Thinking About Becoming A Real Estate Agent? Here’s What to Know

Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors Advice

When people imagine a career in real estate, they often think of TV shows that portray agents flipping houses, working with celebrities and listing properties worth millions.

The reality, however, requires hard work, planning and enough money to get your business off the ground. Here are some important factors to consider if you’re thinking of launching a real estate career:

Start with pre-licensing

Before you can sell real estate, you must obtain your real estate license through the Utah Division of Real Estate. You’ll start by taking 120 hours of pre-licensing coursework. After that, you’ll take the licensing exam. You must also have a high school degree or equivalent and pass a background check.

Once you earn your license, the state requires you to take continuing education classes for each renewal period.

The Division of Real Estate has a list of pre-licensing education providers who can help you get started. To find providers and learn more about the process, visit RealEstate.utah.gov.  

Carefully choose your brokerage

As a real estate agent, you’ll learn a lot while you’re on the job. That’s why it’s important to choose a broker who will provide training and be available to answer questions.

As you consider your brokerage, talk to several brokers. An article from Inman suggests looking at six categories when choosing a broker: 1) education and training, 2) branding, advertising and marketing services, 3) technology tools, 4) lead generation, 5) compensation plans and 6) company culture. 

Your broker is responsible for supervising your work and will play a large role in helping you become successful as a real estate agent. Make sure to take the time to consider all your options as you decide which brokerage is right for you.

Some new agents may also find it helpful to be part of a real estate team working with a successful real estate agent who already has a high volume of work.         

Be ready to invest money in your business

As a real estate agent, you are now a business owner. That means you’ll have to invest some money in starting that business.

Once you get your real estate license, you’ll want to sign up to be a member of the National Association of Realtors and its affiliated state and local chapters. Once you do this, you’ll be authorized to use the trademarked name Realtor. You’ll also have access to a plethora of resources that will keep you current in this fast-paced industry.

When you’ve joined your Realtor board, you’ll join the multiple listing service so you’re able to share property information with Realtors across Utah.

After licensing and membership fees, some agents will also spend money on marketing, lead generation, real estate coaching and other business expenses.

Because it may take some time for your first commission check to arrive, make sure you have enough money on hand to weather the months when you don’t have any sales.

Treat it as your full-time job

The most successful agents treat their real estate career as their full-time job. This allows them to invest time in prospecting and staying current on industry trends and changes.

Keep in mind, however, that this is not a typical 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. job. Clients often want to see properties on nights and weekends. You’ll also find that business isn’t always steady. Sometimes you’ll be overwhelmed by how busy you are. Other times, you’ll wish you had more business.

You can also show your commitment to your career by volunteering at your local real estate board. It will provide you with an opportunity get to know other agents who can provide advice and possibly referrals.

Have patience

For new agents, it’s important to remember that it will take time to see a return on your investment. Even if it’s a bit of a slow start as you compete with more seasoned agents, remember most agents make very little during their first few years in business. Just keep at it and you’ll eventually see results. To learn more about becoming a real estate agent, visit the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors at NWAOR.com.

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Robert Bolar
2019 President, Northern Wasatch Association of REALTORS