Make no mistake: becoming a realtor involves a lot of hard work and time. But, it can be a tremendous investment for your future. The entire process from the qualifications necessary, the costs and the timeline to become an agent differs from one state to another. As such, it is essential that you know exactly how to get a real estate license before you even think about becoming a real estate agent.
What Are the Basic Requirements?
While each state is allowed to dictate specifically the requirements necessary to become a real estate agent, certain basic requirements are common in most states.
How to Get a Real Estate License?
1. Take a Course for Pre-Licensing
To acquire a real estate license, in most states, you need to take a pre-licensing course. You need to invest quite a bit of money along with time. That is why it is important to gather the total costs and budget appropriately, before getting started.
For pre-licensing, certain schools require you to meet over a set number of classes or credits. This can happen either over quite a few weeks or at your convenience; know your options and choose one accordingly. The fees for this course again depend on schools and the state but be prepared to shell out anywhere between $300 to $1000.
2. Take the Licensing Examination
Depending on the state, you will need to appear for a licensing examination. That will take anywhere between an hour and a half to three and a half hours, to fully complete. Also, be prepared to shell out between $20 and $65 for the examination fee.
This test will typically consist of multiple choice questions, about 100 or so, and will cover state and national laws and principles. Again, the minimum passing score differ from state to state.
Typically, the passing score is anywhere between 60% and 75%. Upon passing, you obtain a completion certificate from the school or an official real estate transcript along with a photocopy of your score.
3. File an Application for a Real Estate License
Upon successfully passing the examination, you can submit your results, the application for the license, and the fees for the application. The fees will be between $55 and $275. You might also be asked to have a background check which will set you back anywhere between $50 and $90.
As mentioned earlier, you will require your basic education or be of minimum age requirement. You also have to be authorized to work in the USA, and some states also need you to be a resident in the same state. After submitting everything, it will take about a week to two months for the license to be processed.
4. Find a Real Estate Brokerage
Once your license is processed and you have obtained it, you will be required to work with a real estate broker. This broker is the person who will sponsor your first couple of years (typically two to four) as a realtor.
For those who don’t know what a real estate broker is, it is basically an office or an agency where real estate agents work. It is always wise to search for a broker even before you give your licensing exam. Real estate is a team sport and your network will be your most valuable resource before, during and after your journey begins.
5. Join the NAR (National Association of Realtors)
After having acquired your license and finding yourself a brokerage sponsor, you would assume you are now a real estate agent. However, you are still not there yet. While it is not necessary legally, you should join the NAR (National Association of Realtors) for you to be able to call yourself a real estate agent.
This is also important if you want to take part in MLS (Multiple Listing Services) which will allow you to see other real estate agent’s listings. Without being a member of the NAR, you will still be a legal realtor, but your potential to earn is quite limited without the MLS.
6. Renew Your License Regularly
As you can see, acquiring a license is a ton of work, so ensure you are renewing it on or before the designated date. Depending on the state, the license expires anywhere between every two to four years.
Additionally, several states also require you to fully complete a number of hours course credits to be eligible for the renewal. This is typically between 22 and 90 hours. These courses ensure that you are always up to date with the evolving state and nation markets as well as regulations.
Some Helpful Information
If you have already acquired your real estate license along with everything else and still looking to expand your business, Real Estate Express can help out. Upon signing up for this program, you will receive a commission check and so much more when your website has generated sales. So, be sure to check them out.
As you can see, to become a realtor is a huge decision and involve a lot of attention, time, and dedication. Knowing how to get a real estate license and successfully obtaining it will ensure that you are given an opportunity to unlimited earning potential, and someday, the possibility of becoming your own boss.
There are many ways to get involved in your local real estate market. One of the more popular ways to network and expand your business as well as knowledge is through attending meetups. A few months after starting my investing journey and digging into books and podcasts to learn some basic lingo and topics for a few months, I attended my first meetup. I enjoyed the event (one of the largest monthly events in Houston). There were hundreds of people and some great topics discussed. The premise of the event is to network with other investors and vendors and then listen to a speaker about a particular topic. From that event, I began to attend a few other meetups – each with their own little twist. Before I knew it, I was seeing the same speakers and listening to the same topics.
Those repeated topics, while very valid and helpful, were becoming a little less interesting to me. As I progressed in my real estate investing journey, what I needed was to move deals that fell outside of our scope and pickup new deals that fit our business model. The structure of the other events had tons of attendees which was great. But finding exact matches looking for what I needed was a crap shoot – rapid fire blind-dating would be the best comparison.
So, my business partner (Shenice) and I decided to create a meetup that we felt would fulfill not only our needs, but also the needs of other active investors in our area. Keeping it very simple, here are the things we considered and/or did to get our meetup kicked off.
1. WHO - Know your target audience
Our target audience is wholesalers with deals, investors looking for deals and lenders looking to put money to work. Each of those groups needs each other to succeed and our platform is focused on serving those needs in a very strategic and efficient manner. For you, start by asking where your biggest pain point is. Perhaps it is finding trustworthy and skilled contractors. I am certain that if you ask around or have been investing for any amount of time, some pain points will come to mind from you or your target audience. With that in mind, a basic format for your meetup can begin to take shape.
2. WHAT - Understand what your target audience needs
We approached the creation of the meetup with resolution to one of our problems in mind – finding deals to keep the pipeline full. When we looked around at peers in our target markets who were hosting Meetups, one key element was missing – focused deal pitching and discussion.
Instead of this traditional meetup approach where someone gets up and talks/teaches for an hour or sells a service, we took a different route.
The basic structure of our meetup is as follows:
1st - networking for an hour – snack and have a beverage or two
2nd – introductions by each attendee (name, scope of work, target market)
3rd - listening to focused and targeted deals in our submarket in 90 second pitch windows (wholesaler pitching to investors)
4th - circle-back networking of those interested in any of the pitched deals.
3. WHERE – Identify the target market you are pursuing relationships in
We are focused in some specific submarkets south of Houston, Texas. I am aware of only two other events hosted in our region of the city monthly. So, for us, it is a great opportunity to serve the area. While we will consider other zip codes based on the property, the south east part of Houston is where we operate. So, we invite wholesalers and investors from those areas and get great saturation of the area through this tool. We do make the event as easy to access as possible by hosting right at a major artery of the city’s beltway highway system which makes travel to and from easy.
4. WHEN – what is reasonable based on schedules and other commitments
It is important to understand what other events take place consistently in your market. For us and our target audience, it would be counter productive to host a meetup on the same day of the month as other established or popular meetups. We chose to host on the last Thursday of each month. There are no existing events that we know of that impact us hosting on this day. And for me, as I still work, Fridays are easier days to recover on after a long evening of networking than any other day of the week.
The final step to hosting a meetup is to request and be open to feedback from attendees. After all, the objective of the event it to make effective use of the collective audience’s time. Make sure that you are regularly touching base with attendees to make sure they feel like they are getting adequate value from their time spent with you. It is far better to listen to feedback and make an educated decision (to modify or not) based on feedback rather than simply hope everyone continues to return. By circling back and get feedback on what attendees liked and what they would like to see differently so that your event becomes as useful for the group as possible.
Getting involved in your target market by hosting a meetup can be a powerful tool to build your brand and network. Following these five steps will simply make the process a little less bumpy as you get things kicked off. Do you have any tips on hosting a meetup that you have found helpful. Please comment below.
Justin Grimes has been an active business & real estate investor since 2007 participating at various levels in asset classes from single-family rehab and mortgage note creation to multi-family, self storage and mobile home parks. He enjoys building teams and scaling his portfolio of assets.
NOTE: This content may contain affiliate links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers from our partners. It helps cover some of our expenses to continually run the podcast and platform. See our disclosures for more info.
SALES LEAD GEN.