Starting a new job can be intimidating, frightening, and a little overwhelming. However, most of the anxiety, fear, and stress comes from the whole not knowing what to expect part. A real estate agent career, even part-time, is different from a lot of other professions. It gives the person a chance to meet new faces and help them above the needs of their own. The position is not all fun and games though. After all, paychecks might be far and few between because of the commission-based pay. However, if the individual is able to get their name out there and build up a client base, the position can be remarkably lucrative.
It is not unheard of for top producers to make over $100,000. Avoid getting starry-eyed though as annual salaries run much lower than that. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that as of 2017, real estate agents and brokers averaged $47,880 per year, which equals about $23.02 per hour. The bulk of these professionals do not receive a salary, nor do they get paid by the hour. The above stat is merely a reference point. If you are still interested in a real estate agent career, continue reading to learn even more about the post.
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Before Starting A Real Estate Agent Career
A person must have a license to help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Instead of getting ahead of yourself, there are a few things to know before you attempt to apply for one. First, requirements and stipulations vary from one place to the next. So, check with your state’s Commission of Real Estate to find out what they are and if you have, or will, be able to meet them. In most locations, the candidate must be at least 18-years of age.
Additionally, they also need to hold a high school or an equivalent diploma. The individual has to complete pre-licensing courses too, although, this prerequisite may be waived in some places if the person has taken some college courses. Folks wishing to have a real estate agent career must be capable of passing the examination with at least 70%. The tests differ from state to state, but they typically feature multiple-choice questions, which must be finished in an allotted amount of time. When all goes well, the person is finally issued their license.
It is notable to mention that some states require background screenings. They also mandate that applicants get fingerprinted. So, if there are felony convictions or other things on your record, be sure to check with the Commission of Real Estate to make sure you are not disqualified from candidacy. Agents also have to work with a licensed broker, which means you will have to find a sponsoring brokerage firm as well. The salesperson typically pays the company a particular percentage amount from their sales. The value depends on the arrangement between the broker and agent though. So, have all of your ducks in a row before your first closing.
After Beginning Your Real Estate Agent Career
Like everything else, the term of the license will also vary from state to state. It is generally for a period of between 1 to 4 years. Therefore, after beginning your real estate agent career, you should expect to renew the credential every few years or so. A continuing education requirement will need to be met, and applicable fees will need to be paid too. If the licensee misses the deadline, they usually have a grace period to get everything done. The person can’t partake in licensed real estate duties until they meet the obligations though.
At the start of a real estate agent career, most salespeople spend about a year following around a mentor. This individual shows them the ropes and often gives the new agent a percentage of their sales. It is a good idea to have some money saved up because the checks won’t necessarily be significant, and the reserves can assist you in paying for personal expenses, advertising, or whatever else might arise.
During a person’s real estate agent career, they should expect to schedule meetings, show potential buyers homes or commercial properties, follow up on leads, and hold open houses. They must cater to the needs of their clients. So, on many occasions, the salespeople work irregular hours. It is not uncommon for them to meet with customers in the evenings or on the weekends. Don’t go into your real estate agent career thinking that you will just sit around an office from nine-to-five as the job entails of much more than that.
At Some Point During Your Real Estate Agent Career
Many salespeople decide to become brokers. This title allows them to hire agents and associate-brokers alike. They are responsible for each employee’s actions while working under their license. The requirements vary, but the individual usually has to work as a sales agent for a period of 1 to 3 years before they can attempt the broker exam. The person must also take state-approved pre-licensing courses. Additionally, the test needs to be passed with at least a 70% as well. Brokers handle the same kinds of duties as agents. The main difference is that the broker is able to manage and own their own real estate business.
The Final Chapter Of A Real Estate Agent Career
Much like any other occupation, most agents and brokers look forward to retirement after putting in so many years of service. If they saved adequately during their glory days, they could live comfortably when this time comes. Unfortunately, not everyone is inclined to invest in 401K plans, stocks, or even put funds away in a savings account. When people fail to set money aside, they tend to run into financial hardships. They often rely on nothing more than Social Security checks to get by. So, commit to saving early on in your real estate agent career rather than running into troubles later on in life.