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The ABCs of How to Become a Real Estate Agent

If you've been thinking about changing careers or starting a side business to supplement your income, you've probably considered becoming a real estate agent. So, you want to know:


1. How to get into the industry?

2. How much money can I make?

3. Is it feasible to sell real estate on the side?

Being a realtor is a great job if you like houses and enjoy working with people, but it isn't always the dream job that some envision. It is a common misconception that real estate agents make a lot of money doing almost nothing.

Selling real estate is more work than you might think, and while some real estate agents are very successful, many struggle just to make ends meet.

Here's what it takes to become a real estate agent — and what you should think about before you start selling houses — according to someone in the industry.

Do you have the time and money to get licensed?

If you want to sell houses, the first step is to obtain a real estate licence. Find a list of approved online or in-person real estate courses on the website of your state's Department of Real Estate or Bureau of Real Estate. Some people appreciate the convenience of online education, while others prefer the focus of being in a classroom. You can expect to study for at least a few months and up to a year in any case.

You can take the state's official test to become a licenced real estate salesperson once you've completed the classes. Because the test isn't cheap, make sure you study thoroughly before enrolling.

Where will you work?

Almost all new real estate agents work under the supervision of a broker. Real estate brokers provide marketing assistance as well as legal protection to their agents. Interview at least three different brokerages before picking where to hang your hat to get a sense of how they operate.

Some agents favour large brokerages because the names of well-known companies lend legitimacy to their work. Other agents like mom-and-pop shops because they allow them to operate from home and select their own vendors.

Can you afford the start-up expenses?

Real estate agents are independent contractors, even if they work under the supervision of a broker. You can add Coldwell Banker or RE/Max on your business card, but you must purchase them yourself. Sale signs, open house signs, and a rudimentary website are all regular charges.


Budget $1,000 for these advertising start-up costs, and as your firm grows, you'll be able to market more. Annual real estate association and board dues, as well as membership fees to the local Multiple Listing Service, should be budgeted for (MLS). Rather of taking listings, most new agents begin by dealing with purchasers. All of that house-hunting will result in a lot of petrol being consumed as you drive around town.

How are your boundaries?

As a rookie real estate agent, it can be difficult to manage your time, especially if you have work or small children.
Because most house showings take place in the evenings and on weekends, odd hours are unavoidable. That makes real estate appealing as a side job or for working parents, but keep in mind that buyers frequently contact to request a showing on short notice. Even so, you may have to make concessions during the bargaining process. Prepare yourself.
How much can I earn as a real estate agent?
Real estate is a commission-based industry. And commission-based jobs are either a feast or a famine situation.
You can spend months without receiving a paycheck, and you will. You'll need to figure out how to budget for fluctuating income. However, unlike W-2 occupations, commission-based jobs such as real estate agent or broker have virtually unlimited earning possibilities. Some real estate brokers earn more than a million dollars a year. You get what you put in terms of effort and time back in terms of revenue. So, how much money can you make? Property sellers often pay commissions, which are negotiable under the law. Although it varies, some listing agents receive 2.5 percent of the contract purchase price and offer the same to buyers' agents. For the sake of illustration, we'll use 2.5 percent.  2.5 percent of the purchasing price is $7,500 if you sell a $300,000 home.
Then your brokerage will be split (this is how the broker makes their money for letting you use their offices and branding). Because new agents require additional training, they often have to give more to their brokers. Assume you and your brokerage have a 70/30 split. You're left with $5,250. You're thinking $5,250 for one house. It's not bad. However, keep in mind how long it took you to earn that money. Escrows last about 30 days, and if you're representing the buyer, you've probably spent weeks driving them around all day looking at properties.
Can I really sell real estate part-time?
Yes. In fact, I propose that everyone begin in this manner.
Developing clients is the most difficult aspect of starting a real estate firm. It takes a long time to complete. If you go full-time into real estate and spend all of your money into training and start-up costs, it could take six months to sell your first home. Because it is fairly flexible, becoming a real estate salesperson might be an excellent career for women with young children. You can work from home part of the time (emails, calls, web marketing, and other activities), then leave the kids with your spouse or a babysitter while you go to the movies.
Selling real estate part-time is a good way to get into the business without going broke while also supplementing your income.