Becoming licensed as an agent is one of the best ways to make money investing in real estate. While it may not be easy, there are things you can do to get your license quickly.
There are two main types of licenses for agents: listing and agency. The difference between them is very specific, so make sure you know what each means before picking which one is right for you!
To become licensed as a realtor, or even just a listing agent, you will need to pass some pretty tough exams. These tests vary from state to state, but most require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree, plus three years experience working as a professional Realtor.
Bachelor’s degrees typically include business, marketing, finance, psychology, or anything related to creating successful businesses.
Three year experience must come either from working as a Realtor or in another field that teaches similar skills like business, marketing, etc. Professionals usually spend several months learning the basics of real estate before diving into being a broker.
Finding out if you qualify as an Agent really depends on where you live and how popular the area is for realtors. If there are already many agents around, then people probably won’t need much help selling their homes, whereas areas with few agents might not offer as good of opportunities for career growth.
Visit each agency and look at their website
As mentioned earlier, before you can apply for real estate license classes in Virginia, you will need to be affiliated with an educational institution that offers courses for agents. Each state has different requirements for agent licensure, but most require people to have graduated from an accredited business school or college with a degree program in general education, marketing, finance, insurance, etc.
Then they require students to take several classes related to real estate. These could include basic business, law, economics, mathematics, accounting, etc. Some states even require students to pass a test to prove proficiency in real estate!
Most schools offer both classroom lectures and online lessons.
Call the agency and introduce yourself
Before you even apply for real estate license, you will have to first talk to the agency that granted your broker’s license. You can do this by calling them and introducing yourself as someone interested in becoming a licensed agent.
Do not make any statements or ask questions until you are asked! Also, be prepared for a lot of questions about if you know anything about being an agent, what kind of services they offer, and whether you feel like you would fit in with their team.
Most agencies will give you a time frame of one week for these calls. Be sure to call within that time frame so that you don’t waste anyone’s time nor yours.
After speaking with every member of the agency, either via phone or in person, you will need to pick one main speaker. This can easily be done through introductions or talking to people around the office.
The speaker will then take some much needed notes and form a group with you. Now, you will both go over everything from before and including the interview process at the other end.
Get your resume prepared
A lot of people get stuck when it comes time to apply for real estate licenses because they do not know what information to include on their resume or how to organize it. Make sure your resume is up-to-date, includes all pertinent information, and is organized properly.
It is important to make sure that everything on your resume corresponds with things listed on your license. For example, if you are applying for a broker’s license then make sure that your resume mentions experience as a broker. You don’t want to lie about being able to sell houses but say you worked as an accountant instead of prepping for brokers!
Make sure to keep yourself updated on changes to the profession by reading magazines and doing research on different aspects of the market. This will give you a head start on anyone else who may have similar skills as you do.
Prepare your own marketing materials
After you have determined that real estate licensing is what you want to pursue, the next thing to do is determine if you should be doing it yourself or working with a franchise partner. If you are very comfortable putting up your own signs and leaving messages for potential buyers, then go ahead and do so!
But most successful agents pay close attention to detail and keep their promotional material well-edited and consistent. This way, they’re highlighting their services while also giving prospective clients a clear picture of who they are and what they can offer.
By having your own set of materials, you will lose part of this consistency, which could hurt your business. And since most people now use social media to look into someone’s career, making sure that your image matches what others may know you as can really matter.
Another reason to invest in professional looking materials is because it boosts your agency credibility. When people see that you have done at least some of the hard work for them, they are more likely to give you credit for the rest of the job and trust you more.
Find out what the market is like
As mentioned earlier, before you even consider getting real estate license in Virginia, you need to know how many licenses there are and what areas of the state require them. Plus, you should figure out if it’s really necessary to have a license before you start looking into courses that can get you one.
There are three ways to become licensed as an agent in Virginia. The first way is through the VRA (Virginia Realtor Association). This organization will oversee all things related to residential agents in the state. You must be affiliated with the VRA to be able to work as an agent.
The second way to obtain your real estate license is by passing both the RIAR exam and the FCPR exam. Both of these exams are offered online via TestKing and Pearson.
The third way to earn your license is by completing at least 1 year of experience working as a real estate agent.
Find your dream house
Finding a home is very different than buying a house already pre-owned or from the market. When you are looking to purchase a new home, there is another term that gets thrown around a lot – ideal house.
Most individuals consider an “ideal” house to be one with a large yard, a separate master bedroom, and a garage. While this may seem like good quality material for building homes, it can sometimes contribute more money to buy a house.
There are several reasons why having a spacious backyard and a detached garage is not necessarily a worthy investment. A house with lots of space does not always mean access to the space is easy for everyone. If you are a frequent traveler, a house with a big back garden might feel limiting.
If you want to invest in real estate, make sure you are investing in a solid property that will last! Check out online listings, read reviews, talk to people close to the properties, tour them, and look at all the documents such as contracts, deeds, and surveys.
Also, do not forget to compare prices across markets so that you get a clear picture of what you should expect to pay for yours.
Find an agent that you feel comfortable with
Finding an agent is not as difficult as some may make it seem, but it will require some time and effort. Before jumping into talking to agents directly, try going through another agent or two first.
There are many ways to find your ideal real estate agent. You can search for local agents online using software such as Zillow, Google+, and Facebook.
By searching these sites, you’ll be able to read reviews and get insights from other individuals. Some of this information will include comments about the agent’s efficiency, professionalism, and whether they could stand them person.
You can also visit meet-up groups and community events to see if anyone talks about their experiences with brokers. By attending these events, you would know what types of vendors people use and which ones work for them.
If there’s no event, you can create one! People post things like “I had my dream house listed by so and so, check out here to learn more.” Or something along the lines of, “I loved working with Agent X, she did such a great job.” These sorts of posts usually contain lots of positive feedback.
Another way to find an agent is to go to open houses that have recently sold. A lot of these homes were marketed by the same broker, so you can assume they are trustworthy.
Get a letter of recommendation
A letter of recommendation is another way to show potential employers that you are qualified for the job. They can be very helpful when looking into licensing or employment opportunities. Some states require only one, while others may ask for several depending on the position.
A friend, colleague, family member, or significant other who has worked with you before will aso help portray your skills as an employee. This person should clearly detail how you performed your duties and what achievements you have made.
The individual writing the letter must also be clear about your strengths and weaknesses and if they observed any negative behaviors. Having them mention anything positive about your work performance will strengthen their statement and add validity to it.
“I have known [insert name] since she was in high school and he has always shown leadership qualities,” they could write. “She always does her best and never gives up when faced with a challenge.