Real estate is considered to be a lucrative business. There are millions of licensed agents working in the real estate industry. The income is great and the requirement to become an agent is not very high. The schedule is flexible as well. For this and many other reasons, there are thousands of people who Google “how to become a real estate agent,” each month.
If you are one of those people who has been looking to get into the industry, this guideline will help you understand the procedure to become one.
How To Qualify To Become A Real Estate Agent?
Getting into real estate career requires you to go through a complete process, and there is a particular criterion for this. Only people who fulfill this criterion are eligible to become the agents. The following steps determine whether you are eligible to become a real estate agent or not.
- You must be 18-19 years old or above
- You must be a legal US resident
- High school graduation (not in all states)
- Take pre-licensing course
- Pass the examination
How Long It Takes To Become A Real Estate Agent?
Becoming a real estate agent takes much less than what becoming a doctor/engineer does. The incomes are same. And some cases, real estate agents make more money than the other professions.
Usually, it takes only a few months – 4 to 6 months to be precise – to become a real estate agent. The duration of becoming an agent depends upon several factors, such as:
- How many hours your pre-licensing takes to complete
- The real estate school you select
- Length of application process
- The Required Hours
The number of hours varies from state to state. Some states require you to complete fewer hours than other states. For example, Florida requires you to complete 63 hours. New York 75 hours and California 45 hours to be eligible to sit for the real estate licensing exam.
- Choosing The School
The school you choose also determines the time it is going to take to become a real estate agent. The usual time frame is 4-6 months. However, it can be reduced by taking some online courses. So, do your research before choosing the Institute.
- Application And Exam Process
The application/exam process also takes a fair amount of time. It can go from days to a few weeks, and even months.
Some states have upgraded their systems and provide you a temporary license on the site of the test. However, the states without upgraded systems use traditional methods. The traditional methods include waiting for the result, mailing the application and license, etc.
How To Become A Real Estate Agent In GA: 3 Things Real Estate Agents Should Know When Starting Out Career:
You can become a real estate agent in 3 easy steps. The steps include:
- Taking a pre-licensing course:
Each state requires the interested individuals to take a pre-licensing course before they can appear in the exam. The classes and basic training are provided by state-approved schools, real estate institutes/firms, etc.
The course consists of a specific number of hours that must be taken to appear in the exam. The limit of those hours varies from state to state. For example, in some states, the maximum limit is 60 hours, while in others, it’s over 130.
The main purpose of the course is to make you familiar with real estate terms. The terms include escrow, lien, etc. It also provides you the basic training to help you kick-start your career. The training includes determining the property value and how to deal with real estate customers etc.
- Taking The Exam
After completing your pre-license training, your next step is to take the exam. You can take this exam as many times as you want. But, taking it once should be enough if you are well prepared.
The exam is generally divided into categories – federal real estate laws and your local state-centered laws. The exam usually consists of 60-100 MCQs. Most of these questions are mathematical, and you will need a calculator to solve them.
There are also numerous model papers available in the market that can help you prepare for the exam.
- Work For a Broker:
After you have gotten the license, you have become a professional real estate agent. Now you have the permission from your respective state to work in the industry. But, wait a minute! Doesn’t real estate business revolve around clients?
Yes, it does! So, where you get the clients from? You are new to the business and the industry involves huge transactions, possibly between two unknown parties. So people are only going to work with an agent who they can trust. While being a new real estate agent, it is always difficult to get the deals going right away. It requires time to build trust and a client base.
To gain the trust of customers and build a client base, you will need to work for a broker. A broker has plenty of years’ experience in the market, and the client base he possesses is huge too.
Working for a broker would mean you now have an established platform to start your career off. You can build a good reputation, gain access to the new clients and receive guidance from the broker when required.
After working for a year or two with a broker, you are now ready to work as an independent real estate agent. You can help people with selling/buying houses and close the transaction in residential areas. But, what if you wanted to close a deal to a mall, shopping center or a plaza which contains hundreds of different shops? This thought might have crossed your mind at some point. And you would have thought that “it’s alright, I have got the license and the training so that I can do it pretty easily.”
Here is a reality check; you cannot do this! You will need to have a commercial real estate agents’ license to operate in the commercial category. Wondering how to start the career as a commercial real estate agent? Read below.
How To Become Commercial Real Estate Agent?
Commercial real estate is a manifold aspect of real estate industry. There are numerous properties in this area which you can work with. The most common type of properties that you will come across are, land for development, shopping malls, and office buildings, etc.
Being a commercial agent is not much different from being a residential agent. Following are the steps that are required to become an agent in the commercial category.
Getting Started As a Commercial Real Estate Agent:
The first and foremost step to being a commercial real estate agent is getting a license. The requirements for getting a license differ from state to state. However, the general requirements are:
- Having a high school diploma
- Some specific pre-licensing classes
- Passing the exam successfully
After passing the exam successfully, your next step should be working for a broker and gaining the experience. It will help you know about the major tips and tricks involved in the commercial state. It will also help you build a client base which will help you get going on the market.
However, becoming a real estate agent; be it commercial or residential, and staying one are two different things.
According to recent research, over 80% of the new agents fail in their first five years. The reason for their failure is the lack of right approach.
To stay in the market and avoid the failure, here are some guidelines that will help you succeed.
How To Become A Good & Successful Real Estate Agent?
To become a good real estate agent and give a boost to your career, read the following.
- Be Communicative
It is important for an agent to stay in contact with his clients. Provide them all the information, no matter how trivial it is.
Buying/selling a house can be stressful at times. And having an agent who is not a great communicator can make it even worse. Clients look for an agent who would let them know where they stand in the time sensitive market of real estate. It helps them to keep track of the current situation. Being communicative also helps them to move on if the current deal is not in their favor.
- Be Proactive
Being proactive means keeping your client well informed about all the latest happenings in the market.
A good agent should be able to find new leads. He should also be able to stay in contact with the old clients and have a keen eye on potential customers. If your clients keep calling you that means you are not keeping them well informed. It ultimately puts you at the risk of losing them. Hence a bad reputation in the industry.
- Be A Good Listener
Being a good real estate agent requires you to be a good listener. If all the talking is done by you and your clients cannot have a word in it, they will probably leave you rather sooner than later.
A client wants to do most of the talking. He expects you to understand his needs and requests. Your job as an agent is to ask the questions, and let the client do most of the talking.
- Be Motivated Towards Your Clients:
A good agent puts his clients’ needs first. He follows the approach of “a good deal for a client is a good deal for the agent.” He deals with the clients as if they are his family and makes them feel supported throughout the process.
However, going the other way around can be disastrous for your business.
- Adapt Yourself According To Clients:
A good agent knows how to read a client’s mind. He knows about their preferred method to communicate and responds accordingly.
Sometimes, an agent prefers to communicate via email, text message or a phone call. So, it is your responsibility to not insist on meeting in person. Unless, there is a situation which cannot be dealt via texts/emails. Otherwise, it would put the clients under pressure and they will lose interest in working with you.
Know About Time Frame Of Your Client:
A good agent knows about the time frame of his clients. He knows if the client is in a hurry to sell or have time to look for better deals.
If a client wants to settle soon, you should have enough backup-properties that meet his requirements. Failing to keep up with your client’s time frame means a failed deal and a lost client.
Being a real estate agent is a great career option. People in this field are respected a lot. However, it takes time, effort and huge patience in order to achieve the success. Some people are able to achieve it while most of them fail for not having the right attributes.
If you are one of those looking for guidelines about how to become a real estate agent, then this article has provided you all the required ingredients. Now it is up to you as to how well you can follow these guidelines. All you have to do is to go through the required training, find a good mentor and build a client base. Good luck with your career!