For those who enjoy setting their own work schedule and working with people, having a career as a real estate agent can prove to be enjoyable. With the real estate market picking up, more people are looking to become an agent and take advantage of the opportunities that are available. If this is something you are interested in, keep reading to get a few tips for getting your feet wet, and start on the path to becoming a successful real estate agent.
Take Pre-Licensing Courses
Each state requires that real estate agents take courses for proper training and licensing to sell homes. You won’t get very far as an agent until you have the necessary licenses and certification required. A real estate degree can generally be earned through online courses, or at special real estate schools. Most of these courses will take between two and three years to complete, depending on the pace you choose. However, you can still get real estate experience while you are obtaining your license.
Budget for Startup Fees
You have to spend money to make money, and for real estate agents the startup fees average at $2,000. This often includes purchasing new attire, paying for courses, exam fees, and business cards. It’s best to set aside money for these costs far before you are ready to begin. Nothing will cut your agent dreams short faster than an inability to pay your start up fees.
Find a Mentor
The best way to begin as a real estate agent is to find someone who can mentor you and offer their expertise to a beginner. You can be trained by someone who is already established, and perhaps looking for a little extra help. In some cases, a mentor might be willing to split the commission on sales with you—although the commission might not be split evenly.
If you are seeking a career in the real estate business, you are likely a “people person.” The most successful real estate agents are those who have an attractive personality and can become friends with their clients. Remember personal details about each person you meet, engage in conversation, and remain flexible with the requests to ensure that you generate more business. You’ll receive many of your clients through word-of-mouth and recommendations, so keeping your current clients happy will inevitably lead to more business.
Choose a Broker
One of the best ways to start out as an agent is to work under a broker who can show you the ropes and allow you to gain experience. Find a company that has an established reputation in the field who you can trust and someone who won’t take a large amount of your earnings. Striking out on your own will be a much tougher route—but attaching your name to an established broker will give you access to clients and resources that can help skyrocket your career.
Join the National Association of Realtors
Joining the NAR will add more credibility to your name and allow you to network while attending various meetings throughout the month. As a member, you’ll receive training, advice, and resources that will not only help you keep up with current market trends, but assist you in expanding your client base as well.
When starting the process of becoming a real estate agent, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure that you develop your credibility and complete the proper licensing. By finding the right resources and forming relationships with those who are already successful in the field, you’ll increase your chances of becoming an agent who has a solid reputation and expertise.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and real estate. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the professionals at Marylhurst University, who offer real estate degrees for aspiring agents.