The real estate industry is fast, exciting, and ever changing but do not let HGTV and Million Dollar Listing fool you. The answer is no, you do not just roll around in luxury cars checking out one mansion after another. To survive as a Realtor you have to be hungry for success. You must be comfortable with the roller coaster ride of emotions. Some days the money is rolling in and some days you are double and triple checking your bank account waiting for that check to deposit because you haven’t been paid in 2 months. The flexibility of working for yourself does have it’s perks. Do you still want to know how get that glamorous title? Here are a few steps to get your hands on a real estate license.
Get your real estate license!
Go to School
Pick a real estate school
You need the 6 required courses to be eligible to get your license. Champion’s School of Real Estate is a great option. You can take courses online or in the classroom. School can take as little as a weekend or as long as a year+. It is all dependent on you. There are many real estate schools you can choose from. Be sure the school you choose accredited by TREC. Once you complete school submit paperwork to TREC. TREC will contact you to inform you your education requirements have been fulfilled. Once approved schedule to take your exam and get your fingerprints done.
Pass state and national exam
You have three try’s on the test. If don’t pass after three times you have to retake a portion of schooling. Not the end of the world! Even if you fail one test but pass the other you only have to retake the one you failed. Is the test hard? Yes, I would say so but you have multiple times to pass and can keep retaking. Do not give up! Some people pass in their first try and some it takes them 5+ times.
After the test
It’s now time for finger prints and your background check. Disclose any criminal charges on the application or this may hold up the approval process. Check with TREC before starting the process if you have any criminal charges to make sure that won’t hinder you from getting your license. Having a criminal background does not mean you can’t become a Realtor. You will be sent your license number once you have passed the exam, completed fingerprints, and the background check.
Have your license, what now?
Let’s get your real estate career started.
What is your passion?
- Apartment Locating
- Property Management
- Whole Sale
- Be a referral agent
(If you are a licensed agent you can refer your clients to other agents and make 25% of the agent’s commission for the lead. Referral fees are negotiable. If you are a unlicensed person you are only allowed to be given up $50 per lead referred to a realtor. You can refer business all over the world so never turn a potential client away because you do not work in their area. This is why keeping a Realtor network is so important.)
What broker do you pick?
There are many different kinds of brokers. Depending on what you pursue will depend on what kind of broker you want. Real estate school teaches you what is on the exam but everything in real estate is on the job learning. Mentorship through your first transactions is important. When meeting with brokers have your important questions prepared. You are interviewing each other. This is not a traditional interview so pick which broker is offering what you need. Large companies usually have larger splits but can offer technology and extensive training. Small brokerages usually have smaller splits but offer less. They may not have fancy training program but may offer personal one-on-one training. Flat fee brokers do also exist. These brokers are great for agents that do not want much of anything from their broker. Many people think the broker determines how successful you are as a Realtor. I will say this is not true! Being successful in this industry is all about the effort you put in.
What are your hours?
Realtors are independent contractors who hang their license with a broker. Basically, you work for yourself. You make your own hours. Although you don’t work traditional hours you are always on the clock for your clients. Some brokers require you to come into the office and others don’t mind if they never see you.
How much do you make?
Realtors work for commission. This is my favorite part of my job. I decide how much I make. If I work hard I see it in my bank account. If I want to take 3 months off I can but I also will tell a difference in my wallet. Realtors usually make a percentage of the transaction. For example, residential sales make 3% of home sales price, apartment locators make 100% of one months rent, property management companies charge a monthly fee 10% of rental rate, etc. All commission is negotiable but this is industry averages in Texas.
What about insurance?
In real estate unless you are listed as an employee of a broker which is rare you do not have benefits. Most Realtors purchase private insurance.
If you are considering a real estate career here are a few things to think about before taking the jump. The real estate industry is not for everyone. Only 20% of people with a real estate license renew after two years. Can you handle it?