Real estate investing is still relatively popular, with housing markets rebounding. If you're a realtor there is a lot of potential for profit. And as a realtor you will know when houses come on the market before many other investors. If you are driven by unlimited revenue potential and you are a great salesperson, then you should consider becoming a real estate agent.
Simply follow these steps to learn how to start your career:
Research the market. The real estate market isn't always booming. So you will want to take a good look at the market in your area and decide whether now is a good time to change careers. See how many “for sale” signs are up versus how many “sold” signs are up. Use this information to deduce how well the realtors in your community are doing right now in terms of sales. You can also contact those in your area and ask them questions. They will have a lot of insight and advice.
Get educated. If you want to become a realtor, you will need to be licensed. No one can just walk in off the streets and be hired. You need to be properly trained, just as a teacher, accountant, or doctor would. For this, you will need to approach your local community college or real estate board to inquire about real estate agent class offerings. Be prepared for a significant investment of your time to gain appropriate certification as a realtor. (Of course, be prepared for a significant financial investment too!)
Many colleges offer classes on purchasing property. You can gain an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in real estate. Once you have obtained your chosen degree you must be licensed by the state in which you reside. This license is obtained once you have passed a written exam that is administered by your state's licensing board. The material covered on the test includes the common transactions you will deal with and the laws that govern them.
The most common means of gaining an education is to take classes at a local realtor’s office or through a private company. They offer classes on a variety of issues and laws that apply to buying and selling homes. You can enroll in courses that will get you started in the business and prep you for the state exam. For those who are more experienced, these companies offer courses on advanced topics such as office management, property management, escrow accounts, and foreclosures, to name a few.
Approach local brokers. You will need to be employed by a real estate broker in order to work as a realtor. A broker is an experienced agent who has opened his/her own office and employs agents. S/he generally has a lot of experience and is essentially the "boss." If you have ties to a certain office in your area, approach the broker and see if s/he is hiring at the moment. If not, you need to distribute your résumé to the offices you are interested in working at. Check your local paper as well.
Ace the interview. Realtors work strictly on a commission basis and brokers earn a portion of the commission from each property a realtor sells. So you'll likely be contacted by a few different brokers who are more than interested in adding to their profit potential by having you on board. If this is the case, decide which interviews you will accept and then get to work researching the company. You will want to know as much about the office as you can so that when asked what you know, you will be armed with a plethora of information. Find out how long it has been in business, how many agents it employs, and what they specialize in (if anything). Bring along a list of clients who are interested in working with you once you become a realtor, too. This initiative will catch the eye of the broker and will help you to ace the interview.
Advertise your services. Once you are hired you can start to spread the word about yourself. Word of mouth is a great way to let the community know about you and is often much more effective than written advertisements. But as you know, any exposure is good exposure, so get your name out there anywhere you can. Have new business cards made up and get for-sale signs printed with your name on them.
Start selling. The average real estate agent makes $32,000 per year or more. It takes a lot of working hours to reach that amount, however; the more expensive the property, the greater the commission you will make on the sale.
Realtors often work a variety of hours to cater to their clientele. You may have to show houses mostly in the evening and on weekends to customers who work during the day. The hours that you work will vary depending on the market in your area as well as on your customers’ schedules.
Buying and selling homes for flipping real estate can be quite time consuming, as well as a little risky in certain markets. Not only is there a lot of time invested in finding the right properties, but you will also have to manage the remodeling. It can take months for some houses to be transformed into a livable space. Still, the reward of flipping a home can be well worth the time and effort it takes to complete the work and finish the job.
With a realtor's license you will now have access to a wide range of properties from which to purchase. Good luck selling and purchasing homes!