If you want to know how to become a real estate agent, it will take time and dedication to learn. The payoff, however, is worth the time and effort to see your dream come true.
The Department of Labor Statistics reports that there are 156,622 real estate agents in the United States, and the job outlook for this sort of career is a 5% growth through 2031. Demand for real estate agents will continue as properties will always need to be bought or sold, and people often seek experts to help with the details.
Real Estate Agents and Brokers
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who facilitates transactions between people who want to rent, purchase, lease, or sell a property. They may work on behalf of the buyer or seller and often specialize in a particular type of real estate. This specialization will usually split properties into residential or commercial real estate, but some estate agents might focus on a specific type of transaction, such as property lettings.
A real estate broker is a licensed real estate agent with at least 1-3 years of real estate experience and taking the licensing exam to hold a brokerage license. This extra education allows them to hire other real estate agents to work for them directly or for a firm, should they establish one.
How To Become A Real Estate Agent
To become a real estate agent, a candidate must be at least 18 years old and pass several real estate courses or college-level classes to gain the proper knowledge to pass a state-required exam to gain a real estate license.
Some states also require a background check, and while most licenses aren’t transferable between states, some offer reciprocity.
Here are some of the most important things about the experience that a real estate agent needs.
- Good communication
- Good at building relationships
- Great at sales
- The ability to negotiate and persuade is beneficial
- Good organization and administrative skills
Most agents have certain personality traits in common. These character qualities allow them to excel at helping others buy and sell the property. Some of the most common are as follows:
- Being a people person
- Being talkative and outgoing
- Being energized by meeting target goals and deadlines
- Generally upbeat with an affinity for being around people
Once you’ve gotten your license, learning some of these qualities on the job is a given. The more familiar you are with handling real estate transactions, the more comfortable you will put these talents to use.
One aspect of gaining your license is the need to have it renewed by completing continuing education units. Typically every two to four years will require you to take a course and complete an exam to have your license renewed.
Real Estate Knowledge
There are several aspects to selling property that a real estate agent must know inside and out. To be successful at selling real estate, an agent must understand the following areas on an expert level.
- An agent must have intrinsic knowledge of the geographic area where they work, as agents must drive to all property viewings and open houses.
- An agent must know what makes a property attractive to potential buyers. Curb appeal and staging are vital to selling a property, and an agent must know both exceptionally well.
- Real estate law knowledge is mandatory and will be at least one course covered in your schooling before you can apply for a license. Keeping track of when and how those laws change will be your responsibility if you become a real estate agent.
- Financing options are specific to each property, and an agent must know them very well. Potential buyers will have questions, and one will undoubtedly be about financing options. Knowing which financial avenues are available for a specific property is crucial to selling a property.
Real Estate Listings
Learning how to complete a real estate listing and attract sellers might seem cut and dried, but nothing could be further from the truth. Some ways work well for finding clients who’d like you to help them sell their property.
- Word of Mouth: Keeping in touch with your previous clients can be a two-fold system for success. Not only can they know who to turn to the next time they want to sell a property, but previous clients may also be willing to refer you to anyone they know. Word of mouth remains one of the most used forms of marketing available and is certainly helpful in this case.
- Tradespeople: Knowing local plumbers, electricians, and construction crews can give you a heads-up on properties that might be coming up for sale. This inside knowledge can offer you a chance to get a hand up on property that interests a buyer.
- Remote Owners: Remote owners often live quite a distance from their property and might want to avoid the stress of managing the property from a distance. If they don’t have a property manager and you approach them about a potential buyer, they may be more than willing to sell. Keeping in touch with them can be a great way to get a sale.
- For Sale by Owner: Owners who try to sell their property without using an agent may set the price of their property for less than its worth. If you approach someone trying to sell their property and you have a confident buyer, they may be more willing to work with you.
Other places to find sellers can be from expired listings, advertisements on specific properties, and cold calling, all of which can produce the ideal seller when you know your area well.
Lead Generation and Conversion
Finding sellers or buyers is just the first step in selling a property. Being able to convert potential leads into clients takes more dedication and skill.
To clinch a deal with a potential client, you must be able to prepare a well-rounded marketing plan, complete with pricing details. Your only focus is to show that buyer or seller that you are the agent who can get them the best results.
Implementing what you learn in your courses into everyday life can take some time to master, but the more time and dedication you invest in your career, the faster you’ll become successful at being a real estate agent.
Repetition is Key
Successful real estate agents are all about repeating activities and methods that breed success. The more time and effort one can put into these sorts of incidents, the faster your success will build. The primary strategy for a positive career is a rinse-and-repeat sort of gameplan that allows you to find systems that work well for you, support prosperous client relationships and produce repeatable, proven results.
Areas where repetition is critical may include but aren’t limited to:
- Continued education – learning new methods for gaining bountiful tools and tips for improving agent/client relationships
- Staging/Curb Appeal – over time, aesthetics that people find pleasing change. What the general public considers popular one day might not be so trendy in a month. Keeping up with changing trends in staging a property for sale will help potential buyers envision what they might like the property to look like and help encourage offers.
- Learning from Others – a straightforward way to improve your methods is to learn from other agents who’ve been doing it for a while. Anyone who has more experience than you might make for a great mentor, and taking advantage of their knowledge can help you produce the same results and even learn to go beyond where they are.
As a career, real estate agents enjoy various benefits when helping sellers and buyers find or sell the property of their choice. Getting to work with the public to help a family find their forever home or a business owner find the perfect building is only one fun part of your job.
Challenging yourself to improve your education and your on-the-job skills is a great way to ensure that you stay sharp, find the best clients, ensure they have a great experience, and come back for future transactions.
These are the most important steps on how to become a real estate agent. Remember that your bread and butter is a happy client experience, and your days as a real estate agent will be long, lovely, and successful.