Business interruptions, lockdowns, and remote working have become the new normal during a global pandemic. Some people are out of work for an indefinite period and are seeking new career opportunities. With real estate education available, learn how to become a real estate agent and make the most of the downtime provided by the coronavirus quarantine.
Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent
The specific requirements to become a real estate agent vary from state to state. In general, a person must be at least 18 or 19 years old to be an agent as well as have legal residency in the United States. No high school diploma is required to become an agent, but candidates must complete prelicensing real estate education. Once a student passes this course, he or she is ready to sit for the state license exam. With government offices closed during the coronavirus quarantine, scheduling the exam may take some time based on local regulations and lockdowns. Visit your state government licensing website to get essential updates.
Consider the Lifestyle of a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is an independent contractor who works under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. However, an agent works for herself of himself, which requires self-motivation. Agents handle their own taxes, paperwork, office management, personal marketing, lead generation, and client relations. Some agents work part-time, and others choose to make a long-term, full-time career. While agents enjoy a flexible schedule, they need to work to build a business and become profitable. This also means an agent writes his or her own check with unlimited income potential. Agents need to save and plan because they earn a commission check rather than a weekly salary.
Enroll in a Prelicensing Class
Whether a person wants to make a career change during the pandemic or is seeking other opportunities as a backup plan, the first step is to take the real estate prelicensing course. Based on the state of licensure, this course can be completed online. While schools are closed during the quarantine, motivated people can turn to the Internet to find accredited real estate schools and courses to become an agent. The coursework is completed in a specific number of hours, based on the state of licensing. Once the course is completed, the student passes an exam and is ready to apply for the state real estate license exam.
Take the State Exam
Each state varies when it comes to real estate license application requirements. For example, some states require a background check and fingerprinting, while others do not. During the quarantine, this may lead to delays. The state licensing department and local associations for real estate agents offer essential updates to keep agents on track. Once these requirements are fulfilled and the applicable fees paid, a candidate can take the state real estate licensing exam. Agents must have a license to represent buyers and sellers, which means waiting for the state offices to reopen and start scheduling tests. Once a student passes the state exam, he or she is ready to embark on an exciting new career.
Work With a Progressive Broker
An agent must work under the supervision of a licensed broker for a minimum of three years. After that time, an agent can take a course and state exam to become a broker. For new agents, it is crucial to work with a progressive broker that offers continuing support and education. The right broker helps agents understand the industry and how it works while providing growth and advancement opportunities. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate affiliated agents have access to the Be Better University® to help them keep learning as they develop their professional careers.
Examine Your Motivations
During a global pandemic, people are stressed and looking for answers. Becoming a real estate agent should be a career choice based on liking the industry rather than panicking about having work in the future. Examine your motivations to make sure this is the right career path. If the idea of working with buyers and sellers and marketing real estate is appealing, it could be an ideal way to spend time during the quiet quarantine period constructively.
With online real estate education opportunities, people can become a real estate agent while the pandemic closes down businesses. Having a backup plan is a smart idea, especially for those in industries hit hard by the global quarantine. In less time than most other professional careers, an agent can be educated and pass the state exam to embark on a lucrative career.