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5 Things To Consider - Real-Estate Logistics 101

Updated on July 23, 2014

Making a decision to become a real-estate agent should be a serious one since there is an immense amount of dedication required to pass state and national licensing exams, not to mention the hard work it takes to survive and thrive in the profession once the basic education is behind you.

Let’s break down a few important considerations:

1: The Education Factor:

Each state differs according to the types of real-estate classes as well as the number of hours one is expected to satisfy. Each state, however, requires that certain pre-licensing courses be successfully completed; yet those will vary as well. California, for example, stipulates that three college-level courses must be taken while a number of other states require only two. To determine state requirements, contact your state’s real-estate commission for licensing details.

Additionally, any number of real-estate agencies have their own education requisites; so be prepared to do a bit more studying once you get hired on by an agency.

2: The Brokerage Factor:

Before you graduate from your basic training, be sure to research a real-estate broker with whom you will work—this will be a necessity. Real-estate agents work with real-estate brokers who serve as invaluable resources for the myriad of questions one will have as a new agent as well as any uncertainties that will require the intervention of a seasoned pro. A broker will, also, guide you as you begin your career, providing seasoned insight on the best ways to list and sell homes. A broker knows what new developments are planned, what areas have the best and worst tax structures, they are familiar with transportation and the schools—they know everything they need to know about specific areas—their expertise is invaluable!

3: Create A Proactive Budget:

Between your licensing courses, signs, advertising, association fees and other expenses, you should have a good $2,000.00 readily available as part of your ‘start-up fees’. Also, planning for a few lean months, at least initially, is very wise while building up your client-base. The last thing you want to do is to assume your first sale will take place within a month or a few months of your acquiring your license. Realistically, you’ll want to stash enough cash to cover all your personal expenses for a minimum of 3 months.

4: The Title Factor:

Many people don’t realize there is a difference between being a real-estate agent and being a Realtor—which is always capitalized, by the way. A Realtor must be an active member of the National Association of Realtors, known as NAR. Though a real-estate agent and a Realtor are both licensed to sell real-estate, real-estate agents are not members of the NAR. You might say, “So what?” In a nutshell, as members of the NAR, Realtors promise to uphold the Realtor’s Code of Ethics, which is meticulously enforced and includes 17 Articles and various Standards of Practice. Though no system can be perfect, the NAR’s mission is to genuinely attempt to regulate the ethics of any NAR member. Legally, however, all Realtors and real-estate agents must adhere to the same standards of the law. But some decisions that are made in the industry that are not necessarily ethical, are still legal—and, therein, lies the difference between what a Realtor is dutifully-bound to vs. a real-estate agent who may not be. This is not intended to suggest, however, that Realtors are morally or ethically superior to real-estate agents. The NAR is an effective form of professional ‘quality control’.

5: The Networking Factor:

Using friends and family as a source of referrals is a great way to begin networking. Dealing with someone you feel comfortable with serves as a wonderful opportunity to really get your feet wet. You should, also, find a mentor who can offer realistic and effective insight on different contracts and commissions.

Savvy individuals with a determined work-ethic who are problem-solvers and have effective inter-personal skills can do well in the real-estate industry. Most real-estate agents are independent contractors. They set their own work schedules, develop their client base, decide on their marketing methods and grow their business as their own—and when it comes to growth, there are no limits!


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