Friday, December 11, 2015

How to become Realtor 101

Are you fed up with your boring job and annoying boss?  
Do you want to have more independence and make your own rules?  If you think have what it takes to be an awesome real estate agent then it’s time to take action.  But wait; do you know what you need to do to get started? 
Being a Realtor can be lucrative, fun, and super rewarding.  Meeting people, helping them find their dream homes, making your own schedule, and not being stuck sitting at a desk all day are just a few of the reasons that many people find the idea enticing.  However, it’s difficult to find information about the necessary steps and financial investment necessary to get your real estate license and start selling.  At ListTrue we like to make things easy so here is your honest and upfront guide to the steps and fees required to become a realtor. 
First things first, it’s important to think about all of the different aspects.  Being a realtor means all of the great fun things that we mentioned in the first paragraph (and more) but it also means working for commission and only commission.  If you are willing to do the work, we are sure that you will be successful but it is important to understand that this is very different than what most people are used to.  However, this is not something that you need to be afraid of!  If you put in some elbow grease and have the guidance of some experts (like the ones at ListTrue) you will be making more money than you ever have in no time.  So if you’re ok with being the master of your own destiny, forge on!!! 
Next you’ll need to attend a pre-license real estate training course to prepare you for the licensing test.  Warning: it is dry and full of legal shenanigans so drink as much coffee as needed!  The 40 hour class can be taken online or in a classroom for a cost of about $200-$250.   You will learn all of the important info that will allow you to be successful and how to pass the test.  Honestly, there aren’t many fun carriers out there that you can get started with only 40 hours of training!  
At some point you have to apply to get your license with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs online which takes about 5 mins (here is a link: How to become a Realtor 
This application comes with a processing cost of $36-$88 depending on the year of the three year cycle in which you apply. It will ask for the broker you are working with, but you don’t need this information to take the test.  You can take care of that later.  Oh, and it will take them a couple of days to process your application so remember: patience is a virtue.  
After you take your class and register you get to take the test, for a cost of $75.  Good Luck! 
So now you’ve passed with flying colors, had a celebratory party and need to find a broker to sponsor you to get your license.  This is the agency that you will work for.  They’re all different so shop around and don’t forget to check us out ListTrue (we’re pretty awesome)!  Your broker will help you with the formalities from here but since it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into keep reading. 
Once you have your license and broker you will need to join your area’s realtor association.  This will allow you to access the MLS (multiple listing service), manage clients, run CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis), research statistics, run detailed searches for clients, and all of that fun stuff!  This is not cheap but it is necessary.  The prices and structure vary slightly with each association. Just to get an idea lets use the Lansing Michigan Area for an example.  
To become a member of the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors there are one time entrance costs and monthly dues.  Yepper, you’ve got to invest in yourself!  There are different payment options but just to give you an idea, initial fees ranges from about $500 to $1000.  The first time fees usually include the entrance fees to the state and national associations that you have to join as well.   If you pay the big bucks right away your monthly dues will be less, probably about $150/month.  If you opt for the lower initial amount your monthly dues will be slightly higher for your fist year to catch you up on your entry costs.  In Lansing 4 half days of orientation are required for all new agents. 
It might seem like a lot of hoops to jump through to start a carrier in real estate but this is nothing!  If you are motivated all of this can be completed in a couple of weeks and you will be ready to do real estate transactions and be your own boss
 Here is a breakdown of the Costs: 
Class $200 
iCOLA (Commercial Occupation Licensing Fee: this allows you to register and take your test) can be $88, $62, or $36 depending on what year you register in of the three year cycle. 
 Test$75Association Entry Fees:$500First three months of association dues:$500 
A total investment for education, licensing, and the first three months of your new carrier is about $1300.  That is really not much for a fulfilling profession with unlimited earning potential! Some people invest $50,000 in a college education and struggle to find employment afterward.  Be smart and invest $1300, do the work, and start making money within the first 2 months that you are licensed! 
You’ll want to have a few bucks to get some business cards printed and you’ll be making money in no time if you put the work in.  So there you have it!  Ready to get started or have some questions?  Give us a call at ListTrue and we would be happy to help! or 517.917.0790  
 LansingPopulation: 114,297Median Household Income: $37,666Median Household Value: $98,400 
The above links show the last couple years of real estate market growth in Michigan; these trends are forecast to continue.  
Another article: Market Trends 
How to become a realtor in Lansing, Michigan.  All of the necessary steps to become a licensed realtor.