need to buy or sell real estate. This will help you build your network a lot faster and you will see the money roll in.

The Takeaway

Getting started as a real estate agent is just like starting a new small business. While you will serve as a member of a real estate agency, you need to have something in your pocket to pay for personal expenses until you get a steady stream of clients. So, make sure you follow these steps to become one of the most successful real estate agents to earn your livelihood.