A career in real estate is an excellent choice for many people, perhaps because it’s so flexible. You can work from home or from an office. You can fly solo or be part of a team. You can work for others or have others work for you. You can create a schedule that fits your lifestyle and choose both your clients and your niche. You can make a decent living or build an extremely profitable business. The possibilities are endless.
If you’re thinking of a career in real estate, here’s what you need to do to get started:
Consider Your “Why”
The first step in pursuing a real estate career is to determine your purpose. Real estate agents can make a lot of money but not everyone does, so this shouldn’t be your only objective. People have many reasons for becoming a real estate agent:
- You can be your own boss
- You can build your business on your terms
- You can help people build personal wealth
- You can create a flexible schedule
- You can get started quickly, without a degree
- You can choose when and how hard to work
Whatever your motivation is, be clear about it. Knowing why you selected this career will help you persevere through challenging times to become successful.
Put Your Finances in Order
A real estate transaction often takes months to complete so it can be a while before you earn your first commission. It’s wise to have some savings behind you before jumping in with both feet.
Besides your training and exam fees, you’ll also need to consider expenses you’ll incur as a new agent, such as:
- Operational Expenses
- Office rent and equipment
- Association Fees
- Listing signs and Business Cards
- Client closing gifts
- Reliable vehicle, insurance, gas and upkeep
- Ongoing training and professional development
- Technology tools and software platforms
Make sure you have a plan in place to keep on top of your expenses even if things don’t come together quickly. Ask us about opportunities to work in the field while obtaining your license.
If you don’t know much about working in real estate, talk to friends, family, or people in the community who know the industry. Visit some offices in your area. Ask other agents questions about the lifestyle and the potential earnings where you plan to work. Learn as much as you can to see if your personality, work styles, and skills are aligned.
While you’re at it, start getting to know people who can guide you on the job. As a real estate agent, you’ll benefit from a business network that includes other agents, real estate brokers, solicitors, accountants, home inspectors, loan officers, county officials, contractors, etc.
This is a good time to start looking at brokerages you would like to work with. Check out the reputations of offices and their agents, get to know the office culture, ask about mentorship or new agent programs, check out customer reviews, and investigate commission structures.
Enroll in Pre-License Training
In California, state-approved training for real estate agent candidates must include 135 hours of college-level courses, including real estate principles, real estate practice, and real estate law as an elective.
KW Real Estate Schools, Inc. offers premier education to fit your life and personality characteristics. Choose from our 12-week, interactive webinar Group Study course or our self-paced Fast-Track program. Both choices include textbooks, quizzes, an online final exam, over 1100 practice questions, and optional Prep Practice web class to help you prepare for the state licensing exam. Course subject matter covers the 7 important exam topics:
- Property ownership, land use controls, and regulations
- Transfer of property
- Property valuation and financial analysis
- Laws of agency and fiduciary duty
- Real estate practice and disclosures
Have a look at our course descriptions for a more detailed breakdown of the curriculum.
You must complete all quizzes and final exams with a passing score of 60% , within one year of enrollment, and it’s possible to finish them in as little as 54 days. We know life can get messy so we offer enrollment extensions if you are unable to complete your training on time.
Not sure if you should enroll yet? Why not register for one of our upcoming live webinar Career Day sessions where you can hear from real estate agents currently working in the field, or Be Our Guest to preview live webinar classes in person. Get a sneak peek of the KW Real Estate Schools, Inc. experience, meet our qualified, licensed instructors, and decide whether real estate and our training are right for you.
California State Real Estate License Exam
After completing the training, the next step is to apply to sit for the licensing exam. You can schedule your test at one of several locations around the state and it may be offered. The California State Real Estate Salesperson Exam is three hours long and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that requires a 70% passing score. For more information about the process just navigate to Steps to my License.
Candidates who do not receive a passing grade can re-apply to sit the exam again.
Partner with a Broker
When you pass your exam and receive your license, the final step is to join a brokerage that will supervise your transactions. Hopefully, you’ve already considered where you want to work.
As a KW Real Estate Schools, Inc. student, you can expect to have the cost of your program 100% reimbursable from your first closing at a participating brokerage.
If you are still researching, check out this list of questions to ask before joining a brokerage.
Questions About Getting Your Real Estate License?
Have you still got questions? Visit the California Department of Real Estate site or contact us, at KW Real Estate Schools, Inc.. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about training, licensing, or your potential real estate career.