How to Get Started with a Career in Real Estate: Eight Important Steps
A career in real estate can be incredibly lucrative. However, you’ll need to complete several steps before you can become a licensed real estate agent or broker. Here are eight important steps that you should take to start career in real estate.
1. Review the Guidelines for Your State Before a Career in Real Estate
The first step you need to take is to review your state’s guidelines, as each state in the U.S. has different licensing guidelines.
You will most likely need to submit proof that you have successfully passed the required training. And you may also need to meet certain age requirements and undergo a background check.
A real estate broker license may only be obtained by passing an exam, which varies depending on the state. The test for the real estate agent license is lengthier and often takes a full day to complete.
You can find out about guidelines by visiting the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials’ regulatory agency directory.
Once you know what the specific guidelines are for your state, you can begin your journey of working in real estate.
2. Complete a Pre-licensing Course and Pass the Examination to Start a Career in Real Estate
The next step involves completing a recognized real estate course and taking the examination.
During the course, you will learn about the fundamentals of real estate. For instance, you will learn about things like property rights, property taxes, titles and deeds, environmental laws, and appraisals.
Courses are available at community colleges, online, and dedicated real estate schools.
At the end of the course, you will need to successfully pass the examination, which is usually divided into two sections and consists of multiple-choice questions. One section will be about national real estate while the other will be about your local state’s laws and regulations.
3. Apply for a License
Once you have passed the examination, you can apply for a real estate license.
You will need to submit proof of completing the course and passing the exam.
4. Join a Real Estate Brokerage
Once you have your license, you have a few options for how to begin your career in real estate.
Working as a real estate agent is a prerequisite for beginning real estate broker training and career in real estate. Every state has its own standards, but generally speaking, you need to have worked for a real estate broker for two to five years and have completed a particular amount of real estate transactions. You’ll be able to establish a reputation and become used to working in the real estate industry thanks to this experience. You may also develop your network and reputation this way.
Typically, it’s best to join a real estate brokerage, where you would work under the supervision of an experienced broker.
5. Become a Broker
After gaining enough relevant experience, you can become a real estate broker yourself and speed up your career in real estate.
You will normally need to hold your real estate license for a designated period of time before you can apply for your brokerage license.
6. Work for a Company or Set Up Your Own Real Estate Business
With experience and licensure under your belt, you can explore different options of career in real estate.
You could work as an independent broker, work for an existing real estate business, or even set up your own company.
7. Have a Good System for Managing Transactions and Key Dates
If you decide to go it alone, you need to ensure you have an excellent system in place to manage transactions, key dates, and other important operational information.
It’s a good idea to use a free spreadsheet for real estate transaction management. You can then easily organize and manage your real estate business.
Though, as you grow your business and career in real estate, you will want to consider moving towards an all-inclusive software solution.
8. Join the National Association of Realtors
You should also consider joining the National Association of Realtors.
As a member of the organization, you’ll gain great networking opportunities.
You’ll have to pay an annual fee, but that can be more than worthwhile as becoming a member of the association will provide you with many benefits and opportunities to take your real estate career to the next level.
What is the role of a real estate broker?
Commercial, industrial, and residential properties may all be bought, sold, or leased with the aid of real estate agents. They support their customers throughout the whole real estate process, including inspections and repairs that must be made before a sale, and assist in negotiating the final contract. Below are some typical tasks performed by a real estate broker:
- making real estate listings
- promoting characteristics that are accessible
- arranging showings and open houses
- taking pictures of buildings
- assisting customers in determining their property requirements and spending limits
Summing Up: Start a Career in Real Estate
It can take time to begin a career in real estate, but once you do, you have the opportunity to start earning a handsome salary.
To recap, get started by:
- Reviewing the Guidelines for Your State.
- Completing a Pre-licensing Course and Passing the Examination.
- Applying for a License.
- Joining a Real Estate Brokerage.
- Becoming a Broker.
- Working for a Company or Setting Up Your Own Real Estate Business.
- Having a Good System for Managing Transactions and Key Dates.
- Joining the National Association of Realtors.
Victor Z Young is a Civil Engineer with 35 years of experience working alongside the executive team of various construction companies. Victor specializes in construction insurance, delay analysis, performance analysis and engineering. He holds a Doctor of Project Management from Northwestern University.