If you’re considering a career change, you might be thinking about real estate. The residential real estate industry, or even the commercial industry for that matter, can be lucrative, but it’s not an easy field. You’re wearing a lot of hats as a real estate professional, and you have to be ready to adjust to challenges in the market that often occur.
With that in mind, the following are seven things to know about becoming a real estate agent.
Before you can get licensed as a real estate agent, you have to take a pre-licensing course. The content and structure of these courses will vary depending on the state you’re in. For example, the California real estate classes are going to be focused on the requirements to practice in that state, and those can be different from what you have to know to work as a real estate agent somewhere else, like Florida.
There’s no standardized national real estate license, so you have to understand the requirements where you live, not only as far as getting your license but qualifying in the first place. For example, there are certain age requirements, education requirements, and background check requirements.
There are states with reciprocal agreements with one another, and this means if you get your real estate license in one state, you might be able to use it in another without going through another exam.
A pre-licensing course can be several hundred dollars, and you need to take it at an accredited school before you take the licensing exam.
2. You Have to Take a Licensing Exam
During your pre-licensing course, your instructor should give you information about taking the licensing exam. The cost can be anywhere from $100 to $300.
The exam is done on a computer, and it will usually include two different parts. One part is considered the national portion. The national portion is going to cover real estate principles that are general and relevant around the nation. Then, there will be a state-specific part of the test too.
If you take the exam, it’s in a multiple-choice format.
How many questions it contains and how long you have to complete it depends on the state. Your sections are scored separately, and you have to pass both. If you don’t, you will have a chance to retake the exam, but again, the rules for how you can do that and when differ by state.
3. Prepare for Uncertainty
Being a real estate professional can mean that you do very well financially, but early on, it’s not going to be easy. In many ways, it’s up to you to decide how successful you are, based on what you’re putting into your career, but even when you’re working your hardest, you do have to make a name for yourself.
You need to have a larger strategy as a newly licensed real estate agent, and you need to make sure that this includes a specific business plan and marketing plan, as well as goals, including metrics.
There’s going to be a time between when you get your license and when you get your first commission check, and you need to be able to cover your daily life and the costs of your business.
Finally, you have to make sure that you’re disciplined enough to realize you’re in charge of your earnings and your career. You have to invest in yourself and always make the most of your time if you want to do well.