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How to Start a Career in Real Estate

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how to start a career as a real estate agent. Whether you’re looking for a lucrative career or are interested in changing brokerage firms, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking to earn more money, gain independence, and have more control over your life, a career in real estate can make that happen. Our goal here is to simplify the steps you need to take to begin a new career.

In this blog, we’ll share the steps you need to take to begin your career in real estate while also letting you know what opportunities we may have for existing agents.

So, let’s dive into the information you’ll need to make a change in 2021.

First, let’s nail down some terms

You may have heard the terms agent, Realtor®, and Broker and wondered if there’s a difference and which one is realistic for how to start a career in real estate. The answer is yes, and we’re going to quickly break down what each of these titles means within our industry:

  • A licensed salesperson – Also known as an “agent” or “real estate professional,” is the entry point for working as a real estate agent. You will be able to help clients buy and sell their homes. To become a licensed salesperson, you must pass the licensing exam after completing all required courses.
  • Realtor® – This is a membership designation available to all licensed agents. It’s earned when you join the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and a local board of other Realtors®. Becoming a NAR member gives you access to the Multiple Statewide Listing service, also known as the MLS. Realtors® are also held to a higher code of ethics, which they take an oath to uphold.
  • Broker – You can become a Broker after completing all educational requirements. They may also pursue this title if they’ve worked under a Broker for two years where they have completed transactions. They must also complete 90 credits of continuing education requirements and pass the Real Estate Broker’s Exam.

A key difference between these three designations is that both licensed agents and Realtors® must work under a Broker to perform transactions, whereas a Broker can operate independently. All three can help clients with residential and commercial properties.

As we mentioned above, only those who are members of NAR will have access to MLS. Not having this access can make it difficult to do your job with a modern edge.

Since we’re all about taking action here, let’s explore what you need to do to become a licensed real estate professional, so you can overcome your fear of how to start a career in real estate.

Earning your real estate license

Let’s focus on Rhode Island for the moment, but keep in mind that Massachusetts and Connecticut requirements are similar. Many agents we know, including many of those who work on our team, are licensed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Some are even licensed to perform real estate duties in Connecticut.

For anyone who is at least 18 years old, there are unavoidable requirements for becoming a real estate agent. These may seem daunting now, but if you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll have your license before you know it.

  • Pass a criminal background check (BCI for RI and CORI for MA)
  • Complete pre-licensing training and verify the hours completed
  • Complete three hours of Agency Law training
  • Complete a three hour Paint Hazards & Awareness class
  • Pass the state licensing exam

Please be aware that your licensing exam and educational requirements will include a mix of state-specific and national subject matter, so don’t expect the tests and courses will be identical across New England.

Find someone who has what you want

In other words, find a mentor within a respected Brokerage firm who is willing to introduce you to their day-to-day aspects of the industry. Finding an honest mentor gives you a big advantage when overcoming the questions associated with how to start a career in real estate.

Is there a local Realtor® or Broker who you know, either personally or through social media? Are they always busy? Do you frequently see them posting about their verified successes within their industry? Are they approachable and friendly?

Ask this person to grab a coffee or lunch. Ask them questions about their daily lives, how much they sell, and what they wish they knew when they started. If you hit it off, you could be looking at a future mentor.

Here are some ways a mentor can help prepare you for a successful career in real estate:

  • They can help you network. In this business, connections are key.
  • Have them introduce you to the mortgage brokers they work with. Trusted professionals like mortgage brokers, contractors, appraisers, and even home inspectors can help build your knowledge base and they are essential to your success.

You may also wish to ask about employment opportunities they have within their office or on their team. For example, do they need administrative support? Running a successful real estate office takes an entire team of dedicated professionals, so why not get up-close while you work towards getting your license?

It would be best if you also asked them about the initial fees needed to get started, as well as the recurring fees they still pay now. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re jumping into and how to plan your finances to support your new career.

How to start a career in real estate is up to you

Now that you know the initial steps to take to start your journey into a rewarding career in real estate, there’s one more thing to do—take action.

An entirely new life is waiting for you, one that involves financial freedom, incredible people, and true independence. We love passing on the gift of a great career to those who are ready to hustle.

Please contact us with any questions you have about what kinds of things a real estate career makes possible, why we love this industry so much, or anything else. We’re here to light the way as others did for us.

If you’re already a real estate professional looking to join a team that does high volume with loyal clients, offers top-notch professional support and marketing, then let’s discuss opportunities we have on our team.

Contact Shana Boyer, Realtor and Business Development Leader for Spectrum Real Estate Consultants with Keller Williams Realty Leading Edge, and start a confidential conversation about taking the next step to a rewarding career in real estate.

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