Here are the answers to your most burning questions on how to become a real estate agent in 2022.
What is a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is someone who represents buyers or sellers or real estate or real property. They are licensed by the state and usually work with a real estate brokerage or homebuilder.
What do agents typically make?
Real estate agents make about $51,000 on average as of 2021. This is across the United States. There are agents that make millions of dollars every year. Some agents make nothing.
What are the hours?
Most agents get into real estate for flexible hours and think they are getting a 9-to-5 job. That’s a mistake. You have to work your butt off. You’re going to be working more than 8 hours a day getting started.
How to get started?
In California, it takes 135 hours of pre- licensing education. Then you have to pass the state exam. Different states require different pre-license hours, so check to see what the requirements are in your state.
What is the difference between a RealtorⓇ and a real estate agent?
First off, the term Realtor is trademarked by the National Association of RealtorsⓇ. This means that only real estate agents that join NAR can be called RealtorsⓇ. RealtorsⓇ have access to the MLS (which is how you can look up properties that are listed or sold within your market area) and they belong to a local board. There is a code of ethics that you have to abide by and also agree to regular training and continued education - no matter what state you reside in. To become a REALTORⓇ, your first step is to join your local board. Not everyone has to become a RealtorⓇ in order to sell real estate, but it sure makes your job a lot easier.
What is the cost to be a RealtorⓇ?
Check in your area, but the cost could end up being about $800 to belong to the board. Usually the initial start fees are quite higher, around $1500 is pretty typical. After that, you have monthly dues to your local board (usually for your MLS system) and yearly board dues to your local board and NAR. This doesn’t include your personal marketing costs, clothes, vehicle maintenance and gas, brokerage fees, referral fees, office supplies, and much more. Fortunately, a lot of these costs are associated with doing business and can be tax deductible. Check with your local accountant.
What will help me get started?
The biggest thing is to work on your mindset. This business isn't for the faint of heart nor is it as easy as people think it is. Some people you deal with on a daily basis can be difficult and emotional. You have to learn to handle all personality types.
You have to constantly feed your mind - either by reading more or learning how to meditate. This is how you grow your mind and your business. Continuous learning is key.
Also, learn how to save money. You won’t be making money in the first few months. Now, you can become a team member, either an admin or buyer or listing agent or even an ISA (inside sales agent). Joining a good team is a great way to make money faster.
What are the upsides and/or downsides to the business?
There are many upsides and downsides to this business, depending on how you look at it.
Money can be unlimited.
Some months you can make thousands of dollars. It’s really up to you. How hard you work and the hours you put in depends on how much you earn. The good news is - . YOU control how much you learn.
You don’t need an office.
You can work from home, if needed. Or the local coffee shop. Most real estate agents that I know work out of their car. That’s where you’ll end up spending most of your time anyways. Showing property and going on listing appointments.
You can wear what you want.
Some people wear suits. Some don’t. It depends on your market area and how you feel. Just remember, some clients will connect with you depending on what you wear. Take a look around your market area and what most agents wear. In many parts of Carlifornia and Florida, agents are more laid back and business casual is a preferred dress code. In other states like Altanta or New York, more professional dress is typical - like suit and tie for men and dresses for women.
You don’t need a college degree.
Just taking the pre-licensing course and passing the state exam is usually all that is required. Most states do require that you are 18 years old and can pass a background check. Again, check with your state for what they require.
You are your own boss.
You can make all the rules, including when and where you work. However, most people need structure so they end up failing. This can be upside or downside. Follow successful people on social media and see how they structure their day.
You start from zero everyday.
You get to start fresh daily. If you have a bad day one day - the next can be fantastic.
Some days, you show property and your clients put in an offer with someone else. Then you don’t get paid. Other days, you may write multiple offers and they all get accepted. You have to be prepared for the ups and downs. But just remember, every day is a new day.
Now you know the ins and outs of the business, what should you do once you’re licensed?
Place you should go to
Go to different brokerages and see what they have to offer. Any broker will take you, usually. Some may be picky or choosy - but most will take you on. So, it’s important to take a look at what they can offer YOU. Commissions structures are important - so make sure you have what you need.
Keller Williams, Remax, Century 21 are a few national brokerages you can check out. I would interview at least 5 of them. Training and support is important so ask them what they provide you as a new agent. Getting a mentor or coach is also very important if you wish to succeed in this business.
Activities you should be doing
Door knocking is one thing you can do to generate leads. It's a tough task, but if you do it on a regular basis, you may end up with a new listing or two.
Cold calling. Pick up the phone and start dialing. REDX is a company where you can get phone numbers for your market area. FSBO and expiration are a great way to get started calling. Or calling people in the neighborhood - also called your farm area or GEO leads - is a good way to do it as well.
Online leads . I went from 500k to 45k in commissions in one year. That’s when I discovered online leads was the way to go. Realtor.com and Zillow are two places that you buy leads from. Also, going on Facebook and Google to get leads is pretty hot right now. You can expect to get paid from $12 - $20 per lead.
Your phone has everyone that you know. There is an app called MCbackup that you can download and export to an Excel sheet. You can call everyone on your contact list and let them know that you are in the real estate business. This app makes it easy to do.
Getting a CRM (Contact Management System) is a must in the business. It's a software system where you can put all your leads and contacts on.
Always reach out to me with any question you may have; you can find me on all the social media platforms. There is no charge. I love helping people. Also, join Lab Coat Agents on Facebook if you are brand new to the business. This is a great community where you can ask questions and get to know other real estate agents.