Getting started in real estate can lead to a lucrative career, but it’s not something you can just start without any planning. Much like any career field, you will need some experience. Before you can start backing up your ambition with experience, there is the training and licensing that you must obtain in advance. Understanding more about this process can help you plan your career path.
Get Your License
Each state has different laws regarding the licensure of real estate agents, so you should take the time to research the requirements in your location. Typically, this will involve taking real estate training courses that focus on business ethics, laws against discrimination, and consumer rights. You’ll also be required to complete courses on real estate laws that are specific to your area. Once you complete the required coursework, you can apply for your license. You should expect the entire sum for your education and licensure to total around $1,000.
Build Your Brand
You should start building your online presence as early as possible. Growing a following early can help you move your career along at a faster pace once you do obtain your license to work as a real estate agent. Start by creating professional profiles on a few different social media accounts. You might even consider starting a blog to write about real estate. It may be helpful to choose the niche in real estate that interests you so you can write about topics related to that niche. Be sure to share your blog posts on your social media accounts, and use hashtags with relevant keywords to grow your following faster. People who are interested in your niche and location will start following you as they read more of your blogs.
Another thing you can do early as you start a career in real estate is to network with professionals already established in the field. Use your social media accounts to follow other agents, brokers, and investors. You can also network with real estate attorneys, construction contractors, and lenders. Expand your network to include anyone who works in a field related to the real estate industry. This will help you grow an expansive network that will benefit you once you’re ready to start your career as an agent. Nurturing long-lasting relationships with professionals will help you grow a positive reputation in your new profession.
Join the National Association of Realtors
While you don’t have to join the National Association of Realtors, declining to do so prevents you from referring to yourself as a Realtor. You will have to abide by the rules of conduct set forth by the association, but belonging to the organization can benefit your career. Becoming a member of the National Association of Realtors may be a requirement of any brokerage firms you wish to join, and it will help you gain access to the MLS or multiple listing service. Access to MLS databases will give you the ability to view and share all listings with your clients. That in itself may be a worthwhile advantage of joining the organization.
Apply to Join a Brokerage Firm
Your final step in starting a career in real estate is to apply to join an existing brokerage firm in your state. These are the major agencies that sell homes in the United States, such as Re/Max, Coldwell Banker, and similar organizations. The benefits of joining a brokerage firm are many. They include working under an established and recognized brand while receiving the experience and career guidance you need as you start. You’ll also benefit from the resources a larger firm offers in the service of its clients. As you work in a brokerage firm, you’ll learn more about the industry and your local market. This can help you choose a specific direction for your career in the real estate industry.
Even after you follow this process, you can continue to grow and expand your career. You may eventually decide to obtain your brokerage license, which can allow you to open your firm. Alternatively, you can start a new location for an existing franchisee if you find a brokerage company that you like. No matter which direction you take your career, you’ll find there are countless opportunities for financial growth and career satisfaction.