Congratulations! You’ve successfully passed your real estate exam. As a recent addition to the extensive network of real estate professionals who assist buyers and sellers throughout the process, there are several logical next steps to consider upon completing your exam. These steps can vary depending on the state where you are licensed and the nuances of the market you wish to enter. However, there are fundamental actions that most real estate professionals would agree are the most effective way to launch your career on the right track.
6 Steps to Take After Passing Your Real Estate Exam
Uncertain about what to do now that you’ve cleared this significant hurdle? Here are some subsequent steps to follow in order to establish and propel your real estate career.
Step 1: Find a Compatible Sponsoring Broker
In real estate, brokers are typically experienced agents who hold a broker’s license. As you begin your career, it is beneficial to tap into the knowledge and network of a seasoned professional who has worked in your desired region. Think of a broker as both your partner and supervisor, as they will guide you through the initial stages of your journey as a real estate agent in exchange for a commission split. The commission amount is determined by the value of properties bought or sold through the brokerage. Commonly, brokers calculate their share based on a flat fee or a commission split.
- Flat Fee: Typically a monthly payment that covers the broker’s services.
- Commission Split: The percentage distribution varies based on individual agreements, but a 70/30 split is often common. This means you retain 70% of the commission as the agent and the remaining 30% is given to the broker.
Step 2: Engage with Professional Real Estate Organizations
Countless professional real estate organizations exist that facilitate connections, networking, and knowledge expansion for real estate professionals. A simple Google search will yield numerous state-wide real estate organizations to join, as well as a few national associations that are worth considering. Consider joining an organization specific to the property type you intend to sell, as well as your desired region. For instance, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) possesses a global investment focus that other organizations may lack. Reflect on what matters most to you as a real estate agent and seek out organizations aligned with those values. Here are several reputable organizations to kickstart your search:
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
- National Association of Realtors (NAR)
- National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
- Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Step 3: Establish Your Professional Profile
There’s no better time than the present to begin shaping your professional profile. Create a website, build a robust social media presence, arrange professional portraits, and attend local events to connect with residents in your target city. These actions help establish rapport and credibility. Simple details like carrying business cards demonstrate your preparedness and organizational skills. If you’re not inclined towards social media, there are professionals available to assist you. Consider hiring a social media expert from platforms like UpWork or Freelancer to help build your online presence. Many freelancers specializing in digital design are seeking work and can assist you in this endeavor.
Step 4: Set Yourself a Timeline
In real estate, your earnings are directly tied to property sales. As you embark on your career, it is beneficial to set a timeline for your desired accomplishments. You can outline your goals for the first five years or focus on the initial year of your professional journey. Creating a timeline keeps you accountable for your success.
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Step 5: Budget for Your Future Plans
As you envision your career path, it’s essential to align your budget accordingly. Consider your expected annual revenue based on the type of real estate you aim to pursue. Once you have determined your ideal salary, think about your preferred work environment. Are you planning to work from home? Do you envision an upscale office space? Are you considering hiring a real estate assistant in the future? These factors influence how you should structure your budget. Helpful budgeting apps, such as QuickBooks and Wave, can guide you through this process.
Step 6: Seek Advice from Seasoned Professionals
Every real estate professional has their unique journey through the industry, but it can be immensely helpful to seek advice from individuals with more experience. Connect with individuals who possess knowledge about the specific market or real estate niche you intend to work in. They can provide insights into market idiosyncrasies that you may not discover otherwise. Although learning comes from putting education into practice, seeking guidance from those already established in the field never hurts. Identify someone whose work you admire and ask if they’d be willing to meet for lunch or a coffee. Most likely, they will be flattered you want to pick their brain and provide any assistance they can offer for your new career.
Now armed with these tips to kickstart your real estate career, have confidence in your abilities to succeed. You’ve already achieved the most significant milestone by passing your real estate exam, and a fruitful career awaits you.
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