Estate of Affairs: How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent in 2019

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jan 8, 2019

Jan 8, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

There are hundreds of thousands of real estate agents throughout the United States. Are you interested in becoming one of them? 

A career as a real estate agent is exciting and can be quite lucrative. But, not just anyone can successfully sell homes and other properties.

If you've been wondering how to become a real estate agent, keep reading. Everything you need to know to get started on this career path is explained below.

Benefits of Working as a Real Estate Agent

Are you still on the fence about a career in real estate? Are you unsure of whether or not it's the right career for you?

There are lots of benefits that come with working as a real estate agent, including the following:

  • Set your own hours
  • Enjoy a flexible schedule and take time off when you need it
  • Scale your business to meet your own income goals -- there's no cap on what you can earn
  • Enjoy the satisfaction of helping others find their dream home

There is also no such thing as boredom when you work in real estate. Each new client presents their own unique challenges and provides you with opportunities to learn and grow within your field.

Would You Make a Good Real Estate Agent?

At this point, you're probably a little more interested in a career as a real estate agent. It's important to note, though, that some people are better suited to this career than others.

The following are some essential qualities and personality traits every good real estate agent ought to have:

  • Polite, outgoing, and friendly demeanor
  • Great work ethic
  • Willingness to go above and beyond
  • Strong organizational skills
  • An eye for detail

Does this sound like you? If so, you might be a good candidate for a career in real estate.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Okay, you're interested in working as a real estate agent, and you think you have the right personality and temperament for the job. But, how do you actually go about becoming one? 

The process is pretty straightforward. Follow these guidelines and you'll be on your way to a career in real estate before you know it:

Make Sure You Meet the General Requirements

First, you'll need to make sure you meet the general requirements for becoming a real estate agent. As long as you are over the age of 18 and are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should be good to go.

Learn Your State's Licensing Requirements

Once you know you meet the general requirements, you'll need to make sure you meet your state's specific licensing requirements. Most states simply require completion of a specific licensing course and a passing grade on the real estate salesperson exam.

Enroll in a Prelicensing Course

Now, it's time to enroll in a prelicensing course. There are lots of different in-person options, including classes at local universities, technical schools, and some realty firms. You can also look into online classes.

Apply for the Real Estate Salesperson Exam

Once you've completed your coursework, it's time to apply for the real estate salesperson exam. Every state has different application requirements -- some require fingerprints and a background check, for example. Most states require you to pay a fee in order to register.  

Pass the Exam

The exam involves two portions. The first portion covers federal real estate laws and general principles. The second portion covers state-specific real estate laws.

Each section is comprised of anywhere from 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions. You will also have to complete some math problems that will require you to use a calculator.

Activate Your License

After you've passed the exam, you'll need to activate your license through your state's real estate commission website. There is a fee -- usually between $200 and $400 -- to activate your license.

Consider Becoming a Realtor

What, isn't a real estate agent the same thing as a realtor? Not quite. A realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

As a realtor, you gain access to a lot of market data. You also receive discounts of continuing education courses and access to transaction service. You also gain the credibility of being affiliated with a national organization.

Join a Real Estate Brokerage

In order to work as a real estate agent, you will need to join a real estate brokerage and work under a supervising broker. 

A broker is licensed by the state and oversees real estate transactions. They also ensure that the agents who work under them are adhering to legal and ethical standards.

Tips to be a Successful Real Estate Agent

If you follow the steps listed above, you will become a real estate agent. But, how do you become a successful, high-earning real estate agent? Start by implementing these tips:

  • Partner with other, experienced agents to learn more about the business
  • Host open houses on a regular basis
  • Never turn away a buyer or seller when you're first getting started
  • Consider hiring a real estate coach
  • Develop a strong online presence
  • Later on, consider learning more about a specific group (such as first-time home buyers) and working with them exclusively
  • Respond to texts, emails, and phone calls as promptly as possible

Keep these real estate success tips in mind and you'll soon separate yourself from the other agents in your area.

Want to Learn More About this Career?

Now that you know how to become a real estate agent, it's time to go out there and start pursuing your new career!

Remember to keep our tips for being a successful real estate agent in mind, too. Follow them, and you'll quickly be able to separate yourself from the pack.

Are you interested in learning more about working in real estate? We've got tons of other articles on our blog that will help you become a successful real estate agent.

Open to a change of scenery? Then start with this article on the best places to work as a real estate agent in the U.S.