8 Steps To Becoming A Real Estate Agent
So you are thinking about becoming a real estate agent but you just aren't sure where to start? Here are the steps to take in order to become a real estate agent!
1. Find out your state education requirements for getting your license
It's important to know that each state has different requirements for obtaining your real estate license. To get started make sure you know what your state education requirements are.
Check your state below to find details on your education requirements:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
2. Take your pre-licensing course
Regardless of your state you will need to take pre-licensing courses. Most states have both in person and online courses available. Make sure you choose the best fit for you!
You can take your pre-licensing courses and prep for your license completely online!
If you need more hand on learning, then search your local area for in-person classes.
If flexible, online learning is for you and you are ready to take your pre-licensing courses, we have 2 recommendations for online real estate classes.
These are two of the most reputable online real estate license courses that you can take.
3. Take practice tests
After you finish your courses, it's time to prep for your state and national exam. We definitely recommend studying ahead of time because the tests questions tend to be worded in ways that can be kind of tricky.
Of all of the test prep we've looked into, our favorite and most recommended is Prep Agent.
Prep Agent does have a helpful (and free) YouTube channel but where they really shine is their test exams. These exams help you understand the kinds of questions you'll see on the national and state exams.
Here are a couple of other test prep suggestions:
Dearborn - Download this app to your phone for some on-the-go test prep.
Night Before The Exam - Interactive, online test prep.
Real Estate License Exam (for Dummies) - If you are more of a book person, this might be a good test prep for you.
4. Pass your national & state exam
You will have 2 different exams to take in order to be able to be eligible to get your license: the state exam that is specific to your state and the national exam.
In most states, if you don't pass one but pass the other then you only have to take the exam you didn't pass. *whew*
And thankfully, you get results fairly quick so that you know if you passed or not.
Another important note is that not passing the exam does not indicate that you aren't 'cut out' for real estate. Don't get discouraged if you don't pass it on the first try. Lots of amazing agents we know have taken the exam 2, 3 or even 4 times before passing.
If you don't pass - head back to Step #3 and check out some of our favorite study materials to help you through your test prep!
5. Register your license with your state
Once you pass your exam, you'll want to notify your state and register your license.
Before you begin practicing real estate you will need to go through the steps your specific state outlines.
(Example: In most states you are required to have an application filled out and a background check completed before you receive your official license.)
6. Interview brokerages
While you are waiting for the word that the state has approved your license, it's a good time to start interviewing with brokerages. Before you begin getting nervous about your interviews, I'm going to take a little pressure off of you:
Brokerage interviews are more about you interviewing them than them interviewing you.
As a real estate agent, you are an independent contractor. You make them money so recruiting new agents is a big part of how they stay in business!
Check out our list of questions to ask when interviewing potential brokerages here.
7. Get access to MLS
In order to be able to search the latest listings (and add your own listings) you will need to be able to access the MLS: Multiple Listing Service. This is the local or regional service that gathers homes for sale.
Real estate agents pay for this service by paying dues to their local association. (You'll want to look up the local association in your area.)
The MLS is a private database and then is pushed out to the public to sites like Zillow or Realtor.com.
8. Join NAR (optional)
Now it's time to decide if you want to join the National Association of REALTORS®.
It's important to note that while all REALTORS® are real estate agents, not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.
As a REALTOR®, you are held to a higher standard of ethics because you have to abide by the rules of NAR (National Association of REALTORS®)
In most states, joining NAR is optional but highly encouraged. In fact, some brokerages do require you join NAR before starting with them.
Check your local and state laws + brokerage requirements to decide if getting your REALTOR® designation is right for you!
Okay... now what?
Congratulations! You just did a TON of work to get your real estate license. But, it's no secret that what you learn in real estate school is very different from real life real estate.
It's completely normal to feel a bit unsure of your next steps! That's why we recommend finding a brokerage that offers training for new agents and a mentorship program.
Beyond that, you can get coaching & education outside of your brokerage through various online programs. The RealtHER Society has programs specifically for women in real estate.
Agent Prep School is an online program to help you get your business started. It's perfect for agents within their first year or agents that are coming back after taking time off of their business. Agent Prep School only opens it's door 2 times a year to new students so join the waitlist to get notified when we open our doors.
The Lead Attraction Academy is our signature membership program. This membership provides you with all of the tools you need to build a modern real estate business and learn how to get leads online.
In addition, your state will require continuing education courses throughout your real estate career. You'll be able to take these courses through your local association or, our favorite way, online through McKissock Continuing Education.
Regardless of where you are in your real estate journey, know that the RealtHER Society is here to support you! Make sure to join our free Women in Real Estate Support Group on Facebook to connect with other agents.
Rooting for you always! ~ RealtHER Society Team