A career in real estate can be challenging yet rewarding. Some real estate agents earn a six-figure income per year; others, only a few thousand. It’s important to note that while this career can be exciting, it is not for everyone. To help you decide whether this field suits you, we will discuss five things you should know if you want to become a real estate agent.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent
1. Have a cash reserve.
Real estate agents can’t expect successful deals with prospective buyers all the time. Expect slow periods where clients are few or you will not be able to close any sale at all. For this reason, you should set up a cash reserve to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses. It is important to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have anything to spend for your basic needs.
2. Put in time and effort.
Some people think that being a real estate professional is an easy job, but in reality, it’s not. Only a fraction can be called successful. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of new real estate agents will make it in this field. In addition, only a small proportion will get the “lion’s share” of the business.
Those who are not as lucky go back to their previous jobs. So what do you need to become a successful real estate agent? You need perseverance, hard work, dedication, and of course, a little bit of luck. Treat it as a business and put in extra hours if necessary.
3. Take real estate courses, get a license, and find an employing broker
Aspiring agents should take real estate courses so they can know more about the real estate industry. These courses can come in the form of traditional or online classes. Cost vary from $200 to $900, including the learning materials.
After completing the courses, you need to take the state licensure exam and pass it. Requirements may vary from state to state. Inquire with your state’s Department of Real Estate or local Board of Realtors to know the requirements for obtaining a license.
After you pass the licensure exam, you need to find a broker. Real estate agents usually work as independent contractors under a broker’s supervision. Do your own due diligence and look for a broker who will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help you succeed in this field.
4. Undergo continuing education.
To be up to date with the latest development and trends in the industry, real estate agents have to undergo continuing education (professional development). These courses are meant to enhance your knowledge and skills, but more importantly, you need it to keep your license active.
5. Develop a business plan
It is important that you view real estate as a business, not just a job. And one thing successful business people do is to have a business plan.
• Set up goals that are both achievable and measurable.
• Select a segment to specialize in: horizontal (house and lots) or vertical (condominiums). You can also decide to concentrate on a particular geographic area.
• Choose a target market (affordable, middle income, high end) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
• Set a budget and determine how to achieve it.
• Make plans to promote yourself as a real estate agent. You need to build your network. Join groups, clubs, or organizations in your local community. Who knows, the person you’ll bump into may just be your next client.
The tips mentioned above will help aspiring real estate agents get off to a strong start. If you don’t close your first sale right away, don’t be discouraged. The more interactions you have with leads and clients, the more experienced you’ll become. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and real estate is no exception. If you put in time, effort, and the right approach, chances are, you’ll soon have a place in this industry.