Becoming a real estate agent or a realtor is a great career choice – part time or full time.
If you love houses and properties you can consider getting into the real estate as a real estate agent. As a real estate agent/ realtor, you will assist your clients to buy, sell, or rent any type of property.
First, before you go on, you don’t have to go to a college/ university to become a Real Estate Agent/ realtor.
You can become a real estate agent or realtor at any point in your life if you want to. But, you can’t just wake up one day and become one as you have to get licensed first.
Although, there is a difference between a real estate agent and a realtor, they both do very similar roles.
As a real estate agent, you are basically allowed by the government through the license to assist the public to buy, sell, or rent a property.
To be realtor, you first acquire the license from the government as a real estate agent and then join a realtor association in your region. Therefore, the major difference between a real estate agent and a realtor is the association.
When you are in a realtor association, you are under an umbrella that covers other stakeholders in real estate. They include brokers, salespeople, property managers, etc. around the country. Every individual under the association is ruled and operates under a strict code of conduct/ ethics.
As mentioned, to operate as a real estate agent or a realtor in whatever country you are in, you are required to be licensed.
If you want to become a real estate agent, getting a license is the first and most important step.
Just like any other industry that involves serious processes that include contracts, legal matters, and money, you have to be licensed.
Being a licensed real estate agent gives you accreditation and puts you at a better chance when looking and working for clients.
On the other hand, being a licensed realtor increases your credibility in the real estate industry. It also assures your clients of your ability to conduct their processes – buying, selling, or renting- ethically.
Know Your Country’s Requirements
Different countries have different requirements for getting licensed as a real estate agent. Therefore, get to know what your country requires.
You can do that by checking your country’s or town’s real estate association or regulatory board’s website or visiting their respective offices.
Obviously, there are general requirements such as age, education, etc. But, there are specific requirements unique to each region under the general requirements.
Once you know what your region/town requirements are for becoming a real estate agent, you will know what to do and where to go next.
Do a Pre-licensing Course
Real estate is an industry whose operations are governed by strict rules and laws and getting into it requires knowledge. Therefore, just like any other profession, you acquire knowledge through a course.
You need to do a pre-licensing or pre-certifying course in a real estate licensing school. Some certified real estate agencies actually offer licensing courses and exams. The same way you go to driving school to acquire a driving license.
This course, just like the requirements, differs from region to region. In terms of cost, content, hours required for the course, and the number of classes needed to complete the course.
You can do the course online or in a physical ‘class’, whatever works for you.
This course will be the entry point to doing a real estate agent licensing exam, thus called the pre-licensing course. It prepares you for the licensing exam that will determine whether you will get the license or not.
Do the Licensing Exam
After attending the licensing course classes, you will be required to take a licensing exam. Your instructor or trainer will give you the necessary guidelines you need in regards to the exam.
You will have to pay a fee for the exam and the amount depends on your region’s requirements.
The licensing exam contains different sections on the general real estate practices, principles, and laws that govern the real estate operations. Again, this differs from region to region.
The exam is set and regulated according to the guidelines set by the regulatory board and the real estate association.
How you perform will determine whether you get the license to practice as a real estate agent or not. However, in case you do not pass the exam, there is always an option for a retake. But, there are regulations on how many retakes you can have and the period between the retakes.
Join a Real Estate Brokerage
After passing your licensing exam, you don’t get your license immediately, and finding a real estate broker is what’s next.
You cannot operate independently as a real estate agent and that’s why you need to find a real estate broker. A real estate broker has more experience in the real estate practice and is more qualified. Realtors can work independently and have real estate agents work for them or under them.
To get licensed, you need to be under a broker or a brokerage umbrella where you can be assigned a realtor. Your broker will help you file some required paperwork for the real estate regulatory commission/ association. Once your paperwork has been verified, you will receive your license to then operate as a real estate agent.
Make sure you find the right broker or brokerage as this will really influence how your real estate journey takes off. Get referrals, see what they have done in the past, and what their reputation is in the area. Know the number of real estate agents they are working with, how they promote their property and their agents. Find out the type of real estate they deal with and if they are well established.
When operating under a real estate broker, you oversee the negotiations and transactions for your clients on behalf of your broker. You don’t necessarily receive a monthly salary but you receive a commission for every sale you make. In short, you represent your broker or brokerage and get paid for the sales you make on their behalf.
Therefore, as a real estate agent, you practice real estate under the backing of a broker or a brokerage.
Being a real estate agent is your stepping stone into the wide industry of real estate.
You can do it part-time or full-time at the beginning. If you choose part-time, consider doing it full-time as time goes on as you get more experience. Doing it full-time means more hours, more deals, and more money.
However, that does not mean you cannot get a lot as a part-time real estate agent. When you plan yourself, manage your time wisely and make arrangements with your clients, you will do pretty well.
If you want to be more successful in real estate, consider advancing yourself as time goes by. Consider getting a broker license as this will give you more business opportunities and increase your flexibility in the industry.
Consider getting real estate certifications and designations in the different/ specific real estate properties. The designations can be in residential property, commercial property, mortgage, and property management, etc. Getting designations increases your earning potential and puts you on a higher ladder in real estate.
Your career journey in real estate will start as a real estate agent and there are more opportunities ahead. Put in your time and effort into it and see yourself succeed in an exciting and rewarding career in real estate.