Congratulations! You’ve passed your state exam. What’s next?
Complete your 45 Hour Post Licensing Education! It is important to get this out of the way early. Missing this deadline will result in loss of your license. You can not just reactivate your license, you will have to take the pre-licensing course and pass the state exam all over again! Don't let that happen to you, get the Post Licensing done ASAP.
You can work for a builder i.e. Owner/Developer, a Real Estate Broker or keep your license in referrals. You will not be able to perform any licensed activity until you register your license.
There are a lot of different options and brokerages out there and they all offer different benefits to new agents. This decision is entirely up to you and where you feel you fit best. Some brokerages offer training to new agents, some have very hands-on Brokers that will accompany you to your first listing appointment or closing, some offer free marketing materials or free websites, etc. so be sure to schedule interviews and do your research.
Check out our blog post "Interviewing Potential Brokers" for more information and what questions you should ask.
If your Broker is a member of their local Board of Realtors, you will be required to join one. You may join more than one board, but only if your Broker is a member. Having access to the board will give you access the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a network of agents, and additional training. You cannot join the Board of Realtors if your Broker is not a member.
New agents may want to consider joining an established “real estate team” within their brokerage, working as a buyers agent, or schedule one on one training with their Broker. Your Real Estate course is designed for you to pass the state exam but, there is a lot more involved to have a successful real estate career.
Your first customers are likely to be those close to you. This is your family and friends and people you see on a regular basis. You can use those close to you to practice performing a market analysis and listing appointment.
As a new agent, the best way to get to know your local housing market is to tour homes. An easy way to start viewing homes is to go to an open house. Use this as a learning experience and see what kinds of homes are available in different price ranges and what factors are determining price. Being around buyers may also help you learn what things are important to buyers and what features don’t add value to a home.
You are now an independent contractor working on commission. You will want to advertise your services. Things like business cards, post card mail outs and a working website can help you reach new customers for minimal cost. Look into services that allow you to track and keep in touch with your current and past customers and leads.
As you work through your first transactions you’ll find that you need the services of others. Depending on where you have your license, you may want to find someone within your Brokerage that has specialty knowledge. This could be someone with experience doing short sales, property management, or working with first time home buyers. You may also want to gather a list of vendors. Some helpful contacts include:
You may also want to get a list of local service providers for customers that are new to the area. This should include water, electric, trash, natural gas, cable, internet, phone, storage, movers and if applicable to your area marinas.
Remember, customers have hired you for your knowledge and expertise. Try to become a local expert. Get to know the different neighborhoods, their features, landmarks, schools and hospitals. This will help you find the right home for your buyers and help you better market and sell any listing you have. Your customers will also appreciate an agent that can give accurate directions.
While you work under a Broker, you are an independent contractor. If you are not working as an hourly or salaried assistant, you will be paid commissions as an independent contractor. Don’t forget you will have to set money aside for taxes and will only be paid if you make a sale. Make sure to save all of your receipts!
Take the time to figure out how many leads you need to get, calls you need to make, marketing you need to do, listings you need to get, how many houses you need to sell to make your desired income. You may want to consider working for your Broker as a buyer’s agent or working for a Broker that provides leads until you can grow your sphere of influence. It will take time to grow your business.
Any new business needs time to grow. Never say no to training and education. This is true no matter what you do. Be willing to work hard. A career in Real Estate can be very rewarding and allow for a lot of freedom but it takes years to develop your brand and customer base. This is where it is important to have a helpful brokerage with systems and services to support new agents and help them reach their goals.