As soon as you get your real estate license, you can become a residential or commercial agent. However, that isn’t the only opportunity available to you. There are several exciting possibilities for you to explore that may or may not need further certification or education on your part.
A real estate license can help you become a broker, appraiser, and even a lawyer. If you have great people skills and marketability, your opportunities in the real estate sector are endless.
Real Estate Agent Overview
A real estate agent is a licensed professional that arranges residential and commercial real estate transactions. An agent puts buyers and sellers together and acts as their representative and negotiator for the length of the process. Agents are also responsible for admin work.
The day-to-day operations of an agent depend on whether they’re working from home or in an office, but they’ll typically update and manage their own social media page and website. Agents will create promotional material, a marketing and budget plan, and build their client network.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for real estate agents is 4%, and the median pay ranges from $49,040 to $51,220. The amount you make changes significantly depending on your commission rate and the amount of high-cost houses you sell.
What to Expect From a Real Estate Agent Program
To become a real estate agent, you must get a real estate license. The prerequisites involved in getting your license depend on the state you live in, but you’ll typically have to be 18-19, a permanent U.S. resident (with an SSN), and have a high school diploma or GED.
Next, you need to pass a pre-licensing course. The length of these courses is also reliant on the state you live in. For example, an Illinois online real estate school requires 60 hours, but it also requires participants to take the remaining 15 hours via classroom, webinar, or distance education.
There are several online and in-person real estate course options, but it’s necessary to go to a respected school that’s approved and recognized by your state’s department of regulation. In Illinois, for example, this would be the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).
After receiving your education, you can apply to take the exam. Again, a passing grade is different in every state, but you can retake the exam several times until you pass.
Before sending off your application, you’ll need to be sponsored by a broker. Take your time finding the right sponsor because they’ll affect your real estate education. Once the broker feels you’re ready to get your license, the broker will sign off on your paperwork.
In less than a week, you should receive a copy of your real estate license. This gives you the ability to sell real estate. You may need to renew your license every couple of years.
Skills Real Estate Agents Have Gained
There are several in-demand real estate agent skills, like the following:
- Hard skills: Networking, business administration, area knowledge, marketing, basic to advanced tech knowledge, negotiation, architecture, real estate law
- Soft skills: Leadership, empathy, attention to detail, a strong work ethic, confidence, a receptive attitude, a positive outlook, ethics, integrity, problem-solving
- Transferable skills: Collaboration, research, communication, adaptability, time management, teaching, patience, active listening, industry experience
Most real estate skills are transferable to other careers. Since several agents work part-time, especially when they start, you can use a number of these skills in your current profession.
Common Industries for Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents specifically work as a buyer’s or seller’s agent. They can work out of a brokerage or out of their own office but must work under a broker. Real estate agents can apply to become a realtor, which indicates a higher level of commitment to selling real estate.
Agents are able to sell residential and commercial real estate, invest in real estate, and become property managers. To branch out into other industries, like appraising, law, or banking, they’ll need to complete more education either in the form of a license or bachelor’s degree.
Common Job Titles for Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are present in a wide variety of jobs. If you have your real estate license, there are several careers you can explore in this industry beyond being an agent.
Residential or Commercial Agent
Residential agents buy and sell homes and condos on behalf of their clients. Commercial agents do the same but with business properties and offices. This position includes a lot of networking, building client relationships, administrative work, and internet know-how.
Residential or Commercial Broker
Like agents, brokers assist with the sale, leasing, and purchase of a property, except they get to work independently or manage other agents. They typically specialize in a property type, like investment properties or medical facilities. You need a broker’s license to operate as a broker.
Property Manager or Investor
Real estate investors often purchase real estate for an income-generating purpose. You don’t need a real estate license to sell property, but it can definitely help you make a profit. Investors can either flip their properties or rent them out and act as property managers or landlords.
Real Estate Appraiser
If real estate agents get their appraiser’s license, they can start appraising properties. Almost all houses under contract or people looking to refinance need an appraiser to determine the market value of the real estate. Appraisers have a more consistent 9-to-5 than real estate agents.
Real Estate Attorney
Real estate agents that pass the bar and become real estate attorneys can legally advise the parties involved in a residential or commercial property transaction. Although the education is extensive, 22 states require an attorney in a real estate transaction, so you’ll always find work.
Is the Real Estate Industry Right for You?
Real estate agents are afforded flexible careers, decent career growth, and a salary without a ceiling. Plus, getting a proper real estate agent education can take less than a month. However, if you want a more stable 9-to-5, you’ll need to explore other opportunities, like appraising or law.
About the author…
A growth hacker at heart, Jess Perkins helps SaaS companies rapidly scale their inbound leads through lean marketing strategies. She views content marketing and advertising as the perfect concoction of growth and loves to write about her insights and experiences.
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