Next video:
Loading the player...

Becoming a real estate agent involves a combination of education, researching a broker who can help you get started, and passing your state exam to receive a license.  Here, we’ll show you the main steps to get going.

Step 1: Get Educated - No matter what state you live in, you must take real estate courses before your license exam.  However, state requirements differ greatly, so you need to contact your state’s real estate commission to find out what specific courses you need. These classes won’t just help you on the exam, they’ll also expand your knowledge of the industry in general.

Step 2: Exam Time -  You must apply to take a real estate license exam, so once again, check with your state’s real estate commission for information on submitting an application. Once your courses are completed and your application has been accepted, you’re ready to take your exam.

Step 3: Choose a Brokerage.  A real estate brokerage is an agency or office from which real estate agents and brokers work, and choosing the right one is crucial to your success.  Working with a brokerage is a requirement for agents, so you will need to select a broker to "hang your license with". When looking at a brokerage, think about its size, reputation and commission split. You might also try crafting interview questions.  Some questions you might want to ask: How many years of industry experience do you have?  Is there someone within the brokerage I can work with for further training?  What is your client contact style for developing leads?  How long does it take on average to earn commission checks?

Step 4: Make the Realtor/Real Estate Agent Decision.  In order to use the title “Realtor,” you must join the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Do this by choosing an affiliated brokerage, then contacting your local NAR branch for membership details. Membership includes access to data, tools and further training you might not otherwise receive.

Step 5: Develop a Budget.  Becoming a real estate agent isn’t cheap, with startup fees estimated between $1,500 to $2,000. You’ll also need to set aside enough money to get by for at least a few months before you make your first sale. Remember, most agents work on commission, so if you're not selling homes, you're not making money.

Step 6: Build Your Client & Referral Portfolio.  First, get a mentor. This way you’ll be able to learn the profession from your mentor while gaining your first commission check.  Second, use your personal network.  You’re surrounded by people who know and trust you, most of whom will be looking to buy or sell their home at some point, and who can recommend you to others. Remember, one successful sale can lead to many more.

Becoming a real estate agent is similar to starting a small business.  But follow these main steps, and you should have your first “Sold” sign up with your savings still intact.

  1. No results found.
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    6 Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

    Get a head start in the real estate business by following these six steps.
  2. Investing

    Top 5 Signs Of A Bad Real Estate Agent

    The signs of a bad agent go beyond whether your home sells quickly.
  3. Investing

    6 Questions For Your Realtor

    Before you start working with a real estate agent – especially if you're the one paying the agent's commission – make sure you've made the right choice.
  4. Investing

    Would You Make A Good Real Estate Broker?

    How to tell if you'd be good in this field. It is a common second career for many people, but isn't a good match for everyone.
  5. Investing

    How to Choose the Right Real Estate Broker

    Buying or selling a home can be the largest financial transactions of your life. Here's how to choose the right real estate broker or agent.
  6. Investing

    6 Questions For Your Realtor

    A good real estate agent can guide you through every step of buying or selling a home. These questions can help you find the right one.
  7. Investing

    What Real Estate Licenses Are Required in Texas?

    Discover the licensing requirements for practicing real estate in Texas, and learn what you need to do to obtain the proper licenses.
  8. Investing

    5 Reasons Why You Still Need A Real Estate Agent

    Doing the work yourself can save money, but it could end up being more costly than a realtor’s commission in the long run.
  9. Investing

    Understanding Real Estate Commissions: Who Pays?

    When you set out to buy or sell a house, one factor worth considering is the real estate agent's fees.
  10. Investing

    5 Ways To Save On Real Estate Fees

    Even a 1% reduction in real estate commissions can save you thousands of dollars.
Hot Definitions
  1. North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA

    A regulation implemented on Jan. 1, 1994, that decreased and eventually eliminated tariffs to encourage economic activity ...
  2. Benchmark

    A standard against which the performance of a security, mutual fund or investment manager can be measured.
  3. Mobile Wallet

    Mobile wallet is a virtual wallet that stores payment card information on a mobile device.
  4. Leverage

    1. The use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital, such as margin, to increase the potential return of an investment. ...
  5. Trumponomics

    Trumponomics is a term for the economic policies of President Donald Trump.
  6. Universal Health Care Coverage

    An organized healthcare system that provides healthcare benefits to all persons in a specified region. Many countries, such ...
Trading Center