Real estate can be a fun and exciting career offering you the potential to work your own hours and achieve financial success. Keep reading to learn more about real estate courses and what it takes to become an agent.
Getting your real estate license may sound easy, but there are a few things to decide before you start looking into schools and real estate training programs. The most important decision you will make will be your choice of real estate type. Real estate agents can focus in any of the following areas: commercial, global, resort and second home, appraisal, auction, association management, brokerage management, buyer representative, green designee, short sales and foreclosures, senior market, and land sales3.
Types of Certificates
The type of certificate or schooling you need to become a realtor is going to depend largely on the area you live in and the type of property you would like to sell. According to the National Association of Realtors there are at least 20 certifications you can attain. These include some of the most popular and respected certifications, such as Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Commercial Investment Member, and Accredited Land Specialist3 . All four of these certifications deal with specific types of real estate transactions. You can specialize in just one area or you can continue to expand your knowledge over the years to include other types of properties.
Types of Classes or Schools
The state you live in will determine the types of classes you need to attend to obtain your real estate license. There should be some kind of state run real estate commission that publishes the laws and rules of becoming a realtor in your area. This will likely include a list of approved pre-licensing and post-licensing schools. These school may be regular colleges with real estate courses or they may be specialized real estate training facilities. A pre-licensing course may include such topics as contracts, financing, fair housing, real estate law, brokerage practices, closing, property management, math, taxation, and valuation. This course should prepare you to take the state license exam. Often schools will also offer a specific course to help you study for the real estate license exam. Many states require at least 90 hours of classroom training to be eligible for the exam1.
Getting your state real estate license is only the first step towards working in the field. The next step is getting hired by a brokerage. You must find a brokerage in order to get started in real estate2 . Often, brokerages require you to do additional training in order to work for them. Some of them may also help you find or pay for these additional real estate training classes. They may also help you figure out the best route to take in your specialty field, and which associations are best to join.
The potential salary of any real estate agent is going to depend on their certifications and the time they put into it. It takes time to become known in the market and to prove yourself as a knowledgable agent. It often takes start up money to market yourself to potential clients. If you are serious about your job, and you market yourself well, it is possible to make more than $40,000 a year as an agent2. And there are many men and women out there who have made their fortunes, millions of dollars, through real estate investments and sales.