As the co-owner of a real estate school, I am often asked what it takes to get into real estate as a career. As an industry, real estate offers one of the most flexible and self-directed avenues available for personal and professional success.
We have found that certain personality types are well-suited for a career in real estate. People who enjoy helping others, are motivated and able to be flexible are good candidates. Those who have perhaps started in another field such as nursing, education, or public service may easily transition into the role of real estate agent because the core concept of helping others applies across these disciplines.
With the proper training, you have the opportunity for unlimited earning potential. Each person has a unique sphere of influence; a group of people that you interact with on a regular basis in places such as your neighborhood, your relatives, church members, friends, and service people who assist you with your dry cleaning, groceries, car care, and so on. This sphere of influence is a great way to get your real estate business started, simply by letting each of these folks know that you have become a licensed agent and would like to help them with their real estate needs.
Working in real estate gives you the chance to really get out in the community and work with so many different people. Knowing that you are helping them with one of the most important decisions they will ever make is very satisfying.
What is required to become a licensed real estate agent? First, you must obtain a real estate license. Some states require that you successfully complete a 60 hour pre-licensing course and then pass a two-part state licensing examination. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
Once you have passed the state exam, you must affiliate with a real estate company (you must have a broker in charge). From that point on, you are able to work as a licensed real estate agent. The first license you receive will be called a provisional sales license. Sometime during the first year of licensure, an additional 30 hours of class is required (called Post Licensing) to upgrade to a permanent sales license. Once you have obtained the permanent license, only eight hours of continuing education is needed once every two years.
What can you do with a real estate license? Besides the obvious answer of listing and selling homes, you may choose from a variety of specialties. Onsite agents work at a specific new home community; buyer agents only work with home purchasers and do not solicit listings. Other niche areas include: military specialists, relocation, real estate education, commercial real estate, property management, first time buyers, executive homes, waterfront properties, subdivision development, and many more.
Real estate can provide the pathway to the lifestyle of your dreams. From making your own schedule to determining how much you earn, the real estate industry offers many opportunities to be successful.