23 Aug How to Become a Real Estate Agent
Characteristics of the Best Real Estate Agents
The best real estate agents hustle
The best real estate agents are knowledgeable
The best real estate agents do this full-time
The best real estate agents treat this like a business
How does that happen? Advertising, networking, more advertising, and more networking. The best agents are aggressive—they have to be, because there is so much competition. LEARN MORE
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What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?
Buyer’s agent duties
An agent’s duty is to their client. You must help them get the best deal. Knowing why an owner is selling can help your buyer make the best, most attractive offer.Understanding your market comes into play here yet again. What aspects of the contract can be negotiated? Knowing this—and then negotiating them for your client’s favor or for the seller’s favor, if they aren’t important to your client, is a mark of a great negotiator.You’ve heard the term “real estate is local.” Local is relative. It isn’t always a city, or even a neighborhood—sometimes it’s block by block. But not all agents get this and may use inappropriate properties to arrive at an initial asking price for a home.
Seller’s agent duties
FILL OUT ALL THE FORMS
There are a multitude of forms that need to be completed before listing a house. Houses built before 1978 need a Lead Based Paint Disclosure. Sellers who have occupied the home should fill out a Seller’s Property Disclosure. Source of Water is required in Colorado. Know what forms your state and metro area require, and ensure your sellers complete them.
Listing a house isn’t just taking the information and pictures and posting it on the MLS, then sitting back and waiting for offers to roll in. You must learn about marketing—and practice what you preach. That includes websites, signs, postcards, flyers, social media, email, newspaper ads, open houses, yard signs, and much, much more.
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How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
This is probably the part you are most interested in—because who wants to spend hours and hours driving clients around to see houses for free? You are thinking of becoming a real estate agent because you want to make money, right?
Do you want the numbers? Unfortunately, salaries vary so dramatically that they’re not really helpful. The average real estate agent salary is $39,800. Or $43,860. Or $76,000. But it might also be $33,000. These are the results I got back when I Googled “What is the average real estate agent salary?” But the thing is, you get out of real estate what you put into it. Are you willing to be on call round the clock? You’re probably not going to be getting phone calls at 2 a.m., but you might get one at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. from a client who is dying to see a house that just popped up on the market. You might also get one at 10 p.m. at night for the same reason.Remember this when considering becoming a real estate agent. The agents making top dollar in their real estate salary are the agents answering their phones all the time.
Step 1: Get Educated
Choose your school
Step 2: Decide on a Brokerage
- Continuing education
- Errors and omissions insurance
- Commission splits
- Payment terms and timelines
- Daily schedules
- Floor hours
- Desk assignments
- What the brokerage provides and what you are responsible for.
Step 3: Pass the Exam
After finishing your coursework, you take two exams—one state-specific and one national exam—to prove your knowledge. Most states allow up to a year to take the test after completing school.
The test questions are designed to examine how well you absorbed the information. They are worded with twists and turns and must be read very carefully. Some questions are looking for the best answer; they have more than one answer that could be technically right.
What happens on exam day
Step 4: Get a Background Check
Step 5: Submit Your Application
Once you have passed your real estate exam, you must submit the application for your license. Your application will require proof that you passed your coursework and your tests. Depending on the state, it will require you to answer various questions and possibly need a signature from your employing broker, along with proof of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Don’t forget the application fee.
If the real estate commission has waived any past felony convictions, those waivers should also be submitted with your application.
Remember that background check you sent fingerprints in for? It will be submitted to the real estate commission once it’s completed, which may happen before you finish your coursework and submit your application. Don’t worry: The commission stores each portion of the application until all parts have been received. They’ll match them together and then review the entire application. My state takes a week or two once all sections have been matched up.
Again, the process may differ in your area, so be sure to check out the specifics.
After my application was approved, the real estate commission notified my employing broker, who in turn informed me. It took about a week to receive my official license, but they emailed my license number right away so I could get started with setup.
Step 6: Become a Realtor (…If You Want)
Learning how to become a Realtor and how to become a real estate agent: It’s all the same thing, right? Nope. It’s kind of like Kleenex or Band-Aids. Those are both name-brand items that are so well-known, the name is also the thing. People routinely ask for a “Band-Aid” when they mean “bandage.” “Tissue” and “Kleenex” are interchanged all the time.
When this happens, the trademark has become generalized. No big deal, right? Nope, it can be a very big deal. When a company trademarks a name and then does not vigorously defend their trademark, it becomes watered down, and they can lose their trademark status and all the legal protections that go along with it.
A Realtor is not the same thing as a real estate agent. Every Realtor is a real estate agent, but not every agent is a Realtor. The word REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Only members of NAR can call themselves Realtors.
How to Find Clients
Finding a client takes work. Everyone already knows an agent or twelve. Clients don’t bust down your door—why would they? They’re inundated with flyers, mailers, magnets, and postcards. You have to make yourself memorable. What can you offer that another agent can’t? Why should someone hire you?
Your marketing budget can make or break you. In the beginning, your success literally depends on it.
One of the top tips I have seen is also one of the simplest. Get a name tag proclaiming your real estate agent status and wear it everywhere. People won’t know what you do until you tell them.
Treat your listings like marketing tools, too. Your “For Sale” sign that you plant in the yard is an advertisement. And an open house is one of the best ways to put your face in front of potential buyers, many of whom are not currently working with a real estate agent. When they walk in your door, be prepared to wow them with your expertise.
There are all manner of clever marketing ideas online. One agent passes out water bottles printed with her name and information at the gym. Another one puts 9-volt batteries in a bag, along with a note to change their smoke detector batteries around the time the clocks go back.Whatever smart strategy you choose, make marketing the centerpiece of your real estate agent business. After all, none of the other steps matter if you can’t close the deal.