Real estate is a promising industry. There’s a huge earning potential and it’s relatively easy to get started.
Agents and brokers made an average of $50,300 in 2018, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also estimate employment will grow by 6% from 2016 to 2026.
4 Essential Steps to Becoming an Agent
On the same page, the bureau also states entry-level education is a high school diploma or equivalent. Just about anyone can get into the real estate business.
But where do you begin? If you’re serious about getting into real estate, you need a plan of action. You need a list of steps that take you from start to finish.
That’s what the post is all about. Let’s take a look at the milestones in the process of becoming a real estate agent.
1. Research State Laws
Like getting into most industries, real estate all begins with research. Each state has different requirements, so it’s important to research your specific state.
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Almost every state requires you to be at least 18 years old. Many states require hours of pre-license education or credits.
Some states, like Colorado and Texas, have more higher standards to meet. Colorado requires 162 hours of credit classes and you must pass a background check. Texas requires 210 hours of education before you can take the state exam.
Some states like Pennsylvania permit you to take the state exam if you have a college degree related to real estate.
For a list of requirements in every state, check out this list.
Kaplan.com provides examinations and resources to prepare you for your state test.
Another great resource is Realestateexpress.com. Here you can research your state’s requirements and prepare for examinations.
2. Meet Legal Requirements for Licensing
Now that you know your state’s requirements, it’s time to meet them.
If you’re too young, sorry. You’re just going to have to wait. If you need to pay for pre-licensing fees, set aside some money. If you need to complete education requirements, take the appropriate classes.
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Remember, in most cases, you need a high school diploma. If you don’t, you’ll need to acquire one or an equivalent.
You’ll need to take a wide range of pre-licensing courses. They may cover topics such as:
• closing transactions
• property management
• title transfers
• and more
In some states, you’ll need to pass a background check and even get fingerprinted.
3. Pass Licensing Examination
Finally, you have to pass your state exam.
After studying and working hard, now it’s time to make an appointment to take the state test. It can be nerve-racking but don’t psych yourself out. Remember, you can use the websites mentioned earlier to prepare yourself.
Recheck the list of requirements. Make sure you have all the appropriate documents. And of course, study up.
Generally speaking, state tests range from 60 to 100 questions. They often require a fee and can be as high as $300.
4. Join a Brokerage
As a new real estate agent you must work with a brokerage after acquiring your license. In some cases, you must work with a brokerage before getting your license.
There are two common reactions to this: 1. You’re relieved that someone will supervise you, or 2. You’re bummed you can’t be on your own yet.
Working for a brokerage is a good and necessary experience. They’ll make sure everything you’re doing is within legal guidelines. You’ll have a team and mentor who can answer your questions.
You’ll get a feel for the local market and real estate practices. Plus, you’ll be able to do a ton of networking.
This is a great season of training and experience. Get a few years under your belt, then consider furthering your education to become a broker.
You might experience setbacks and delays, but don’t get discouraged. Remember, you can do this.