Getting your real estate license is a big decision. It’s a time commitment, and it requires passing a state-administered exam. But, if you’re up for the challenge, becoming a licensed real estate agent could lead to a gratifying career.
Here are five things to consider before you take the plunge:
1. There’s an Initial Investment Required
To get your license, you’ll need to take courses and pass an exam, which can cost several hundred dollars. In addition, to get your business going, you may need to pay for business cards, marketing materials, a professional website, and perhaps even an office space.
If you’re planning on working with a brokerage, you’ll likely gain access to a support network of experienced professionals, benefit from increased visibility, and reduced marketing costs, but you may also be required to pay membership fees or split your commissions with the firm. With these financial obligations, you’ll need a bit of a nest egg to start your real estate career, or you may decide to obtain your real estate license while you continue working full-time elsewhere.
2. The Job Market Can Fluctuate
Before you pursue your license, you should research the job market, check online job postings, or talk to other real estate professionals in your area. The demand for real estate professionals can vary depending on where you live, so it’s essential to ensure that there are enough potential clients to make starting a business feasible.
Other Jobs You Can Do with a Real Estate License
There are many different roles where a license in real estate would be beneficial. Here are a few of the other positions that a license could support:
- Real Estate Broker
- Property Manager
- Commercial Leasing Agent
- Home Inspector
If you plan to pursue one of these career paths, you’ll want to scope out the job market specific to the position, as demand will differ based on the role.
3. You’ll Need to Commit to Education
Getting a license in real estate can be a considerable time commitment. Education requirements vary from state to state, from 40 credit hours of classes to over 200 hours.
Even after you’re licensed, you may need to complete continuing education courses regularly to maintain your license. Plus, the industry is constantly changing with new technologies and regulations. So, to stay ahead of the curve, you must be willing to take the time and effort to learn and grow continually.
4. There Will Be Competition
Remember that there is much competition in the real estate industry. To succeed, you will need to stand out from the crowd and offer prospective clients something they can’t find anywhere else.
As a real estate agent, this could mean increasing your availability or offering extensive knowledge of a particular neighborhood or market niche. Find a competitive edge that sets you apart from other agents in your area and highlight it when marketing yourself.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations when pursuing a career in real estate. Yes, there is potential to earn a high income, but it will take time, dedication, and perseverance.
5. You’ll Need to Build Your Skill Set Constantly
In addition to considering the cost and time commitment involved in getting licensed, you’ll also want to ensure that you have the skills and qualifications necessary to succeed in the field.
Real estate professionals must be good at multitasking, handling customer inquiries, and working under pressure. It would help if you also were comfortable using technology, as most real estate transactions are now conducted online or through mobile apps.
If you’re unsure whether you have what it takes to be successful, consider talking to someone already in the business that can offer industry insight. You could also take an introductory course related to real estate before committing to getting your license.
If you’re on the fence about getting your real estate license, consider a few factors before deciding. From the initial investment to the time commitment and competition, there’s a lot to think about before getting started. A career in real estate can be rewarding if you have the drive to succeed and are willing to put in the time and effort.