Real estate is an increasingly growing market that can offer many opportunities to those who decide to forge a career in the field. Especially, if you are a disciplined and self-motivated professional, you can take advantage of the market fluctuations and make great money. Besides, becoming a realtor requires working closely with your clients, having a flexible schedule and getting to know the deals available in the marketplace. It also requires realizing that a realtor is not the same as becoming a real estate agent. A certification by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is necessary in becoming a realtor as this is the largest professional organization for real estate agents.
The first step in becoming a realtor is taking a real-estate pre-license course. In each state there are different requirements for attending a real estate school. The main consideration is to find a school that is certified by your state to avoid frauds. Courses can be also attended online, so check with your state to see which school can meet your needs.
The second step is applying at a state agency that will grant you your professional license as a real-estate agent. You can do that either while you are attending school or right after you take the school tests. Once you pass the school tests, the state agency will approve you to take the state tests. Keep in mind that there is a fee involved when registering for the state exams and that averages for passing the tests are high. So make sure that you go well-prepared to avoid failing and paying the fees again.
Generally, the cost of getting professionally licensed is high and most people spend a lot of money before they start making profit of this business. Some of the fees that you will be required to pay when you get a job in a real-estate agency will be for joining a local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the Board of Realtors. Besides, you will be required to attend real-estate boards on a monthly or quarterly basis for a fee. Other general expenses may include advertising of your business, phone calls, car insurance and so on.
You will also be required to attend continuing education courses and company training between license renewals to acquire the necessary experience in assisting people to buy and sell property. As a realtor you must know the real estate market in detail and possess great marketing skills to promote your business.
Finally, there is a code of ethics that all realtors must follow. Established since 1913, the Code of Ethics recognizes the fundamental principles of loyalty to clients; legalresponsibility to clients; cooperation with competitors; and honesty in statements and advertising.