Real estate agents play a vital role in facilitating transactions that take place in the real estate market. Often, these professionals help their clients buy, rent, or sell their properties.
As a part of that process, real estate agents draw on their specialty insight to help their clients find the best deals or sell their properties for the best price. This article will tell you a bit more about how real estate agents achieve that as well as how you can become one.
Real Estate Agent Career Trajectory
While the work of a real estate agent is highly valuable, that does not necessarily mean there will be a lot of upcoming openings for these positions in the near future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that real estate agent jobs will grow by just 2% over the next ten years.
That rate is on the low side compared to the average growth rate across all industries. Between now and the end of the decade, it appears there will be an increase of just 11,300 real estate agent jobs.
Part of the reason for this is that many real estate buyers and sellers will only consult a real estate agent when making a large transaction, such as selling their house. Other individuals attempt to complete all of their real estate transactions without professional assistance.
The issue here is that real estate agents typically take a percentage of the real estate transactions that they carry out. To avoid those fees, many homeowners and would-be homeowners are opting to buy and sell without the help of an agent.
However, those buyers and sellers often miss out on the expert advice that a real estate agent can provide. That advice can lead to better deals and a streamlined process. For that reason, the real estate agent field won't go away any time soon, even if it is currently experiencing slow growth.
How Do I Become a Real Estate Agent?
If becoming a real estate agent is your dream, then you will be pleased to learn that the process is relatively straightforward. While there will be some differences in requirements between states, here is what every aspiring real estate agent needs to do to earn this title:
- Be 18 or older
- Prove legal United States residency
- Complete pre-license education
- Pass a real estate license exam
- Connect with a real estate broker
Those are the basic steps that you will need to complete regardless of where you live. Now, let's answer a few more questions about this process.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Real Estate Agent?
In most cases, it takes several months to become a real estate agent. The pre-licensing portion of the process adds the most to that duration.
State guidelines can also alter the amount of time it takes to earn a real estate license. However, while there are some differences, you can get one of these licenses in less than half a year in most places.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Real Estate Agent?
To become a real estate agent, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. That price will cover your license fee and your education requirements. Again, the exact price you pay will depend on the state you are in. But very few states will charge you more than $1,000 to earn a license.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make?
The average salary for real estate agents is around $50,000 per year. But that number can vary a lot depending on the circumstances. Most notably, real estate agents often earn a commission which can drastically raise or lower that number depending on the current economic conditions.
Are Requirements Different from State to State?
Overall, the requirements to become a real estate agent are extremely similar between different states. The process we described earlier is what you will need to go through regardless of where you live and intend to work. The only difference between state requirements is how much they charge for fees and how long each step in the process will take.
Broker Sponsorship – Is It Required?
After you earn your real estate license, your work is not yet over. Before you begin working, you will need to find a real estate broker who agrees to oversee your activity. This requirement is present regardless of where you seek your license.
After initial licensing, a real estate agent is not allowed to operate independently. Instead, state laws mandate that they must find a broker where they can "hang their license." This does not necessarily mean that you need to work for this broker. However, having a more experienced broker to review your transactions is a must.
Usually, a new real estate agent will need to work under a broker for a few years. After that, they can begin to operate on their own. As is the case with other requirements, the length of time you need to spend working under a broker will vary by state.
What's the Career Progression for a Real Estate Agent?
Unlike other professions, there is not a single structure for advancement as a real estate agent. The path that each agent takes is unique to them.
For instance, one real estate agent might decide to work under a broker only until they can work alone. After that, they may spend their entire career working independently. That path could also lead to the agent opening their own real estate firm.
Other real estate agents might choose to work within a single company. In that case, the opportunities for advancement are similar to those of any other job. The agent who can perform their responsibilities the best will often have the chance to rise in the ranks within their company.
As you can see, the career of a real estate agent is what you choose to make it. By knowing that, you will have the freedom to work in the real estate market in a capacity that suits your goals and lifestyle.
Ready to become a Real Estate Agent? Check out open Real Estate Jobs here at job.com