Becoming a part of the real estate industry is an exciting prospect — from having control of your own schedule to making commissions as big as your work ethic, the benefits seem endless. After completing a pros and cons list to weigh your decision of changing careers, it’s time to start the real work: obtaining a real estate certification, or license, from your state. You must have this license to legally practice real estate within your state. To help you do this, we have put together the four simple steps on your journey to passing the real estate exam and starting your career in this industry.
1. Research Your Career Options
Start your research with a consideration for the pros and cons of working as a real estate agent in our current economic market. Make sure you are analyzing your own personality and work behavior when listing out those benefits and drawbacks. Also look at the different career paths you can take after obtaining your real estate license. With a real estate license, you are not just confined with selling residential spaces — you can sell timeshares and commercial lots, or become a property manager or even a home stager. Lastly, consider the financial cost of pursuing a career in real estate versus the potential reward. Here is a list of things with approximate prices you will need to be prepared to pay for just to get your license: pre-license courses, prep exams, and textbooks ($450); calculator ($50); and state application processing, including fingerprinting and exam fee ($200).
2. Meet the Education and Training Requirements
So you have made your decision to enter the real estate industry and realized you can financially handle the next three steps to obtaining your license. Now you need to pass the required age, education, and training standards for your state. These usually include being 18 years of age, having a high school diploma or GED, and completing and passing your state’s approved pre-license course. In Florida, the Florida Real Estate Commission has mandated a 63-hour sales associate pre-license course that can either be taken online or in a traditional classroom setting. Some states provide exceptions to the above requirements. For example, if you are an attorney with a current state bar card or have a four-year degree in real estate. Check with your state’s real estate licensing body for exact requirements.
3. Apply and Sit For the State Exam
Okay, so you’ve taken your state’s pre-licensing course and studied hard for the state exam, now what? It’s time to apply to sit for the state exam, including paying all necessary fees (i.e. background check and fingerprinting). Most states have an online portal to pay any necessary fees and print the required applications. They will also have information about places and times to take the exam using their approved vendors. Florida partners with Pearson VUE to provide testing centers and examinations. Most exams can be scheduled up to one calendar day prior to the day you wish to test, depending on availability. Check with your state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation for more information.
4. Pass the Exam and Start Your Career
It is test day and and it seems like you have studied your notecards for hours. It is time to ace this exam and begin your new career. If all goes well, you will be contacting real estate brokers by the end of the day to set up interviews for joining their team of esteemed real estate agents. It is important to find a mentor who can guide you through your real estate journey past these four steps. Consider joining a professional organization, like the National Association of Realtors to network and continue your real estate education, and don’t forget to renew your license when due so you can keep your career headed in the right direction!
The foundation of a successful real estate career is high-quality education. Not only will this help you pass the state exam, but will also aid greatly in increasing your real estate knowledge and in preparing you for the real world after you complete your exam. At IFREC, we provide students with the best in real estate education, ensuring that our students will not only pass their certification exams, but also go on to be excellent real estate agents. Are you ready to choose a class that best fits your schedule? Talk with one of our career counselors to see which course you need to jumpstart your career in real estate!