How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent
Becoming a real estate agent can make a big difference in your career. The real estate agent is an important person who determines to a large extent the growth and development of the industry. While the industry is made up of different sections, the real estate agent serves as a personnel whose responsibilities cut across almost all sections. Basically, a real estate agent is a spokesperson or salesperson whose function is to serve as an intermediary between a seller and buyer of fixed properties.
The real estate agent serves as the trusted personnel of a buyer or seller who provides clients with professional advice, give suggestions as well as complete favorable transactions for their clients. In essence, the agent who is a professional in the field help clients list their house(s) for potential buyers as well help potential buyers get a house or a fixed property based on the requirement and specifications of the client. As the real estate agent serves as an adviser to their client, their opinion cannot supersede the need of the client. Hence, an agent strictly follows a buyer’s recommendation which can include the size of the home, the style and manner of construction, need for a natural environment, number of available rooms, as well as location. As instructions are given, the real estate agent will look up the listing file to search for a home that has the stated features.
Beyond getting a property that suits the desire of a client or beyond helping a client list their property and ensuring that a client is drawn to go for the property, the agent stands in place of the client in making all necessary negotiations. While the buyer or owner of a property has the final say on transactions, the agent ensures that the buyer is willing to buy the home at a profitable price and the seller is also willing to sell the house at a beneficial price. In all, the agent is saddled with the responsibility of making the best available deal.
Difference between a Real Estate Broker and a Real Estate Agent
Often times, most people have likened a real estate agent to a real estate broker. In fact, some use the words ‘agent’ and ‘broker’ interchangeably to mean the same thing. Well, both words mean separate concepts. A real estate agent is different from a real estate broker. A real estate agent is one who has fulfilled the requirement of being an agent as well as received a license to practice. As it is the first step into working in that field, the title is quite encompassing and challenging. On the other hand, a real estate broker is one who furthers his or her training and education in the field as well as one who has received the license to be a broker after passing the state’s exam. The real estate agent is not a broker but the real estate broker is an agent. A broker can operate independently and also have agents working as members of the body while an agent has to work under a larger umbrella which is the broker.
While the field is quite beneficiary, being a successful agent will be dependent on educational qualifications, working with an established brokerage firm, getting a license as well as the ability to satisfy clients.
Therefore, in becoming a real estate agent, certain steps are required.
General qualifications needed to become a Real Estate Agent
- You must complete your pre-license program and take the exam
- You must be 18years old and above
- Get a suitable broker to work with for a period of time
- You must take the state licensing exam to get a license
- Have a legal permit to stay in the US
Register for a Real Estate Prelicensing Course
There are three certification courses that you need to get before you can schedule your state exam. You can either do them online or go through a brokerage that offers these classes. There is a fee associated with it and it pretty much varies on the brokerage or if you do it online. It will cost you about $169 and the three courses that you need to take are,
- Real Estate Practice
- Real Estate Principles
- Real Estate Law
So if you decide to do it online, you will get your books through email. The good thing about doing it online is that you can do it at your own speed.
Real Estate Agent Courses and Education
Being a real estate is beyond selling and buying landed properties. The intricacies associated with the discipline can mainly be known by those who receive formal education relating to the discipline. Here are the steps to take to be fully qualified.
Step 1: Know the pre-licensing program required by your state
Every prospective agent in the United States must be educated in the prerequisite and main courses. However, courses offered by potential agents are dependent on the state. In California, the right to be an agent has birthed on the three college-level courses which include; one course on the principles of real estate, another on the practices of real estate and the last is a special elective. A total of 135 hours. States like Idaho requires a two-college level course. In New York City, candidates must take the fixed 75 hours pre-licensing course. Florida applicants must take the required courses in 63 hours, Texas in 180 hours and Pennsylvania in 60 hours.
While some colleges offer it as a discipline, others offer knowledge in the discipline through the continuing education department. Those who cannot attend a college due to restrained situations can also be educated at government accredited centres within the state. During the pre-licensing academic session, candidates learning is usually centered on ethics, contracts, legal issues, finance in real estate, different types of fixed properties, government regulations as well as ethics.
Apart from the courses taken in the continuing education department of colleges and government accredited centres, those who are willing to work in the field can also take the ‘’level 3 CPD Certified Estate Agent Diploma’’ which is usually an online program. This program requires the candidate to go through the modules for an extensive understanding of the course. On the completion of the modules, candidates are to write a professional exam which will be set in an advanced.
Step 2: Apply for the exam
The fact that a candidate applied for the exam does not necessarily mean that the candidate is ready to sit for the exam. However, if there is no inhibition, it is required that a candidate applies for the exam. The result will determine the candidate’s readiness for the profession. There is no general requirements for exams as all of these are dependent on the state. The fees for the exam will also be determined by the state.
Step 3: Have a financial source
Taking courses in real estate and on real estate agent requires a certain amount. Much more than the teaching fees, candidates may be required to buy books. Hence, the need for a flowing source of income. The education fees also vary according to state and mode of being educated. In all, the fees charged are usually from $350 to $1000.
How to get a real estate license?
To be a professional in the field, the agent must be licensed. Here are the steps to acquiring a license;
Step 1: Have the pre-licensing certificate at hand
The fact that a candidate has the certificate for a pre-license course does not mean the candidate is a professional or is licensed to work. Just as exams vary according to states, rules and standards relating to licensure also vary according to states. However, one thing that is common is that potential agents must complete one or more accepted training course, sit for an exam relating to the course and pass with a particular degree or grade.
Step 2: Be of a qualifiable age
Another requirement for licensure is that the candidate must have passed a particular age range. Usually, in most states, it is usually 18 years and above with high school certificate or GED.
Step 3: Take the state licensing exam
The license cannot be given without the candidate taking the state’s exam. However, the exams vary according to states. Hence, Illinois mode of examination will be different from California’s mode of examination. While the exam and age requirement may be compulsory in most of the states, some strict states may even request for candidate’s thumbprint in order to run a background check and ensure that the candidate has no previous criminal case record.
Step 4: Work under a verified and licensed broker
In the industry, a license may not be given without verification from a trusted professional broker. Hence, before requesting for a license, the agent must have been working under a professional and qualified broker who can attest to the efficiency of the applicant. It can even be required that the prospective agent must have worked between one to three years before applying. On the other hand, some state may issue a license to a potential agent but the agent cannot operate without being employed by a licensed broker.
In all, ensure you understand your state’s requirement, have a certificate that verifies that you have undergone the required pre-licensing course(s), get a broker to work for, and opt-in for the state licensing exam and pass with the required grade.
Step 5: Reciprocity Agreement
Agents who receive the license in their state and moves to another state may not need to receive another license in the new state if there is a reciprocity agreement in place. Basically, the reciprocity agreement gives agents the opportunity to practice in a state other than the state in which they took the licensing exams. So, if Illinois has a reciprocity agreement with Colorado, an agent can get an Illinois license without having to go through the first stage of working towards being in the industry even while he or she lives in Colorado. The agent may only have a short exam to write to be licensed. As changes are made over time, it is best to know the reciprocity agreement that applies to a state.
Salary and Career Opportunities
Step 1: Have a fixed number of hours to work
In the industry, salary varies according to the number of hours used to work in a week or an agent’s experience in the industry. According to the 2017 realtors’ member profile, realtors who earn less than $10000 are realtors who worked only for 20 hours in a week. However, 15% of realtors who worked for 60 hours or more earn $250,000 and above.
Step 2: Be experienced in your field
More so, the record reveals that realtors with more years of experience earned more than those with less years of experience. For instance, 56% of realtors with two or less than two years of experience earned less than $10000 while 10% of those with 16 years or more than sixteen years of experience earned $250000 and over $250000.
Unlike the usual salary earned by traditional workers, real estate agents work with the commission. Hence, the more the clients, the more the money you can get. In two years, the Bureau of Labor statistics in the USA estimates that the employment rate in the real estate industry would have increased by 12%. As the industry increases daily, the market prospect in the area will also determine the sales of an agent. Much more, it is best to have a high edge over others as increased qualifications will also birth more attention. As success steps in, the agent can apply for the broker’s exam and get a license to function as a broker.