How to Start a Career in Real Estate

Buying or selling a home is a critical life decision, and a lucrative career can be made helping guide homeowners and prospective buyers through the process. The job takes training, education, and ambition to be successful, and it all starts by planning out your career path and obtaining your real estate license. Let’s find out how to begin your journey toward real estate success.

Weigh the Benefits

There are pros and cons to every job and being a real estate agent is no different. Unlike stepping into a traditional job interview, an agent must undergo certifications and invest money into courses and exams. Luckily, it is substantially quicker and less expensive than any college degree.

When it comes to compensation, real estate is incredibly competitive if you’re willing to put in the work. An average real estate agent makes about $50,000 annually, while the highest 10% earn well over $100,000 a year. You may also be your own boss, which is a great benefit, but you’ll need to be open to your clients’ schedules if you want to make the most of your opportunities and earn a significant income. As another benefit, sharing a major life moment with your clients can be incredibly uplifting, especially when you’re able to help them find their ideal home for sale.

Know your License Requirements

Your license lets the world know that you are educated, certified, and prepared to become a real estate agent. To obtain your license, you must be a U.S resident. Requirements may vary from state to state, but generally you’ll need to take a pre-licensing course, pass your state exam, file for an application, and find a brokerage.

If you are practicing in more than one state or you’re moving, you’ll need to look into each state’s requirements. These can range from different types of background checks, continuing education, exams, and fees.

Develop a Financial Plan

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re comfortable with the job requirements and upfront time and money investment, you’ll need to think about the first couple years as an agent. Startup costs, emergency funds, and short-term savings should be available before you start.  You may not start collecting commissions for some time, so you’ll need to be in solid financial shape before you start your new career.

Choose a Brokerage

A Real Estate Brokerage is supervised by the state to oversee your real estate transactions. You’ll typically be paid a percentage of the commissions from your real estate transactions. You’ll typically pay a fee for administrative costs, business cards and marketing, website operation, and more. You can also join the NAR (National Association of Realtors) to add credibility to your practice and gain access to a variety of data tools, discounts, and educational opportunities.