The Startup Magazine 5 Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent


To be honest, selling real estate for a living is not nearly easy as it might seem. It requires that the real estate agent have a wide range of skills beyond the basics of real estate agent training, including a good mind for business and the ability to communicate with a diverse selection of clients. After all, nothing less should be required of an individual who can make a $60K commission on a million-dollar sale.

Working as a real estate agent is an honorable profession. It gives people the opportunity to help other people make their dreams of home ownership possible. With that kind of responsibility given, it’s not surprising that all states require that real estate agents be licensed. If fact, there are several tedious things prospective agents need to go through before securing said licensing.

The mere fact you are reading this information suggests you might be interested in becoming a licensed real estate agent in your state. With that in mind, we offer up the following information that should help guide you on the path to a fruitful career as an agent. FYI: It’s a five-step process from beginning to riches.

Step 1: Take the Required Educational Curriculum for Real Estate Agents

It should not come as a shock that educating yourself in the field of real estate would be required to become a real estate agent. There is essentially no way someone is going to be able to pass the required license exam without going through the proper educational process.

Keeping in mind that all requirements may vary a bit from one state to the next, prospective real estate agents are expected to accumulate a certain number of credits. The required courses target different aspects of the real estate industry with a specific focus on passing the required test.

Note: Courses are available through colleges/universities/trade schools, covering things like key real estate terminology, principles, and law.

Step 2: Sit for and Pass Your State’s Real Estate Exam

When armed with the right knowledge, you can register to take the real estate license exam in your state. You can find test information through your an online website, which is maintained by your state’s real estate commissioner.

The testing process is managed through third-party test organizers. Depending on the state in which you live, the test will generally include 75 to 100 multiple-choice questions. There will be math questions so bringing a calculator would be prudent. To pass the test, you would have to answer a certain percentage of questions correctly. Again, that percentage will vary from one state to the next but 80% would be the target percentage you should use.

To set expectations, only 50% to 60% of the test takers will pass the first time. Yes, it’s a difficult test. However, everyone is able to retake the test when ready.

Step 3: Activate Your Real Estate Agent License

The news comes and you passed. In passing the required test, you technically earn the right to become a licensed real estate agent in your state. Now all you need to do is pay a licensing fee to your state’s real estate commissioner, which effectively activates your license. Again depending on the state, license fees can range from $250 to $500.

At this point, you can start interacting with potential clients. Your license will help you gain access to listings and post listings of your own. Some resources are free, but other resources will require that you pay a membership fee to gain access to the available information.

Step 4: Join the National Association of Realtors®

If you have designs on becoming a full-fledged Realtor® with all the benefits that come with doing so, you would need to become a viable member of the National Association of Realtors®. Membership comes with a fee. This is mandatory in almost all states

The benefits that come with this membership include discounts on the required continuing education courses, access to real estate market data, and the right to legally use the term “Licensed Realtor” on your marketing materials.

Step 5: Join a Brokerage Form or Hang Your Own Shingle

Well, you have arrived as a licensed real estate agent in your state. What now? With the license and National Association of Realtors® in hand, you can now make a decision about how you wish to proceed in your career as an agent and how to get your first luxury homes for sale.

Realistically, you’ll have two choices. The first choice is the most common. You can join a brokerage firm at the conclusion of your real estate agent training. In fact, many states require that you spend time with a “supervising broker” as part of the licensing process.

At some point, you might get bold and go with your second choice. That would be to hang your shingle and start your own brokerage firm with other realtors working for you.

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