How to Be a Real Estate Agent
By Eric Hammer
So, you want to be a real estate agent, huh? Becoming a real
estate agent isn't particularly difficult (each state has their
own rules about it, however as rule, you'll need to take some
courses and apply for a license) however it can be tricky to
get the work and make the sales. Here's what you need to know:
A real estate agent has a kind of delicate balancing act.
You are the go between working with both the buyer and the seller
to try to close a deal and you have good reasons for wanting
to make both of them happy. The seller is the one paying for
your fee and allowing you to earn an income from your job.
However, those who want to be a real estate agent (and we
mean a successful real estate agent) also have to work with the
buyers and keep them happy. As a real estate agent, your name
could become mud if you steer a potential buyer to the wrong
property for their needs. Now while you may wonder why you should
care, after all, the buyer isn't paying your commission, the
reality is that the buyer is as much your customer as is the
As a real estate agent, your income depends on buyers trusting
you to steer them to the right property and help them find the
home of their dreams. If you don't, even if you manage to make
a sale, the buyer who ended up with the bad deal will remember
you and tell his friends that you are not trustworthy. Ultimately,
this will mean that neither buyers nor sellers will bother to
talk to you. So, you end up on a tightrope, balancing the desires
of the seller and the buyer.
How Much Can You Make?
According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a real estate
agent ranges from as little s $31,028 per year to as much as
$77,132 per year. The thing to remember however is that even
if you work for a company rather than on your own, your salary
is often dependent on your ability to make sales since you will
often be paid either a small base plus a percentage of commission
or you will work exclusively on commission.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that if you want to be a real estate agent, you need
to be friendly and willing to talk to anyone. You have to also
be a good listener, helping people to actualize their dreams
while at the same time helping them to be realistic about what
they can afford so that they understand what's out there.
Those interested in becoming a real estate agent also often
end up working in house flipping on the side, buying a house
which has been foreclosed upon or which is going for less than
it should be going for, fixing it up a bit in their spare time
and reselling it to someone else a short time later for a profit.
Qualifications / Requirements
In most states, you'll need to take some courses in order
to be a real estate agent. Each state has their own individual
requirements; however the courses typically range from a few
months to as much as a year. Once you finish the course, you'll
have to take an exam in order to become officially licensed.
A handful of states allow you to simply sit for the exam without
taking courses, though you may find the courses helpful anyway
if you want to make sure you can pass the test and understand
what this business is all about.
Start by going to some open houses in your neighborhood. Get
to know some of the local real estate agents and watch what they
do. Once you are confident you understand the business, contact
the state licensing board to find out the requirements for your
state and get licensed. Then, look for a job as a junior associate
with an existing real estate agency. While you certainly can
be a real estate agent who is independent, it pays to start off
by working with someone else in order to gain more experience
and confidence in this business.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how
to be a real estate agent:
Mortgage News Daily: Real Estate Licensing -
A good guide to the business of becoming a real estate agent
which focuses on licensing requirements in the 50 states.