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.
This article contains the first 3 of 10 total steps I follow to start businesses. In the following weeks, articles will be provided consisting of the remainder 7 steps. STAY TUNED!
Starting a business can be a daunting task. There are a million variations to accomplish
a variety of goals. And when you list it all out, it can cause you to second guess the idea. However, as a persistent business owner, you must acknowledge that the road won’t be easy. Identifying a plan and chopping it into bite size pieces is important.
While there may be no one single way to create a business every time, the ten steps discussed on this blog series over the next few weeks have been proven to work in my businesses (no matter how big or small) TIME and TIME again. For this case study, we will also use mu business, The Cashflow Hustle, to go through how I utilized each of these steps.
1. Identify passions, pick a niche & know your target audiences NEEDS
For me, part of starting any business begins with reflection on passion and enjoyment. If you have neither in your pursuit of financial independence, it is going to be a long and painful road. You can make money doing anything - especially what you don’t enjoy doing. So, why not generate some revenue while doing what you enjoy?
I am a big list (spreadsheets, etc.) kind of guy. So I start a list of each passion and then list types of businesses that could serve each of those niches. Once you have identified some ideas that bring you thoughts of joy and fulfilment, you need to weigh the options using pure economics. If you want a hobby, this article won’t be of great use to you. However, if you want to provide value to consumers and monetize your product or service, then please continue.
Once you’ve identified the niche, its worth running a bit of a test sample. The thrifty way to do this is to ask people from your target audience. If starting a dating website, people you know who may be around the age where that is of interest would be necessary (as opposed to your parents or neighbor). If you want to start a toy distribution business, perhaps you could ask some nieces or nephews for feedback on the type of toys they like. Don’t know a kid? How about a teacher or associate with a kid?
As you may know or will soon find out, this whole game of entrepreneurship comes down to your ability to be RESOURCEFUL. Obstacles are at every turn. But, if you can flip them around and identify them as challenges leading to a stronger business, then you’re on target.
The key here is to get some feedback from your target demographic.
The Cashflow Hustle: As I considered ideas to build a brand to provide “multiple income stream generation” content, I considered what I found useful on my journey. I loved hearing stories and listening to examples from people who had been there and done that. In particular, I loved learning about the variety of opportunities to create cashflowing businesses with both goods and services. There are other great content creators in the space. But I have my own spin on things and find great joy in sharing what I have learned with others. Through the blog and podcast, I am able to spread my message as well as incorporate some awesome guests who have inspiring stories.
Find your passion with an economic component, pick a path and continue reading below on how to EXECUTE.
2. Search for legal entity name and domain availability
Once you’ve identified the niche you want to pursue, its time to start thinking about a brand identity. I’ve heard some people say differently, but in my opinion, it is important that you identify your brand well right out of the gate.
I make a list of business names and start spit balling with my wife or business partner. This is one of my favorite parts of the business creation process – its when I can start to think of the business as “alive.” Eventually, we come up with a few key words that we can use interchangeably.
Next, I do an entity name search (see point three below) along with a domain search. I primarily use Google Domains for all of my websites and businesses – they are very affordable with quick hosting speed and great customer support which comes in handy in step 5 when you are creating a website and linking your domain. Using Google Domains, I run through variations of all of our listed key words that we liked. I list those that are available and cross out those that are not. Given the nature of the keywords (competitive or not), I purchase the domain. Sometimes, if we are undecided between a few, I buy the top three or four available for one year to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity. However, like a good community member, once we decide on a name, we put the items we own back on the market for others to buy.
Once I have purchased the domain, I get it hosted at SiteGround. There are other hosting services out there but for all of my websites and businesses, I host with them – they are very affordable with quick hosting speed and great customer support which comes in handy in step 5 when you are creating a website and linking your domain.
Another simple and professional addition available is to signup for an email and Office365 account. When I am interacting with a business representative, my impression of the overall quality of the business (as a consumer) is much more favorable if I am talking with an established domain email as opposed to a gmail or yahoo account. If I am taking to email@example.com I feel much les of a personal connection to the person as opposed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For me, a few bucks for a domain specific email address is a small price to pay for the perception of higher quality in the eyes of a consumer.
3. Establish your entity & trademark
As noted, this is likely best done at the same time as step 2 above. To have a domain without a matching entity may be a bit confusing. Depending on where and how you are going to market, there are ways to operate under an assumed name at the state level. However, lets keep things simple and unified at this point.
There are many options when it comes to entity formation. Companies, lawyers and friends are all options to plug into the creation of your entity. Each one serves a purpose, as I will explain.
If you have a large budget, a highly scrutinized service/niche (such as tax planning) or complicated operation (such as an international brokerage firm trading widgets and cryptocurrency), a lawyer is the way to go. The nuances of covering specific risks in those types of businesses requires a little more than a cookie cutter members agreement. Please also note that if you have a business partner that you are sharing responsibilities with to run the operation, it is worth getting a document drawn up by a lawyer outlining specific details. Examples of issues that arise is what happens if one party dies or you partner does something negligent that harms the entity. Having those clauses in the members agreement can be "life savers" when the unthinkable happens.
However, if you have a tighter budget or a less risky business type, LegalZoom is the way to go. There are other options out there but these guys have always delivered for me. It is worth noting that while you fill out their seamless questionnaire during the registration process, you will have to un-select a variety of buttons that auto-enroll you into additional services. It is worth noting that when I forgot to uncheck an opt-in button once, they refunded me the entire amount when I noticed I was being billed for a service that I had never used and didn’t mean to sign up for. Again, fair and honest customer service.
One of the options you will have to choose is whether or not to be your own “registered agent” or to pay for them to. To learn what this entails, please read here. For me, it comes down to personal preference and how much/many calls I want from solicitors selling me products off of the new business owner lists publicly available on government websites. If you have one business, it may not be important. If you have 10 entities, your phone or email may well turn into a catchall for sellers of all services.
Please note, using a friend is not recommended above to set up your entity. Even for my friends who ask, I recommend they follow Options A or B above. I have used each of those two methods without issue and I am not an expert at entity formation.
Next week, we will cover tools to utilize automation and technology to build your team out to achieve better results, faster. We will also cover establishing a web and social presence.
Have any questions or comments on this material? Please contact me at email@example.com - I always enjoy talking business and cashflow.
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.