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Career Starters Real Estate Agent - Growella

Career Starters: How To Get Into The Real Estate Business

By Dan Green

Real estate agents help people to buy homes, and to sell homes. They’re independent workers and licensed by the state. They can work full-time or part-time, and alone or within a team. Real estate agents are paid via commissions. There is no limit in the annual income that a real estate agent can earn.

How Do I Get My Real Estate License?

A real estate agent is a person who works with home buyers and home sellers to buy and sell real estate.

You do not need a college degree to work as a real estate agent. And, in many states, you don’t need a high school diploma, either.

Working as a real estate agent requires a license.

To get your real estate license, there are three general requirements:

The startup costs for a real estate agent rarely exceed $900. These costs may be tax-deductible, too, so be sure to consult with your tax preparer.

Once you’ve passed your real estate exam, you can begin working with home buyers and home sellers.

You can also begin earning commissions on your business.

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How Do Real Estate Agents Make Money?

Commissions are monies earned from your work. Real estate agents earn commissions when their clients buy homes and sell homes.

Real estate agents also earn commissions when they share buyers and sellers with other licensed real estate agents.

This is known as “making a referral”.

When you make a referral to another real estate agent, and that other agent earns a commission, it’s common for the referrer to get up to 25% of the commission.

Real estate agents can use referrals to boost their annual income.

There are no limits to the amount of commissions you can earn as a real estate.

A third way a person can make money with a real estate license is through savings on commissions.

When you hold an active real estate license, you can negotiate your own contract. You don’t pay an agent to represent you because you represent yourself.

This reason for getting a real estate license is particularly relevant to active real estate investors, many of whom buy properties for rental income, and who frequently flip homes for profit.

What Does A Real Estate Agent Do?

In real estate, there’s no such thing as a “typical day”.

This is because there’s no such thing as a typical real estate agent — everyone approaches their business differently.

For example, some agents love to work with first-time home buyers because of the lasting bonds that are built when you guide a person through the most emotional purchase of their lifetime.

Other agents prefer to work with real estate investors. Real estate investors are less emotional and more calculated, in general, about buying and selling homes.

That’s attractive to some real estate agents.

Still other real estate agents gravitate toward sellers of homes. Agents in this group are often skilled in the marketing aspect of real estate, with a knack for understanding human behavior.

Of course, you can draw from all three groups — buyers, sellers, and real estate investors — if that’s what you find fun.

When you’re a real estate agent, you can run your business your way.

Can You Make Money As A Part-Time Real Estate Agent?

Working in real estate is a terrific way to make a living and a career. It’s a popular side hustle , too, for people with a 9-to-5.

This is because real estate is known for being an after-hours and weekend job. This makes the business of real estate particularly well-suited as a source of secondary income.

There’s excellent money in part-time real estate, but it’s hard to succeed without a plan.

Successful, money-earning part-time real estate agents usually do a few things particularly well.

First, successful part-time agents are good about communicating their schedule and availability. Proactive communication keeps client satisfaction high, which is linked to repeat business and referrals.

It also relates to the second thing that successful part-time real estate agents do well: they make plans to generate new business.

Successful part-time real estate agents make use of networking meetings, social media, websites, and every other tool at their disposable to build and maintain their business.

If blogs and social media aren’t your strength, for example, hire a do-it-for-you company to build your website, write your blog posts, and publish your content to your site for you.

The less time you spend on marketing, the more time you spend on sales.

Lastly, successful part-time real estate agents often work with other part-time or full-time agents, sharing responsibility so that the part-time work doesn’t become overwhelming.

As a new part-time agent, seek partnerships with experienced real estate agents who will work alongside you, and who will take time to teach you the business.

The relationships you form will help you in your career.

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How To Have A Good First Year In Real Estate

The real estate business is terrific because you don’t need years of experience in order to earn a great living.

In your first year, you can earn six figures.

When you start, consider asking an experienced, hard-working real estate agent to teach you “the ropes” and to serve as your real estate mentor. You’ll get to see up-close how a well-run real estate business operates.

Also, read the real estate trades.

There are lot of real estate-related websites to which you can subscribe; and you should take advantage of local and national real estate conferences.

Conferences are an excellent place to build your real estate referral network and to meet key people who can help you.

Lastly, consider getting an advanced real estate certification.

Real estate certifications are the equivalent of an advanced degree; proof that you attended extra hours of real estate school and successfully passed an exam.

Recently, it was shown that the median income of real estate agents with at least one certification was 82% higher than the median income of real estate agents with zero certification.

Certifications are available in dozens of areas. Pursue as many or as few as you’d like. Most real estate schools offer a wide range of classes.

Next Steps: Start A Career As A Real Estate Agent

Ready to explore a career in real estate as a real estate agent? Here is your roadmap to move forward:

  1. Sign up for real estate school
  2. Take the real estate exam for your state
  3. Decide if you want to be a part-time or full-time agent
  4. Start helping people to buy and sell homes

Click here to read more about careers in real estate.

Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a mortgage lending expert and the founder of Growella. Prior to Growella, Dan was a six-time, top-producing loan officer; and, ranked repeatedly among the top 1% of loan officers nationwide. Dan's home buying expertise has been in print and on TV with The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, CNBC, and others.

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