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How To Become A Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide

real estate agent Mar 17, 2020

If you ever wondered how to become a real estate agent, you came to the right place! 

Here we will provide you with a step by step guide on how to become a successful Real Estate Agent while being exposed to other necessary information needed. 

Read on and Enjoy How to Become a Real Estate Agent: The Ultimate Guide! Use this menu to jump to your section of choice:

 

What Is A Real Estate Agent? 

Becoming a Real Estate Agent is the first step you need to take when wanting to pursue your career in the Real Estate industry. So, knowing who they are and what they do is the first key step in order to achieve this. 

A Real Estate Agent is a state-licensed individual who has the knowledge and skills to help people buy or sell their homes or a piece of property. They are often seen as the middleman when it comes to completing a deal between a buyer and a seller. 

If you love to help people in making that big decision in their lives, then this career is just the right one for you!

 

What Do Real Estate Agents Do?

Here is a quick overview of what Real Estate Agents do: 

Some people might think being a Real Estate Agent is pretty straight forward or that all it takes to be successful is to sell the most houses.

In reality, there is much more going on behind the scenes besides just helping people sell and buy their homes. 

When working as a Real Estate Agent there isn't really any “typical day” that every Agent seems to follow. But, more of a variety of tasks that will keep you on your feet and always trying to improve your network, skills, and knowledge. 

To get more into detail of what they do on a daily basis, here are just some tasks of what a Real Estate Agent does all day:

  • Watching the Ever-Changing Inventory of the Housing Market. Since there are houses constantly being bought and sold off the market daily, this requires agents to be actively searching so that their clients don't miss out on the home of their dreams.
  • Constantly attending appointments. This may involve meeting with buyers, sellers, appraisers, contractors, repair people, inspectors, etc. All of these appointments can happen when assisting in the process of buying or selling homes.
  • Making Contact involves agents trying to make a connection with prospects and discuss any of their real estate needs. This task can involve using a tool called cold calling (calling someone whom you don't have any relationship with and trying to gain their business). 
  • Scheduling and Paperwork Duty. Scheduling involves organizing open houses, showings, and coming up with house hunting itineraries. For the Paperwork needed, this involves preparing, assisting, and proofreading the client’s requisite paperwork. 

Again this is just a very short list of tasks of what a Real Estate Agent can do on a given day. 

Just to get a better idea and real-life example of what exactly a typical day of a Real Estate Agent looks like, you can read what a successful Agent on Zillow does on a daily basis below or if you’d rather watch a video here's another link to an agent vlogging their typical day right below! 

A Day in the Life of a Successful Zillow Real Estate Agent

Vlog - A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

 

How To Become A Real Estate Agent?

how to become a real estate agent

Pursuing a career as a Real Estate Agent is a serious first step in anyone's life. It can be a long confusing process if guided in the wrong direction. That's why knowing the proper steps and process is important so you can become an Agent in as little as 4 to 6 months.  

Here is where we will list the proper steps to become a Real Estate Agent:

Step #1 - Follow your State’s Requirements 

When trying to obtain your real estate license you must understand that each state has different real estate licensing requirements. 

So, going to the department of real estate website of the state you wish to get your license in is the first step, so you know which courses are required. 

Step #2 - Enroll in a Pre-Licensing Course and Complete the Required Coursework

When looking to complete your required coursework along with passing your pre-license final exam, you need to find the proper real estate school that best suits your preference. 

That means you can attend either an in-person classroom at local real estate education schools, universities, technical schools, some realty firms, home-study, or even sign up for an online course if that is more beneficial to you. 

Regardless of the state, you wish to get your real estate license in, they all require some type of pre-licensing coursework before you can take the actual exam. The amount you need will vary according to the state you wish to get your license.

If you want an official online course that is all online, that allows you to work at your own pace, and helps you study anywhere you go. You should definitely check out AYPO Real Estate's Mobile-Friendly Real Estate CE.

Step #3 - Study and Apply for your Real Estate Licensing Exam

Studying for your exam is an important step to take seriously because not everyone is able to pass the exam on their first try even though it is a multiple-choice exam. To ensure you pass the exam we recommend taking an exam prep course. 

After you pass all your real-estate pre-licensing coursework and go through an exam prep course, then it's time to sign up for the state licensing exam! It is recommended that you sign up for your exam right after you complete both courses. This is to ensure that all the information stays relevant in your mind. 

There is a small application fee that won't cost you more than $100 regardless of where you go. When you go take your exam, most likely it will be administered by a third-party test center. 

Important Information - Before heading to the test center make sure you understand all the requirements needed such as; parking, materials needed, their hours, and some locations require a fingerprint along with a full background check. 

So, going to your state's Department of Real Estate website and making sure you know all your required application requirements are met is key to having a smooth process when becoming a Real Estate Agent.  

Step #4 - Pass the Real Estate Licensing Exam

This is the most important step when wanting to pursue a career in real estate. It's best to know your states passing grade requirements as every state has different ones. 

Again we highly recommend you take an exam prep course to increase your chances of passing your states exam first try.

Step #5 - Select a Broker

If you made it to this step, congratulations you were able to pass the real estate exam and earn your Real Estate Salesperson License! You’re just one step closer to achieve your dream career as a real estate professional. 

Once you pass the exam you will have the ability to work with a broker but not have the ability to work independently as a real estate agent. So, finding a real estate broker earlier in the process is better than later. 

Finding the right broker is key when wanting to further your career. This step is very important because this is where you will discuss how you get paid and the potential earnings you might get. 

Heavy research is required when trying to find the right broker for this step because this is where you truly start your career as a Real Estate Agent. 

Step #6 - Complete any Real Estate Post-Licensing Coursework

After acquiring your real estate license, depending on what state you are working in they might require some post-licensing coursework or continuing real estate schools education.

This coursework will usually be completed within the first 6-12 months after getting your license. So, getting that head start on your continuing education for Real Estate is crucial. 

Therefore, look into whether or not your state is one of them to avoid any issues in the future. 

Step #7 - Officially Start your Real Estate Career

Once you have reached this step then you have officially become a Real Estate Agent! Now it is up to you to really push yourself to become the best agent possible. 

Connecting yourself with professional real estate organizations like the National Association of Realtors and state or local Multiple Listing Services will give you the chance to have a promising and successful career. 

 

How To Become A Real Estate Agent In California?

To become a Real Estate Agent in California you will be following similar steps as we just stated before, but to give a better idea we will be going more into detail of becoming an agent specifically in California. 

Here is a basic list of Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in California:

For more in-depth information on what a person has to go through when wanting to become a Real Estate Agent in California. Please click and read the link provided below!

Examinees Information for Real Estate Salesperson

For some commonly asked Questions from the California Department of Real Estate, you can check out the link provided!

 

How To Become A Real Estate Agent In Texas?

Now looking into the State of Texas they also have some of the same requirements as explained earlier but, they do vary in their own way. We will help guide you if you want to become a Real Estate Agent in Texas.

Here is a basic list of Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Texas:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age and US citizen or lawfully admitted alien
  • Meet TREC’s qualifications for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity
    • Getting your Fingerprints and Passing Background Check
  • Register and Complete the Required 180 hours of education as listed:
    • Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
    • Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
    • Law of Agency (30 hours)
    • Law of Contracts (30 hours)
    • Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
    • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
  • Here is a List of Approved Qualifying Real Estate Course in Texas
  • Take the Exam that is administered by PerasonVUE
    • To Pass: 56 NQ questions correct / 21 SS questions correct 
    • 85 National Questions / 40 State-Specific Questions
    • 3 attempts are given before having to take additional education
  • Finding a Sponsor (active Texas licensed broker) using their Online Licensing Service
  • 1-year deadline to meet all requirements once the application is filed
  • $54 Exam Fee / $205 License Fee

For more in-depth information on what a person has to go through when wanting to become a Real Estate Agent in Texas. Please click and read the link provided below!

The Process in Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Texas

For some commonly asked Questions from the Texas Department of Real Estate, you can check out the link provided!

 

How To Become A Real Estate Agent In Florida?

Now looking into the sunshine state of America! Florida is not only known for its oranges but also a booming Real Estate market. Here is where we will guide you in becoming a Real Estate agent in Florida!

Here is a basic list of Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in Florida:

  • Be at least 18 years of age with an existing social security number
  • High School Diploma or Equivalent 
  • Register and Complete a Pre-Licensing Course (63 hours)
  • Submit a Completed Application of Sales Associate License
  • Pass the Licensing Exam with a 75 or better
    • Exam cost $36.75
    • OR pass the Florida Real Estate Law Exam with at least a 30
  • Activate your License 

For more in-depth information on what a person has to go through when wanting to become a Real Estate Agent in Florida. Please click and read the link provided below!

Department of Real Estate Florida

If you have any other questions or just trying to find more information feel free to contact their Customer Contact Center!

 

How To Become A Real Estate Agent In New York?

Now looking into The Empire State of America where almost nine million people live. New York has a constant need for people looking for homes. So, becoming a Real Estate Agent in New York has a promising upside for developing your career. 

Here is a basic List of Steps to Become a Real Estate Agent in New York:

  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • High School Diploma or Equivalent / Lawfully Admitted Alien
  • Register and Complete 75 hours of Real Estate Pre Licensing Course
  • Take and Pass the State Exam
  • Find a Sponsor Broker and Fully Complete the Salesperson Application
    • The initial application costs $55

For more in-depth information on what a person has to go through when wanting to become a Real Estate Agent in New York. Please click and read the link provided below!

Becoming a Real Estate Agent in New York

For some commonly asked Questions from the New York Department of Real Estate, you can check out the link provided!

 

How To Be A Good Real Estate Agent?

Being good at any career you decide to pursue in life, you must have a certain type of skills and knowledge in your back pocket. In the career of Real Estate, there are a handful of skills that are essential to be successful.

Here are the major skills and traits you need to master in order to be a natural Real Estate Agent: 

Communication Skills

Having the ability to communicate effectively is the most important skill in being a Real Estate Agent. This career has as much spoken as an auctioneer due to the numerous sources of people you have connections to. 

You have to be a very outgoing extroverted person that loves working with people. Building a relationship with your clients and building that networking channel will only build your reputation for the better. 

The more people you know the better because all those people you’re connected to are all potential clients.

Negotiating is another big part of this job because finding the best deal possible for your client is the goal. You will be constantly looking to get a lower price than what the listing initially offered.

So, this is where you need to listen more than you talk, ask for what you want, and know everything is negotiable. 

Local Real Estate Knowledge

Knowing your local real estate area is better to fully master instead of trying to understand every area of the housing market. Focusing on one city, community, or town allows you to get that deep level knowledge that no one else can. 

This results in you having a competitive advantage over other agents and being the agent people go out of their way to find and work with. 

This is where you can build your relationship with your clients on a more personable level. You will be able to know each community through and through. Giving your clients information about the best neighborhood to live in for the prices they desire is a recipe for a successful agent. 

Just focusing on local real estate gives you the ability to stay on top of industry trends that might help or hurt your client’s chances of finding their right home. The best way to increase your knowledge is by reading trade publications every day. 

Knowledge. Is. Power.

"The problem with Real Estate is that it's local. You have to understand the local market."

- Robert Kiyosaki

Persistence / Self-Motivation

This is where you need to pursue as many leads as you can in order to achieve as many sales as possible. Meaning if you want to make it big in the real estate industry you need to go out of your way to find the most potential clients. 

This requires you to put in numerous hours into this job, even if that means having to work outside of the office.  

The client is everything because they are playing a major factor when it comes to your income. That's why you can't wait on a client to call you but rather you have to go out of your way to stay on top of things. 

You need to be motivated and understand that every month can't be a booming month. In reality, there will be some months where you won’t even sell anything. So, staying self-motivated and never quitting is an essential skill to have. 

Here is a video on the best way to get leads in Real Estate by Graham Stephan, a successful real estate agent on YouTube:

 

Passion

To be good at anything you do, you really have to love and enjoy what you are doing first. 

If you lack passion in real estate then most likely you will fail as an agent. You need to understand that you are helping people find their forever homes and this can be a lengthy process to go through. 

No successful real estate agent ever says that they are bored on the job. If there is an agent saying they are bored then they're officially not putting enough hard work in. 

To be more passionate in real estate you need to have the desire to help people, willingness to put in great amounts of work and have a positive mindset even when times seem to get rough. 

Being able to harness each of these skills puts you in a very good position to be the Best Real Estate Agent you can be.  

 

How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?

a real estate agent salary

The salary for a Real Estate Agent can be a tricky one to understand. Especially if you are looking into the median pay. This is due to the fact that commission-based pay can vary from month to month. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018 the Median Pay for Real Estate Agents was $48,690 per year. 

Looking at the States we talked about earlier here are their Mean salaries: 

  • California $68,860
  • Florida $57,520
  • New York $102,310
  • Texas $72,480

When dealing with commission-based pay, the amount you can earn is through the roof. It's mainly up to the agent on how much they can really make. The more houses you buy and sell the higher the commission (pay) you will get. 

It also depends on the houses you are buying and selling and the clients you are working with. The wealthier the clients you are working for, the higher the price housing you are looking for. Which means higher amounts of the commission back in your pockets!

So, what are some of the best ways to earn the most money without having High-End clients?

  • Working Longer Hours (60h hrs or more)
  • Being a Satisfied Agent (higher satisfied means higher salary)
  • Having More Experience (10+ years have a better chance of earning more)
  • Working in an area that has a promising housing market
  • Being Self-Employed pays out a lot more than a Hybrid Brokerage

Here is some information you may need to know about how the commission works:

  • Real Estate Commission receives 5%-6% of the homes sale price
  • Buyer and Seller Agents in most areas receive 2.5%-3%
  • Commissions paid to Real Estate Agents are negotiable and must be agreed upon the agent and the buyer/seller
  • Don't have to pay Real Estate Agent commission if buying a home only the closing costs
    • Selling a home - must pay commission to both your agent and buyer’s agent
  • Important
    • Be sure to read all the paperwork/contracts thoroughly to make sure you understand the terms about the commission you have to pay for your agent’s services. 

Here is a video of Teddy Smith (Real Estate Agent YouTuber) going more into detail on how Real Estate Agents get paid:

 

What Should You Know Before Becoming A Real Estate Agent?

Before jumping into any career you have to do your research and understand what you are getting yourself into. You want to make sure you are pursuing the right career for you before wasting your own time. 

You are the sole person that determines how successful you are in Real Estate Business. This is because you find your own leads, you work your own hours, and it's up to you if a deal goes through or not. The amount you earn is based on how much effort you put in. You're your own boss. 

High Effort = High Pay & Mediocre Effort = Mediocre Pay 

Having to work extra-long hours and must be available to work on days off. This job requires you to work with clients that have to want to look at houses in their free time. So, that means having to work on weekends. Have good communication between you and your client and everything will work out. 

Making a good and comfortable living might take some time in the beginning. This is due to the fact you simply don't have a good network to start off with. That's why every contact you make is crucial because you want to make a good name for yourself. 

Which in return for your good self-image that you have created, you have the opportunity to be considered for people's referrals. Once you build your network high enough and conduct great services for your clients. That's when you are able to really see your promising career become a reality. 

 

What Are Some Mistakes A Real Estate Agent Should Avoid?

real estate agent reviews

Knowing the fundamentals of any career is key because you want to be seen as a professional and know what you are talking about. Therefore, you need to know the basic mistakes everyday Real Estate Agents might face and do everything you can to avoid it. 

Here is a list of mistakes you can avoid from happening to you:

  • A Lack of Communication between yourself and your clients
  • Not effectively using all the proper resources you have
  • Being afraid of confrontations or not willing to play hardball when negotiating 
  • Not putting investing enough in self-marketing or utilizing enough marketing materials at all
  • Poor Lead Management
  • Losing Touch with Clients

This is a list that you should definitely keep in your mind because they might seem just a small list of four but, they do play an important role in your success as a Real Estate Agent. 

Now that you have a general understanding of the mistakes that agents go through. Hopefully, you can see this coming before it happens to you. 

 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Real Estate Agent?

When addressing a career choice that is completely new to you, you really need to see if the pros outweigh the cons before going forward. 

Looking at the negatives of any job should be mandatory because that is something you will go through. You can't just look at the positives and expect that to happen every time. 

So here is a list of Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent:

PROS

  • The potential amount of earnings you can get is unlimited
  • You’re your own boss and able to work your own hours
  • Helping people make important decisions in their lives
  • Accountability for personal success
  • Building new networks and developing new skills and experiences 

CONS

  • Non-Guaranteed Income 
  • Having to work nights and weekends when necessary
  • Stressful times of the responsibility to satisfy clients 

If reading a list is not sufficient enough for you to really understand the pros and cons. Here is a link of a successful Real Estate Agent going in-depth of the pros and cons he experienced during his career. 

YouTuber Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent!

 

What Are The Differences Between Part-Time And Full-Time Real Estate Agents?

Being a Real Estate Agent gives you the opportunity to be successful at working either as a Part-Time or Full-Time position. There are benefits to each one and it's up to you to decide which is better. 

Part-Time Real Estate Agents aren't really able to devote enough of their time to network and understand the market fully. They aren't able to really have that full experience as a full-time agent. Also, they may have some clients follow their schedule since they are just working part-time.

But, don't let that stray you away from being a part-time agent. They’re able to get the hang of things when they first start and really get to know the business at their own pace. You aren't letting yourself put all your eggs in one basket and jumping right into this career. Rather getting yourself more familiar and understanding while keeping your options open. 

Full-Time Real Estate Agents are able to fully devote all their time to a client without any distractions. Full-time agents have the chance to really connect with their clients and give their full attention to their job. Giving full focus on your job would only just speed up the process of becoming the best agent possible. 

 

What Is The Difference Between Real Estate Agent, Realtor, And Broker?

real estate agent vs broker

There are many different areas of careers that you can pursue in the housing industry. These are the three main ones people seem to be the most interested in. So, understanding all three is crucial when deciding which career to focus on mainly. 

Here is a list of each one describing what exactly they do:

Real Estate Agent

This is the starting point for many real estate professionals.

Their main responsibilities consist of being a middle man between buyer and seller while being the main focal point of communication on getting the deal done. They provide any questions that their client has while helping with any type of paperwork. 

They also work for brokers and mainly get paid on a commission basis. That means when they sell a property they get a percentage of that sale. So, higher property value means higher commission back to you. 

Realtor

They are members of the National Association of Realtors which is the largest trade group in the U.S. They are held to a higher ethical standard in comparison to a regular Real Estate Agent. 

They are able to be a Broker-Associate, a managing broker, or even an exclusive buyer’s agent. They also must follow the 17 articles of the code of ethics by the Realtor Code of Ethics. Which include them putting the interests of their clients over their own.  

Broker

This is a person working in real estate and decided to pursue their education and pass the real estate broker license exam. 

They are able to work independently or even have other existing agents work for them. If they work for a broker they have the chance to share brokerage profits which is a lot more than the regular commission for Real Estate Agents. On top of everything, they’re able to still receive a commission on any sale they complete. 

Their typical responsibilities consist of similar ones like that of a Real Estate Agent. They work with both buyers and sellers and look for properties that best fit their client’s requests. 

To get a more in-depth look into what exactly a Real Estate Broker is, check out the related guide from our website! 

 

Final Thoughts On How To Become A Real Estate Agent

Understanding how to become a Real Estate Agent can be a lengthy and confusing process but once you get past all the hurdles and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your opportunity for success and earnings are never-ending.

Our goal is to provide you with this ultimate guide with the process of becoming an agent and any other necessary information you might be wondering. 

Using this article will give you a competitive advantage over anyone else trying to start a career as a Real Estate Agent. Especially since you were able to understand the fundamentals needed to become a successful agent instead of just getting started as a regular one like everyone else!

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