Learning The Art of Real Estate
Imagine working for yourself in a flexible career where you can set your own schedule with annual earning potential where the sky is the limit. There are many reasons to choose real estate as your career. Keep in mind there are always two sides to every story, and a real estate career is no different.
As a Real Estate Agent, You Are Your Own Boss
You are an independent contractor and control your own business. You make the decisions. Couple together a good attitude and solid work ethic, and there are virtually no limits for the growth of your real estate business.
You’re an independent contractor, you are in charge of building, marketing and managing your business. You will be maintaining your client’s needs, and managing the day-to-day office needs. Many new agents fail to recognize how much work it takes to become a successful real estate agent and don’t make it past the first 36 months. You want to align yourself with a great brokerage, and you may even form, or become part of a “team”.
Now, owning your own business sounds glamorous, but is a lot of work. You are responsible for the expenses that go with owning your own business, keeping good records for your taxes, and for the Real Estate Commission.
How To Become A Real Estate Agent
To be eligible to become a licensed real estate salesperson or agent, you must:
- Be at least 18 or 19 years old (depends on the state)
- Have legal US residency
- Complete your required prelicense education (number of hours required depends on the state)
- Pass your state and national real estate license examination
To obtain your Real Estate license you may choose to take classes online or in classrooms. There are several online, brick and mortar real estate schools, as well as community colleges and universities that offer the pre-licensing courses.
After you take the pre-licensing courses, you will go on to pass your exams. Many agents are apprehensive about taking the exams, but if you study, take the practice tests and work hard, you can pass. After you pass your exams, you will be required to take post-license courses as well. Those too are offered online and in the classroom setting. Each year, Real Estate Agents are required to complete a certain amount of continuing education hours as well.
The Difference Between A Real Estate Agent and a REALTOR®
Although the terms are used as the same, there is a difference between real estate agents and REALTORS. A Real Estate Agent is licensed to sell Real Estate, many belong to their local association, but may not be a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Having the additional designation does set you apart in the industry, as a Real Estate Professional adhering to a higher standard of ethics.
As a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you have access to the REALTOR Benefits® Program, Member Value Plus Program, the NAR Library, Realtors Property Resource®, NAR’s Research & Statistics, and so much more.