As if being a real estate agent is not enough, becoming licensed is an even bigger deal! To become licensed as a real estate agent in the state of California, you must first earn your Real Estate Agent Licensing. This is typically done through one of two ways: by attending a professional licensing school or taking the written test to be certified as a business person (or broker) then teaching yourself about how to be a real estate agent.
The second way is by earning college degree level qualifications like receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance, Economics or Marketing and passing the exam for that. Both routes are very expensive so most people don’t qualify until they have saved up quite a bit of money. It is important to note however that it is illegal to act as a real estate agent without having a license!
There is a lot of red tape when it comes to getting a license in this country including lots of regulatory bodies, regulations and licenses across all 50 states. Some require only a short period of time while others make you go back and forth between studying and waiting before giving you your certification.
Apply for a real estate license
Now that you have made an impressive investment in your business, it is time to apply for your state-licensed professional status! The next step is to choose which class or classes of agents you want to be. You can work as either a sales agent or a residential agent, with differences in pay scales and requirements for each.
Sales agents typically earn more than residential agents, but they require additional training that takes longer to obtain. There are also different levels of sales agent, such as entry level, intermediate, and advanced.
Requirements vary slightly between states, so do not assume that all states offer the same degree of flexibility. It is important to check before applying because there is some variation. Some states only allow people with a certain amount of experience to become licensed as a sales agent, while others let anyone apply.
There are three main reasons why someone would like to become a real estate agent. The first is to make money, of course! As mentioned earlier, sales agents usually make more per hour than other types of agents.
The second reason to get into real estate is to improve yourself. Being a real estate agent gives you the chance to help other individuals and businesses find their dream home or house.
The third is to spread the word about what a company or individual offers. Realtors have lots of tools and resources at their disposal, many free of cost.
Pay a license fee
As of July 1, 2020, there is no longer an annual state licensing requirement for real estate agents in California. However, you will still need to be licensed as either a salesperson or broker unless you are planning on working with very limited access to property (for example, if you plan to work from your own home).
If you already have your Sales Agent’s Licence but want to change your designation, you can do so here. To become a Broker, click Here. Both of these require that you go through Re-Qualification which includes taking a certification test and passing it within six months!
There is also an additional $1 million liability policy required by most lenders. This must be renewed every five years too. Make sure to check those before going forward.
Getting this done on time should not be a problem though as long as you do not hold any large sum transactions during that period.
Get your license
Getting licensed as an agent is not easy, nor does it happen overnight. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED certificate, and pass the real estate licensing test to qualify.
The number of people who are able to do this is very limited so you will need to be prepared for a difficult process. Fortunately, there are many ways to help you get through the process more quickly.
There are several sites that can help prepare you for the exam by offering practice tests and mock exams. Some even offer online lessons where you can learn about the basics of being an agent before taking the test in person.
Practice testing websites also allow you to create a profile so you can track your progress later. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch when you come back to take the test again.
Open a business bank account
After you have completed your education, it is time to start thinking about how to get real estate license in your state! The next step will be opening up a business banking account thatis suitable for your business.
Most states require that every licensed professional maintain at least one business checking account with an institution of good reputation. This can easily be done through the use of what is called a “branch-based” banking system.
Under this system, there are only two things that matter when choosing which banks to open accounts with: 1) Does the bank do business with large corporations? And 2) Will the other employees be friendly and accommodating?
If you already have a job, then these questions cannot apply to you. But if you’re looking to launch your career, these are important to consider. You don’t want to pick a place to work where people make ugly faces behind each other’s backs or where no one seems to talk to anyone else.
Register your business
After you are prepared to take the exam, you must register your business with the state of California. This process is very straightforward and can be completed within minutes.
To make sure that your business is legitimate, the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) requires that you disclose your principal place of employment. If you do not have one at this time, it is recommended that you look into opening an office first. This way you can use that as your workplace disclosure until you find one that fits what’s needed for licensing.
After registering your business, you will need to designate which type of license you want to obtain. There are three types of real estate licenses in California: salesperson, broker, and associate. The difference between each one is pretty simple so don’t worry about confusing ones! Once again, all of these can be found at dbo.ca.gov.
Salespeople and brokers require additional education beyond the certification, while associates only require basic training. Becoming a licensed professional real estate agent or broker is a lengthy process that takes anywhere from several months to years depending on how many people apply behind you.
Get federal and state tax IDs
To be licensed in the United States, you must first obtain either your Federal Tax ID or State Tax ID. This is not only to prove that you are a legitimate business person, but also for use in determining how much personal income tax you pay!
Federal Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) are issued by the IRS as well as State TINs which are issued by your state’s Department of Revenue. Both agencies need proof that you are an authorized individual in order to verify this information.
By law, the IRS requires two pieces of identification with their TIN verification process. One must include at least one piece of “proof of residence.” A proof of residency can be anything from a driver’s license to a passport to a utility bill showing service address.
The second piece of identification needed to validate a taxpayer’s identity is called a “Proof of Identity”. This may be through a document such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or social security card. But it does not have to be necessarily formal documents like these, something like a letter stating who you are will work just fine too.
Create your company profile
Companies that want to use you as their agent are going to do some research online to make sure this will work for you. They’ll look at your profile pictures, videos, and testimonials to get a sense of who you are and what you’re like as an individual.
In addition to confirming your real estate license eligibility, these surveys can help determine if there are opportunities to improve your marketing or leadership skills.
By taking some time to review your company’s profiles before representing them, you’ll be able to give them more insight into yourself and how you operate professionally.
After you have determined that you want to be an agent, your next step is to start advertising yourself as such! While some people may feel uncomfortable doing so, it’s totally okay to get help marketing yourself for several reasons.
First of all, most agents are very successful because they spent years learning how to advertise themselves. It’s definitely not something everyone knows about, but there are many ways you can learn or teach yourself how to do it.
Second, almost every real estate professional was at least once like you where they felt nervous about marketing themselves. What works for someone else might not work for you, but don’t let that stop you from trying!
Third, studying marketing and sales isn’t just for college students anymore. Anyone can pick up a couple things here and there to promote themselves around town. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make enough money to survive with only selling a few houses per week!
The best way to begin is simply talking to other professionals in the field and getting their advice.