How to Start Your Real Estate Agent Career Without Any Prior Experience

When it comes to becoming a real estate agent, most people think it’s just a matter of taking a course, passing an exam, and paying fees to get your license. While that’s a basic overview, there is so much more to being a successful real estate agent. It involves determining whether the industry is a good fit for you, growing your business, and constantly seeking self-improvement.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of becoming a real estate agent, even if you have little or no experience. We will also help you decide if this is the right career path for you.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key things to know before diving into the world of real estate:

  • The licensing process usually takes around 2-3 months, but it can vary depending on where you live.
  • Most states require completion of specific courses from an approved real estate school to become eligible for the licensing exam.
  • Only real estate agents who join the National Association of RealtorsⓇ can be called RealtorsⓇ.
  • As an independent contractor, you’ll be responsible for your own health insurance in most cases.
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First of all, what does it mean to be a real estate agent?

A real estate agent represents buyers or sellers of real property. They are licensed by the state and often work with a real estate brokerage or homebuilder.

Getting Started As A Real Estate Agent

Step 1: Understand Your State’s Requirements

Educational requirements for real estate agents vary from state to state. Some states have significant coursework prerequisites for taking the licensing exam, while others may only require completion of specific courses from an approved real estate school. You can find your state’s real estate regulatory office website on the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO)’s directory.

Step 2: Take the Pre-Licensing Course

Regardless of where you live, you’ll need to take a pre-licensing course. The average cost is around $350. This course will prepare you for the licensing exam, with the number of hours required varying by state. For instance, Florida mandates 63 hours of pre-licensing courses.

Step 3: Pass the Real Estate License Exam

Your pre-licensing course instructor will guide you on scheduling and paying for your licensing exam. These exams typically range from $100 to $350 and cover both national and local real estate laws. If you want to practice beforehand, PrepAgent offers sample questions to help you prepare.

Step 4: Activate Your New Real Estate License

After passing the exam, submit an application to your state’s real estate regulatory organization. This process may involve fees ranging from $200 to $500. Once approved, you’ll receive your real estate license by mail. On average, it takes about 2-3 months to obtain your license.

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Step 5: Join a Real Estate Brokerage

As a new real estate agent, you’ll work under a licensed broker who oversees transactions and ensures ethical and legal standards are upheld. When approaching different brokerages, consider what they can offer you. Commission structures, training, coaching, mentoring, and office space are essential factors to consider. National brokerages like Keller Williams, ReMax, EXP, and Century 21 are worth exploring, as well as local smaller brokerages. A mentor or coach can significantly contribute to your success in this business.

What Will Help Me Succeed?

To succeed as a real estate agent, you’ll need a combination of the right mindset and practical skills. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • Cultivate a growth mindset: Real estate is a challenging business that requires dealing with difficult and emotional people. Continuous learning, whether through reading or meditation, is crucial to personal and professional growth.
  • Manage your finances: Prepare for the possibility of not making money in your first few months. Joining a team can provide faster income, as some team leaders cover training costs and offer coaching and mentorship.
  • Understand the difference between a RealtorⓇ and a real estate agent: Only real estate agents who join the National Association of RealtorsⓇ can be called RealtorsⓇ. Becoming a RealtorⓇ grants access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and involves adhering to a Code of Ethics, regular training, and continued education.
  • Know the costs: Membership fees for joining a real estate board can range from $800 to $1500, and ongoing dues for MLS systems and board membership apply. Additionally, consider personal marketing costs, clothing, vehicle maintenance, brokerage fees, and office supplies. Some brokerages and the National Association of Realtors offer discounted health insurance options.
  • Be aware of the pros and cons: Real estate offers unlimited earning potential, the flexibility to work from home or anywhere, and no college degree requirement in most states. However, being your own boss requires discipline, and health insurance and other benefits are usually not included.
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Daily Activities for Real Estate Agents

As a new agent, your focus should be on lead generation and follow-up. Here are some activities to consider:

  • Door knocking: Knocking on doors in your neighborhood with informative flyers can generate leads and listings.
  • Cold calling: Reach out to FSBOs, expired listings, or people in your farm area to generate leads.
  • Online lead generation: and Zillow offer paid leads, while Facebook and Google ads can also be effective.
  • Leverage your sphere of influence: Utilize your existing network by informing friends, family, and contacts that you’re in the real estate business.

In Conclusion

Becoming a real estate agent is a challenging but rewarding journey. If you’re driven, eager to help others achieve the dream of homeownership, and motivated to be your own boss, this career path may be right for you. Remember to join supportive communities like Lab Coat Agents on Facebook and keep expanding your knowledge through recommended books for realtors.

Get started on your real estate career today with Garrity Traina, a trusted and experienced brokerage. Visit Garrity Traina for more information.