There are over 1.2 million realtors in the US alone, and it isn’t hard to see why. Realtors can make their own hours, be self-employed, and get a great commission-based salary.
Students who are looking to find an awesome career that affords them flexibility should look no further.
The day-to-day duties of a real estate agent include representing buyers and sellers and building their own business. To excel, you need to be personable and a great marketer.
How to Start a Career as a Realtor as a Student
You need to be a minimum of 18/19 years old to become a realtor, meaning most 1st-year college and some senior-year high school students can apply for a license in their state.
1. Get Licensed As Soon as Possible
If you plan on doing more with your license than selling homes, it’s better to get your license the minute you’re able to.
Starting a brokerage business requires a lot of experience, and the sooner you start selling homes, the more likely you are to gain a trusted network of agents.
2. Look Up Reciprocity Laws
Real estate reciprocity allows agents to transfer their license without going through pre-licensing requirements for another state.
If you get your license in a full reciprocity state, like Alabama, Colorado, Washington, among others, you can sell homes in another full reciprocity state.
Most full reciprocity states don’t require you to take a test to get another license, but most partial reciprocity states and non-reciprocity states do.
By getting a license in a full reciprocity state, you can sell more homes across the country without having to pay extra for that privilege.
3. Enroll in an Online Course
Several states recognize online pre-licensing courses as a legitimate way to receive your license.
Going this route will offer you more flexibility, which is especially helpful for busy students. Make sure the school you enroll in has a great reputation and quality instructors.
4. Don’t Freelance: Find a Brokerage
To get a real estate license, agents must be sponsored by a broker.
While you could leave the moment your broker signs off on your paperwork, it’s a bad idea to go freelance, especially at the start of your real estate career.
Brokers are essentially experienced real estate agents. They have a lot to offer you in regards to education.
Not only that, but signing up with a brokerage gives you access to a brand, marketing, training, business cards, a website, a desk, and a large pool of potential clients.
5. Write Out a Business Plan
Even if you’re working with a broker, your real estate career is still considered a small business.
If you write out a business plan that includes your goals, target market, network, and marketing strategy, you’ll have a better chance of selling more properties and succeeding as an agent.
6. Develop a Professional Image
Real estate is a primarily image-based business, where clients will make a quick judgment call on whether they want to buy a house or hire an agent.
Your image can influence your career more than any other factor, which can be conveyed by how you dress, act, or speak.
The hardest part for students who transition into the job market is developing a professional persona, but getting some form of business or negotiation training can do wonders.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Feel free to get creative to establish your niche.
7. First Impressions Make a Difference
Most real estate clients only interview one agent to sell their home. The timing of your response, coupled with a great referral, will almost guarantee that you’ll gain a client.
In your written responses, avoid jokes, slang, misspellings, and emoticons to establish your credibility.