WESTPORT, Conn. -- Real estate can be a challenging, but rewarding profession. From business professionals seeking the next challenge to residents who know their hometown inside and out, getting started in real estate can offer a life changing opportunity.
To get started in real estate, applicants must complete a 75-hour pre-licencing curriculum before taking a written exam. Once completed, the fun part of real estate begins. "After completing the licensing test, a real estate agent should look for a brokerage that meets their needs and has a sturdy reputation," said Mary Crist, office leader for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. "Come up with a few questions to ask a few different agencies. That way you can look back and see what brokerage answered them the best."
Real estate is a commission-based business, but prior to any sale, it's important to set aside funds for advertising, business cards, signs and association fees. "The exam fees for getting a real estate license are expensive, and getting started is going to require capital," said Crist. "Setting aside money is going to go a long way down the road when you are able to get your name out there."
When it's finally time to build a portfolio, turn to a mentor in your agency who can introduce you to potential clients. Having someone to guide you in the agency is a great jumping off point and can help lead to the sale of several listings. "Build a network in your brokerage and don't be afraid to use your own personal network to build client relationships," said Crist.
Much like starting a small business, becoming a real estate agent requires time, money, networking and patience. While it may seem like a lot to get started, following these simple tips can help smooth the road to becoming a real estate agent. "Success in real estate doesn't happen overnight but with enough persistence, it will pay off," said Crist.
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