Becoming a real estate agent can be a very exciting career, especially if you love working with and helping people. It also offers many benefits that other careers don’t have, including flexibility in your work schedule, and plenty of earning potential, even for relatively new entrants to the field.
If you’re thinking about starting a career in real estate, there are a few things to consider before you get started. Here are areas to focus your attention on as you start out.
1. You’ll Need to Be Licensed
Every state has regulations that govern who can legally operate as a real estate agent, and part of the regulatory framework includes a licensing system. So, at a minimum, you need to go through all the steps necessary to obtain a state license.
Although licensing requirements do vary somewhat from state to state, the basic requirements usually require that a candidate must be of a minimum age, have a high school diploma (or equivalent), and be a U.S. citizen. Beyond that, most states require that candidates complete a real estate course that covers the laws that govern property transactions, as well as ethical rules. Finally, candidates must pass a state real estate exam.
After you pass the exam, you will be able to apply for your real estate license. Many states also require you to submit fingerprints for a background check as part of the application process. And once you obtain your license, be aware that you will probably have to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education throughout your career in order to maintain your license.
2. You’ll Need a Marketing Plan
Once you get your license, your work has only just begun. Successful real estate careers depend on the ability of agents to market their services well. Most real estate agents, including those who specialize primarily in property management, work as independent contractors. So, even if you’re part of a larger firm, you’ll still need to take the lead when it comes to getting your name out there to bring in clients.
At Prime Real Estate Group, our agents have used numerous marketing tools, including videos, ad placements, and strategic use of social media sites, to market their skills. In particular, professionally-produced videos are a great way to introduce yourself to clients, tell your story, and provide a glimpse of what sets you apart as an agent. Another useful marketing tool is to write blog posts. They are a great way to show your expertise, and help to keep you engaged with former, current, and potential future clients.
While it may take you a while to get the hang of it, keep your focus on personal branding and positive exposure. And be aware, when you start out, you needn’t spend a fortune. Social media and blogging are low-cost but effective ways to reach your market until you have the resources to use more costly tools to reach broader audiences.
3. Enduring Real Estate Careers Depend on Contacts
To be a successful real estate agent, you must have an extensive contact list of clients, vendors, associates, and other resources. This is because effectively helping people to purchase or sell property involves more than just showing homes and apartments. A great real estate agent is also able to offer suggestions regarding other professionals such as interior designers, painters, housing inspectors, landscapers, contractors, lenders, closing agents and others who can play a critical role in the property purchasing process.
Further, since your referrals or recommendations can help others do more business, many of your contacts may consent to being included on your website. When you can show potential clients that you provide comprehensive assistance with reliable and reputable professionals who can give them the help they need, they are more likely to have confidence in your overall capabilities.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to pursue a real estate career, why not consider speaking with people currently working as agents? If you are interested in working in real estate in Washington and Idaho, the professionals at the Prime Real Estate Group can help you jump-start your new real estate career.