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How to Become a Real Estate Agent: Getting Your First Clients

January 05 2022

rbeast getting your first clients 1There's lots of great perks to being an agent -- you set your own hours, enjoy unlimited earning potential, and help people find a home that suits their needs for the right price.

Before you start, ask yourself if you have the right disposition. You'll need top notch sales acumen, great negotiation skills, and the ability to act compassionately and prudently.

Start your journey into real estate by learning up on the basics of how to become a real estate agent, and see how you can grow your business with rentals.

The Basics

Getting Your License

It is required by law that all real estate agents must have an active real estate license, so all real estate hopefuls must begin with getting a license (and keeping it active!).

Here's the basic process: you'll take a pre-licensing course, pass a state exam, and file a real estate license application.

The specifics of this process will vary from state to state, so make sure to do your research on what education you need to become a real estate agent in the area in which you wish to work. States have different requirements for real estate licenses, so if you're planning to relocate, make sure that you're getting licensed in the state you wish to practice real estate in.

Make sure to budget both your time and money. The amount of "credit hours" required varies from 63 hours in Florida to 180 hours in Texas, and real estate education can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000. In addition to taking various real estate courses, you'll need to pass a background check and will have additional costs associated with signing a brokerage. If you know a real estate agent who is active in your area, reach out to them and ask them any questions you have. They'll be able to speak from recent experience (and may be able to send some referrals your way).

There's a lot more to getting your real estate license! Do your due diligence before you start, and make sure this choice makes sense for you.

Finding the Right Brokerage

Most states require new agents to work with a brokerage for at least two years. While you may eventually decide to become a free agent, working at a brokerage will show you the ropes of real estate, and many brokerages will help you continue your education and connect with valuable resources like a mentor.

Here are some factors to consider as you chose a brokerage: do you want to work for a larger brokerage with name recognition or a local boutique brokerage that will give you more attention and growth potential? What is the brokerage's commission split? What opportunities do they have for further advancement? Take to the internet and see if you can connect with agents and brokers who work for your chosen brokerage.

Become a REALTOR

Licensed, signed with a brokerage, and ready to go, right? Not quite. You'll need to sign up with NAR to access your local MLS.

The majority of listings in the home sales market, and many in the rental market, can be found on a database called the multiple listing service (MLS), so access to the MLS is a much-needed tool for a real estate agent.

Use Rentals to Get Your First Clients

rbeast getting your first clients 2Considering beginning your real estate business by working with renter clients.

Grow Your Sphere of Influence

Working with rental clients is a great way to grow your sphere of influence (i.e., the amount of potential clients you can reach when you post!). You'll begin generating referrals quickly. And, remember, renters won't be renters forever! Most renters want to become homebuyers, and, if you can start relationships early, you can build a longstanding foundation for tomorrow's homebuyer clients.

Practice Client Skills

Even if you're a seasoned salesman, sharpening your skills requires practice. Because renters move more often—for single family rentals, renters move on average every three years—you may be working with the same client (and receiving commission!) multiple times. And, with rentals increasing dramatically in popularity, a new agent may have an easier time acquiring and working with renter clients.

Develop Social Media Skills

A social media heavy lead generation scheme is a must for today's ultra-digital world. Both renters and home buyers take to the internet to start their home search—90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process. This is especially true of renters, who are often more plugged-in Millennials. Build your Facebook Business Page, develop your marketing know-how, and build social media skills that will last your whole real estate career.

Earn Commission Quickly

While home sales typically take place over a period of months, rentals can close in a matter of weeks, letting you access commissions almost immediately. This is especially important considering how competitive real estate can be for a new agent. Real estate coach Tom Ferry estimates that 87% of agents fail within the first five years. Don't wait for a luxury home sales commission straight out of the gate.

Access More Education

Ready to learn more about rentals? Once you've got your license, come access free online rental education from Rental Beast.

To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.