Getting Licensed

  1. Research the licensing standards in your state. Each state has different requirements to become a licensed realtor. Search online or contact a brokerage in your area to determine the education and licensing requirements in your state.
  2. Prepare for the real estate exam. Study the topics covered on the real estate exam as you prepare for the test. Many companies offer test preparation services, but it is entirely possible to succeed on your own with proper determination and study.
    • Be knowledgeable about the types of real estate contracts prevalent in your area: exclusive listings, open listings, net listings, among others.
    • Familiarize yourself with real estate terminology.—There are many terms specific to real estate negotiations. Read widely about the buying and selling process, to integrate the terms into your psyche.
    • Understand tax laws and tax implications associated with real estate.
    • Be familiar with fiduciary relationships and disclosure obligations.
  3. Register for the Real Estate Exam. Find a test center near you to register for the exam. There are usually fees associated with taking the exam and often required background checks. Each state has its own licensing board and you should contact it to learn specifics of your location.
  4. Apply for your license and insurance. Depending on which state you are planning to work in, there may be different requirements for obtaining insurance or a license. Check with your local realtor association to see what requirements exist in your state.

Creating a Network

  1. Partner with a registered broker. Most states require new agents to work with a registered broker for a minimum amount of time. You are still working for yourself during this time; however, new agents operate under the umbrella of the brokerage before they are able to branch out and be fully independent.
    • Consider the coverage area for each brokerage firm of potential interest to you.
    • Find out if the brokerage specializes in buying or selling.
    • Research the benefits the brokerage provides to its agents.
  2. Develop a list of contacts. Real estate is all about who you know. Becoming connected with a wide referral network will help create a substantial body of new contacts.
    • Use customer management software to keep up with your list of contacts so that no one is forgotten.
    • Ask clients for referrals.
    • Sponsor local events.
  3. Create a website and social media presence. Connect with people who aren’t in your immediate circle of contacts by reaching out to the masses through social media.
    • Make social media pages dedicated to your real estate business.
    • Tweet listings and real estate tips as you come across them.
    • Monitor what others are saying/doing on social media to promote any opportunities for new business.
    • Post your listings and ways to search other listings (such as MLS links) on your website.
    • Keep your bio and closing history up to date on your website.
  4. Exude an outgoing and welcoming personality to everyone you encounter. Your personality strongly affects the people you interact with, so it is critical to make your clients feel special by giving them full attention while you are with them.
    • Get comfortable discussing contract terms with people who are not familiar with the real estate market.
    • Engage with new people in the community to forge new connections.
    • Listen to your clients and tend to their needs.

Marketing Yourself

  1. Establish a schedule for prospecting. Set aside time each week to develop new leads through email marketing or phone calls. Take time to advertise your services in small venues such as coffee shops or community gathering spots. Although buying leads can develop new business, the most productive leads come from direct interactions.
  2. Get involved in the community. Keep your finger on the pulse of the market by establishing a community presence.
    • Attend local festivals.
    • Sponsor local schools and sports teams.
    • Introduce yourself to neighbors.
  3. Go virtual. Make sure you stay connected with potential buyers in today’s virtual market. Many buyers do extensive online searching before contacting listings. Make your listings stand out by utilizing technology to display properties online.
    • Create 3D virtual tours of homes you list.
    • Post walkthrough video tours of listings.
    • Include pictures on every post of a listing.
  4. Keep in touch with past clients. 75% of business for realtors generally comes from referrals. Make sure that you aren’t missing opportunities for new business by ignoring past clients.
    • Send a welcome home basket after closing.
    • Call clients 1-2 months after closing to follow up and make sure they’re satisfied.
    • Send a yearly newsletter to all your past clients; referrals may come several years after you first connected with a client.
  5. Sell yourself. As a realtor, selling yourself is just as important as selling property. Work to make connections with people first, and they will want to buy or sell their property with you.

Being a Life-Long Learner

  1. Surround yourself with real estate professionals. Making connections with people in the real estate industry gives you a network of professionals to draw from when searching listings. Keep your network strong by interacting with as many other realtors as you can.
    • Join local and national Realtor associations.
    • Connect with a mentor to ask questions and compare ideas.
    • Use client feedback to adjust your approach.
  2. Attend seminars. Many brokerages and realtor associations offer seminars on aspects of buying and selling or contract negotiations. Register to attend several seminars each year to keep track of new market strategies and to network with others in the industry.
  3. Observe market and neighborhood trends. Real estate markets are constantly changing. Be aware of the factors affecting pricing and availability in your area.
    • Keep a database of recent closing in the area to know comparable prices.
    • Track home values and trends in specific neighborhoods.
    • Monitor school rankings and test scores to share with clients.