How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Are you considering a career in real estate? This profession works well for many people because it’s so adaptable. You can work from home or from an office. You can fly solo or be part of a team. You can work for others or have others work for you. You can create a schedule that fits your lifestyle and choose both your clients and your niche. You can make a decent living or build an extremely profitable business. The possibilities are endless.  

If you’d like to pursue a career in real estate, here are the steps you need to take: 

Consider Your “Why” 

Before you get started in real estate, you need to decide why it is important to you. While it’s possible to become wealthy selling real estate, not everyone does, so this shouldn’t be your only objective. People have many reasons for becoming a real estate agent

  • You can be your own boss 
  • You can build your business on your terms 
  • You can help people  
  • You can create a flexible schedule 
  • You can get started quickly, without a degree 
  • You can choose how hard to work 
  • You’ll have a lot of variety in day-to-day tasks 

Whatever your motivation is, be clear about it. Knowing why you selected this career will help you persevere through challenging times to become successful. 

Put Your Finances in Order 

It can take some time to gain traction as an agent. Since one transaction can take months to close, it can be a while before you earn your first commission. It’s wise to have some savings behind you before jumping in with both feet.  

Besides your training and exam fees, you’ll also need to consider expenses you’ll incur as a new agent, such as: 

  • Desk fees 
  • Association Fees 
  • Advertising/Marketing 
  • Listing signs 
  • Client gifts 
  • Reliable vehicle 
  • Office equipment 
  • Ongoing training 
  • Coaching programs 

Make sure you have a plan in place to keep on top of your expenses even if things don’t come together quickly. Ask us about opportunities to work in the field while obtaining your license. 

Start Networking 

Who can you talk to about real estate? If you don’t know much about the industry, find someone who does. Ask friends, family, or community members to introduce you to their agent or broker. Visit some offices in your area. Ask other agents questions about the lifestyle and the potential earnings where you plan to work. Learn as much as you can to see if your personality, work styles, and skills are aligned. 

While you’re at it, start getting to know people who can guide you on the job. As a real estate agent, you’ll benefit from a business network that includes other agents, real estate brokers, solicitors, accountants, home inspectors, loan officers, county officials, contractors, etc. 

This is a good time to start looking at brokerages you would like to work with. Check out the reputations of offices and their agents, get to know the office culture, ask about mentorship programs, check out customer reviews, and investigate commission structures. 

Enroll in Pre-License Training 

In California, state-approved training for real estate agent candidates must include 135 hours of college-level courses, including real estate principles, real estate practice, and real estate law.  

Agent Real Estate Schools offer premier education to fit your life and personality characteristics. Choose from our 12-week, interactive Group Study course or our flexible, self-paced Fast-Track program. Both choices include textbooks, quizzes, and an online final exam, over 1100 practice questions, and a prep class to help you prepare for the state licensing exam. Course materials include: 

  • Property ownership, land use controls, and regulations 
  • Transfer of property 
  • Property valuation and financial analysis 
  • Financing 
  • Laws of agency and fiduciary duty 
  • Contracts 
  • Real estate practice and disclosures 

You must pass your training with at least 60%, within one year of enrollment, and it’s possible to finish them in as little as 54 days. We know life can get messy so we offer enrollment extensions if you are unable to complete your training on time. 

Not sure if you should enroll yet? Why not register for one of our upcoming virtual Career Day sessions where you can hear from real estate agents currently working in the field, or Be Our Guest to preview classes in person. Get a sneak peek of the Agent Real Estate Schools experience, meet our qualified, licensed instructors, and decide whether real estate and our training are right for you.  

Write the State Real Estate License Exam 

When you finish your training, you can apply to write the licensing exam. Then, you’ll schedule your test at one of several locations around the state. The California State Real Estate Salesperson Exam is three hours long and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You can find current licensing fees and processing times on the Department of Real Estate website. 

If you take a digital exam, you’ll get your results right away. Otherwise, you’ll receive your grade by mail. To pass the exam, you must have a score of at least 70%. Candidates who do not receive a passing grade can re-apply to sit the exam again. 

Partner with a Broker 

When you pass your exam and receive your license, the final step is to join a brokerage that will supervise your transactions. Hopefully, you’ve already considered where you want to work.  

As an Agent Real Estate Schools student, you may be able to have the cost of your program reimbursed when you complete your first deal at a participating brokerage. 

If you are still researching, check out this list of questions to ask before joining a brokerage.   

Questions About Getting Your Real Estate License? 

If you’ve still got questions, visit the California Department of Real Estate site or contact us, at Agent Real Estate Schools. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have about training or the real estate profession.