Are you looking to become a real estate agent? If you are, you must learn everything there is to know about becoming one so that you can decide if the career path of a real estate agent is right for you.
The life of a real estate agent is a competitive but promising career path. Real estate agents do something different every day, learn new things constantly, and can make a decent amount of money if they follow the right steps and have the drive to succeed.
The career path of a real estate agent can be lucrative. However, most agents will never make six figures in a year unless they are in the top ten percent of earners.
How much does a real estate agent make? The top 10% of earners as real estate agents make six figures a year (or more as a REALLY successful agent). The average salary of a real estate agent is just a little over $50k a year.
Is it hard to be a real estate agent? If you are considering the possibility of becoming a real estate agent, you may be wondering if it is hard to become one and what steps are involved. However, becoming a real estate agent can be relatively easy if you compare the process to other professional career paths that make (on average) a similar salary.
Do you have to go to college to be a real estate agent? To obtain a real estate license, you will not need a college degree (although you need to meet some requirements). These requirements vary based on where you plan to get your license.
As someone with experience in the industry, I don't think it is hard to become a real estate agent (if you follow the right steps and commit to the process). However, if you start the process with the wrong attitude by thinking that you won't have to put in any effort, you will likely not succeed in the real estate industry.
Being a real estate agent takes dedication and effort from the very start of the process. It is a rewarding career but not for everyone. Like most careers, it takes commitment and passion for the industry to be a good agent.
Each state has different requirements, so the first step would be to look up the requirements in your state. For example, the guidelines and requirements for getting a real estate license in Minnesota can be found here.
How long does it take to get a real estate license? In most circumstances, a person can become a real estate agent in six months or under. As mentioned earlier, each state varies in requirements, but in most cases, here are the basic steps:
Common Steps People Take To Become A Real Estate Agent:
The cost to go through all of these steps is typically under $1,000, though that cost can vary.
Spending three to four figures on career education is a small investment compared to other career paths that require a four-year degree. In addition, this cost is much more affordable versus getting a bachelor's degree, which on average costs somewhere between $26,820- $54,880 depending on if a student attends a private or public college.
I must not forget to mention that, during a four-year degree, most people cannot work full-time (and even if they do, it typically will not be as much as once they graduate). So, you will likely be making money as an agent within a year of starting your journey, while other students who began their journey for a four-year degree at the same time as you will likely still have years before they can make decent money.
Therefore, not only are you spending less to invest in your career than getting a bachelor's degree, but you can also make money a lot sooner.
In most cases, a buyer agent and seller agent split the commission on a home. This commission is typically 5-6%, which is a fair price considering how much effort an agent puts into selling and/or finding a home for their client.
To put this in perspective, if a home sells for $500,000 and there is a 5% commission, each agent would make $12,500 on the sale. Also, keep in mind that some homes will go for less than $500,000, and some for more.
Home experts at Zillow predict:
A real estate agent does more than help their clients find a buyer for their home or help their clients look for a home. They work hard for their commission.
A real estate agent has many other roles beyond finding homes for a client or finding buyers for a client.
Here are some things that, as an agent, you may have to do:
The full list is even more extensive, be prepared to wear many hats and have the knowledge of many areas of the real estate business to succeed as an agent. Don't expect to make easy commissions. There is a lot of work that goes into buying and selling a home.
To look at the best places to become a real estate agent, it is good to check where the hottest real estate markets are.
According to Yahoo Finance, these are the top forecasted real estate markets for 2022:
5. Tampa/St. Petersburg
7. Dallas/Fort Worth
These markets, however, are probably competitive and may be tough for a new real estate agent to get into. However, they aren't completely impossible. Just know that if you are a new agent or looking to become a new agent, getting your first real estate client in one of the above cities will be a challenge.
Now that you have all the credentials, it is time to gain some experience in the field and broaden your knowledge about the market you are stepping into. Researching the local real estate market and current market conditions will give you an idea about what you are stepping into and broaden your knowledge so you can assist your clients in the best way possible.
Learning the market in the expanding area beyond what zip code you are currently working in may also be beneficial. As you gain new clients, you may have the opportunity to work beyond one zip code.
Get Support: Finding a mentor that can help you along the process and partnering with other real estate agents from time to time will help you create an unshakable support system. Knowing the right people in any industry is almost always valuable for one's career.
A few more tips on how to become a successful real estate agent:
Create an online presence: You can do this by creating your own social media page, having a website, starting a blog, and, of course, you can advertise. Having an online presence in the 2020s is incredibly important as a solid number of business deals start online.
Follow the news: Reading the current real estate industry news is another way to keep updated on all market trends. The internet makes it incredibly easy to keep up on everything and access knowledge on almost any topic. Following real estate trends is as easy as going online and subscribing to reputable real estate industry news websites such as Forbes.
Host open houses: Hosting an open house for a seasoned agent that doesn't have the time will open doors for you as a new agent. Not only will you make new friends in the industry, hosting an open house may help you get some of your first clients.
Knock on doors: Currently, it is a hot market for sellers. Knocking on doors can help you get leads that you may not get otherwise. Just make sure to have a script before approaching anyone to maintain a professional character. Additionally, follow all proper safety precautions, such as not going inside the home or knocking on doors late at night.
If you want to pursue a career as a real estate agent, getting a license can take a short amount of time and typically costs under $1,000, though that cost can vary. A career as an agent can be rewarding, flexible, and fun. Additionally, there are always options to further one's career in the industry by taking further steps to become a broker.
The real estate industry can be a competitive one. You will have to work hard (especially when you are first starting) for your clients and create a positive reputation for yourself. However, knowing the right people and having the right drive will bring you to a good place in your career. As long as you have the right attitude and willpower to succeed, you will likely go far as an agent.