It is a Rewarding Profession, Still
Working as a real estate agent is rewarding for many. It has flexible hours, high pay, and the process of getting into the field is relatively quick. However, it does come with a price. Success is largely dependent on the state of the economy. Realtors are also expected to be well-versed in the housing market trends and to have very strong networking skills.
The requirements for becoming a licensed Realtor varies between the states and depend on the state’s commission. However, most states’ guidelines have more commonality than differences. First, most Realtors must have a high school diploma or GED. From there, they must take pre-license education courses and meet a certain number of credit hours and must be at least 18 years old to enroll. These courses can be taken in a classroom or online.
Once the instruction hours are over, students must then pass the state exam. States often vary on the passing score boundary. For example, in California, students must have a score of at least 70 percent to pass. In New Mexico, it’s 75 percent. If you don’t pass the first time, most states do allow you to retake it. However, they may have a limit as to how many retakes they allow.
After students pass the exam, they then go to work for an experienced broker. Students are not expected to set up their own firms as soon as they pass the exam. In most cases, it would be very hindering to their success down the road. Brand-new Realtors gain experience best by working hands-on with an experienced broker. It’s how they can study the different market trends, how to meet client needs, and how to negotiate. There is an option of going into a traditional or non-traditional firm. The main difference is that the first tend to be the household names and have high producing agents while the latter pays salaries. They typically do so for their first six months to the first full year.
Since most Realtors work for commissions and don’t get paid until they close the deal, it’s always recommended that you have enough for living expenses saved for about the first six months. It is also recommended that brand-new Realtors start with the salary-based non-traditional firms or take in a second job to bridge the initial income gap. Being a Realtor also does not typically come with benefits.
Above all, being a Realtor requires a high willingness to be flexible and not just with your work schedule. Clients have different needs depending on how many people will be living in the home, their budgets, and abilities. Some also want a certain style of a home or want a home within a certain location. If Realtors want to go into a specialty, such as military relocation, they need to take certification courses on it. Finding the right real estate school will help prepare for both certifications, and real-world real estate work.