1. Get licensed.
In order to become a real estate agent, you must be licensed. The process of getting licensed varies by state, so be sure to check with your local real estate board or governing body for more information. However, in general, you will need to complete a certain number of hours of pre-license education, pass a state exam, and background check.
2. Get insured.
As a real estate agent, you will be working with clients and handling their personal information. It is important to have errors and omissions insurance (E&O) to protect yourself in case of any mistakes that may occur. E&O insurance is typically offered by your broker or can be purchased through an insurance company.
3. Join the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association for real estate agents in the United States. Being a member of the NAR gives you access to resources, such as educational articles and videos, discounts on products and services, and the ability to network with other agents.
4. Join a local real estate association.
In addition to the NAR, there are also many local real estate associations (REAs) across the country. These REAs typically offer similar resources and benefits as the NAR, but on a smaller scale. Joining an REA can be a great way to get involved in your local real estate community.
5. Set up a professional email address and voicemail greeting.
When you're starting out as a real estate agent, it's important to create a professional image from the outset. This means having a professional email address (something like [email protected]) and setting up a voicemail greeting that includes your name and contact information.
6. Order business cards and marketing materials.
Once you have your professional email address and voicemail greeting set up, it's time to start thinking about marketing yourself as a real estate agent. One of the simplest ways to do this is to order business cards with your contact information to hand out to potential clients. You should also consider creating other marketing materials, such as flyers or postcards, to promote your services.
7. Create a LinkedIn profile.
In today's world, having an active presence on social media is essential for any business - including real estate. Creating a LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with potential clients and referral sources. Be sure to include information about your experience, education, and areas of expertise on your profile.
8. Research the real estate market in your area.
As a real estate agent, it's important to be knowledgeable about the market in your area. This means keeping up with trends, such as changes in median home prices or the types of properties that are in demand. You can research the market by reading industry publications or talking to other agents in your area.
9. Familiarize yourself with contract law.
One of the most important aspects of being a real estate agent is understanding contracts. You will need to be familiar with the different types of contracts used in real estate transactions, as well as the laws that govern them. This knowledge will help you protect your clients and avoid any legal issues.
10. Get to know the players in the real estate industry.
In addition to knowing the contract law, it's also important to familiarize yourself with the different players in the real estate industry. This includes lenders, appraisers, title companies, and home inspectors. Understanding their roles will help you navigate the real estate process and better serve your clients.