Real estate is an attractive industry full of opportunities even for newly-minted realtors. If you are currently at the crossroads, looking for a new career path, consider getting into this field as chances are, this job will become your perfect fit. Working in real estate comes with plenty of advantages, including impressive commissions for closing the deals.
However, high income is just the tip of the iceberg - being a successful broker means overcoming various challenges, upgrading your problem-solving skills, and learning how to make the right choices. Despite what you may think, getting your license is not a guarantee of success, it's not more than a mandatory initial step. If you want to reach your career goals, you should focus on what really matters - find a proper company to work for. Here is everything you need to know if you are plotting to make the most of your real estate license.
Before turning to the main topic of this article, just a couple of words about the procedure of getting a real estate license. Even though details and timeframes may vary from one state to another, in general, it is a pretty uncomplicated process that consists of 5 steps. Two mandatory prerequisites are that you have to be at least 18 years old and be either a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted alien.
To start with, you will go through a background check intended to prove your honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity that is, naturally, complemented by getting fingerprinted. In the next step, you will have to complete the required 180-hours of pre-licensing courses provided in your state. The program usually covers principles of real estate, real estate finance, the law of contracts, the law of agency, and promulgated contract forms. Then you will have to pass a course final exam, apply for a license with the state's real estate commission, and successfully pass the state exam, which usually means scoring 70% or higher. Depending on your plans, you can apply for a license in more states.
So, congratulations, you've got your license, now what? To get off for a flying start with your career, it's of utmost importance to make a list of the best real estate brokerage firms to work for and carefully and thoughtfully consider all the available options. The majority of brokerages hire real estate agents as independent contractors, so if you are looking for a classic employment scenario with a salary or hourly wage, your possibilities are limited due to the small number of companies that work this way. Here are some of the most common types of brokerages and major differences between them:
Just as their name suggests, full-service brokerages provide their clients a wide range of services, including marketing their property. Naturally, the full "package" comes with higher commission rates (6% on average).
Limited marketing services mean lower commissions, so discount brokerages charge a modest 2-3% or often just a flat fee. The point is, this firm type is more attractive to a clientele that looks to stay within a budget.
Traditional means brick-and-mortar with a typical office atmosphere and a lot of interaction with clients and other agents. Well, just as all land-based solutions, a classic variant is more expensive than its virtual counterpart in terms of overhead costs, that's why cloud-based brokerages usually can offer better splits. By the way, working for a virtual firm doesn't mean you won't have any physical space for meeting with your client. Such organizations often have agreements with shared space companies, so their agents can use dedicated facilities to work at when needed.
Franchising is widely popular in the real estate industry, and we bet you can name a bunch of famous firms that gladly sell rights for using their brand. No doubt, a franchise can be a great option for newbies who want to start their professional career with a strong backing of an easily recognizable firm with a good reputation. Well, there is another side of a coin, and it comes in the form of a 5% or 6% franchise fee, you will pay extra and before the split. Anyway, you still may consider this variant as it will save you lots of money on marketing.
There are plenty of things to look at when choosing a real estate brokerage and here is one more important detail. Opt for a firm that offers quality and comprehensive training for new agents, which is crucial for future success.