As I’ve said before on this blog, I believe that Real Estate is one of the few industries that offers the opportunity for financial and professional success to everyone who has a vested interest in pursuing it. As with any profession, though, it can be daunting to think about entering the world of real estate if you aren’t sure of the actual steps that you must take to become a licensed Salesperson or Broker. So, then, before I start using this blog to discuss topics in real estate at a higher level, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with a brief overview of the necessary steps one must take to obtain licensure in each of these roles.
- Register for your mandatory real estate licensing class: Before you can take your Salesperson licensing exam in real estate, state governments mandate that you must complete an education by taking a real estate course that covers the laws of property rentals and sales and the legal and ethical conduct that must be adhered to while practicing real estate. You can choose to take these classes either online or in person through many different real estate schools. Topics of the lessons include Property Management, How to Valuate and Price Properties, Contracts of Sales and Leases and information about Condos and Coops. Even if this educational component was not a mandatory part of your licensure, it would still be tremendously helpful to your understanding of the ins and outs of the industry. Although the classes themselves can be a bit tedious at times, try to soak up as much information from them as you can; it will be worth it in the long run.
- File your state license application and pay the testing fee: Search for your state’s .gov site for information about licensing exams and download the form you must complete to apply for your license. The fee to take the exam varies by state. Some states will require you to actually pass your background check before you can submit your application, so be sure to find out the specifics of practicing real estate in your state before you take any further action.
- Take your Salesperson licensing exam: This is the first test you will take in the course of becoming a real estate professional. A person must be a licensed Salesperson for 3 years, on average, before he can move on to the next stage of real estate qualification to become a Broker. Normally, the Salesperson licensing exam lasts about 1.5 hours and is held at a third-party testing site. In order to pass the exam, you must receive a score of 70% or higher – it would be worthwhile to call your testing center in advance to find out how they will be scoring your exam and how much time you will be allotted to take it.
- Find a Managing Broker to work under: Much like a newly-licensed driver, you must work under a licensed Broker for about 2 years before you can go off on your own and work independently. Research brokerage firms in your town or city, and set up informational interviews with Brokers whose specialties and interests are aligned with yours. By apprenticing with a licensed Broker, you will not only be completing the final step of your licensure, but also forging an important relationship with an experienced veteran who can personally mentor you as you embark on your real estate journey.
The internet offers a wealth of additional, more detailed information about studying for and obtaining your accreditation in Real Estate, but the 4 steps I’ve covered above comprise the foundation of every real estate education and licensing process. Good luck as you undertake this exciting professional step, and please watch this space for more advice and tips on how to get the most out of your new career in real estate.