How Do You Get Started in Real Estate?


Quick Answer

Real estate is a potentially lucrative source of income, but does not happen overnight. It requires a generous mix of education, tenacity and skill. Getting a good base education, partnering with an established brokerage and obtaining any licenses required in your state are the first steps. From there, you will need to make sound business decisions and create your own portfolio.

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Full Answer

  1. Get an education

    Education requirements differ between states, so as an aspiring agent you should contact your state's real estate commission for specifics. Different agencies may have different requirements for educational background, too.

  2. Partner with a brokerage

    A real estate agent must partner with a broker to practice. Factors to consider when comparing brokers include reputation, brokerage size and whether continuing education or on-the-job training are provided to incoming agents. Online reviews are an excellent source of information.

  3. Obtain a license

    Some states require agents to undergo a criminal background check as part of the licensing process. The candidate must also complete an exam at both the state and federal level. This includes payment of the appropriate fees.

  4. Create a budget

    Starting out as a real estate agent requires an initial investment in business cards, marketing, requisite exams, professional fees and coursework. Earmark sufficient funds to cover wages and living expenses during the earliest weeks and months until you generate a steady stream of income.

  5. Decide between being a realtor and a real estate agent

    A real estate agent who wants the title of realtor must first join the National Association of Realtors. This option requires you to devote a certain amount of time to participating in local meetings.

  6. Build up a portfolio

    Finding a mentor and building your professional network play a major role in the developing your portfolio. If you have not yet secured a position at a real estate agency, you should consider applying to agencies where mentor relationships are encouraged during the early years. A mentor helps facilitate connections and generate commissions.

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