5 Things You Should Know Before Becoming A Real Estate Agent

Real estate is rapidly becoming one of the hottest employment opportunities around. With the economy reversing and the housing market rallying, it's a great time to get a real estate license. However, a lot of people come into real estate thinking it's a simple job. Sell the house, make the money, and have no worries. There's a little more to it than that, and prospective real estate agents need to understand that. Related: 15 Questions To Ask Before Making A Career Change In this article, we will discuss five things every prospective real estate agent or Realtor should know and plan for before getting started, starting with real estate courses.


1. Why Do I Need To Take Real Estate Courses?

Real estate courses are designed to ensure applicants are conversant with local, state, and federal regulations regarding every facet of a property sale. Some typical items these courses cover include:
  • Your rights and responsibilities as a real estate agent
  • How to sell a property correctly
  • Understanding zoning laws and regulations
  • The importance of continuing education
  • Consumer advocacy so you can represent your clients professionally and ethically
These courses are generally state-specific, which means you may have to take a similar course if you relocate or want to practice in a multi-state region.

2. How Do I Get My Real Estate License?

After you complete any real estate classes and studies required in your jurisdiction, you then take a test and apply for licensing. Criteria for successful completion of the course varies by jurisdiction, and you may have to take additional courses even after you receive your real estate license. Some brokerages, particularly large national brokerages, require this to ensure you get all the instruction you need to work with their particular systems.

3. Why Do I Need A Brokerage? Can't I Work As An Independent Agent?

Most jurisdictions require real estate agents to be affiliated with a brokerage for consumer protection purposes. Brokers carry an additional three years of real estate education and training, which makes them valuable resources for newly minted agents. However, all brokerages are not created equal. You should always check the following criteria at a minimum to ensure your brokerage is a good fit for you and your style:
  • How much experience does this broker/firm have?
  • What is the broker's reputation?
  • How do agents and clients who have worked with this broker previous found the experience?
  • How long will it take for me to start earning commissions?
  • Does this broker require additional coursework, and will I have a brokerage-assigned mentor while in training?

4. How Much Can I Expect To Make?

A lot depends on where you're practicing, what the market is like in your area, and your own personal attributes. Strong salespeople can expect to make six figures and up per year, while weaker agents or people who are engaged in real estate as a sideline may only make a few thousand dollars per year. Be sure to keep up with trends in your market, as well as more "upscale" markets that may be nearby.

5. But I'm Working For Myself, Right?

Technically, each real estate agent or Realtor is independent, so you do have the option to set your own hours depending upon your brokerage's requirements. You should keep in mind that the harder you work, the more commission you're likely to see. Before starting on real estate licensing, you should make sure you have a nice wardrobe and at least six months' living expenses put away just in case things are lean at first.

Related Posts

6 Reasons You Should Try A Career In Real Estate 6 Steps To Building Your Real Estate Career From The Ground Up 4 Steps To Lucrative Real Estate Careers   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less