a REALTOR® shows a property to clients - how to become a REALTOR®

How to Become a REALTOR® in 6 Steps (2024)

Are you passionate about real estate? Do you dream of a rewarding career helping people find their dream homes? If so, becoming a REALTOR® might be the perfect fit for you. Wondering how to become a REALTOR®? Read on as we guide you through the steps to become a real estate agent (and a REALTOR®).

What is a REALTOR®?

A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent who has joined the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Not every licensed real estate agent is a REALTOR®.

Benefits of Being a REALTOR®

Becoming a REALTOR® may give you added credibility throughout the real estate industry since association members need to adhere to the NAR Code of Ethics.

Additionally, NAR members have access to member resources and benefits, which include discounts for insurance, marketing resources, and industry-related technology.

How to Become a REALTOR® in 6 Steps

Are you interested in entering the real estate industry to become a salesperson and REALTOR®? Before you dive headfirst into the process, research the industry. Understand what the job entails, how you will be paid, and whether it aligns with your goals and interests.

Here are the steps to becoming a REALTOR®.

Step 1: Enroll in pre-licensing courses.

Most states mandate that aspiring real estate agents complete a pre-licensing course. The duration of these courses typically ranges from 60 to 180 hours and covers fundamental real estate concepts, legal principles, and ethics. Many aspiring agents take their real estate pre-licensing education online for convenience and cost savings.

Step 2: Pass the real estate exam.

After completing the pre-licensing coursework, you must pass the state-specific real estate exam. This test evaluates your understanding of real estate laws and practices in your jurisdiction. Study diligently and consider taking exam prep courses to increase your chances of success.

Step 3: Complete an application.

Each state has its own licensing process. Some may require you to complete an application before passing the licensing exam – and some states may only allow you to continue with the pre-licensing process after you pass the exam. However, at some point, you will need to complete an application and pay a fee to become a real estate agent.

Step 4: Pass a background check.

You must pass a background check at some point in the licensing process. Being a real estate agent gives you access to properties and your client’s personal financial information, so it makes sense that the state would require a want-to-be agent to have a clean criminal history.

Step 5: Choose a real estate brokerage.

Real estate agents must work under the umbrella of a real estate brokerage. Choosing the right brokerage is an important decision, as it can shape your career trajectory. Here are some factors to consider when making this choice:

  • Training and Mentorship: Look for a brokerage that offers comprehensive training and mentorship programs for new agents. Learning from experienced real estate professionals is invaluable for building your skills and confidence.
  • Culture and Philosophy: Consider whether the brokerage’s culture and values align with yours. For example, some brokerages may focus on high-volume sales, while others emphasize a more personalized and client-centric approach.
  • Location and Specialization: The brokerage’s location and specialization can also impact your career. Think about whether you’d like to work in a specific neighborhood or with particular property types, and choose a brokerage accordingly.

Step 6: Join the National Association of REALTORS®

Once licensed, you can finally become a REALTOR® by joining your local NAR, which will provide you with membership to state and national associations. NAR charges annual membership dues.

It’s worth noting that the principals of a real estate firm must join the NAR before you can join. If you want to be a REALTOR®, contact the NAR to check which brokerages near you are members of the organization.

Tips for Succeeding as a REALTOR®

After earning your real estate license and joining the NAR, you may wonder, “now what?” Here are some tips for getting started in your career.

  • Shadow experienced agents: Reach out to seasoned real estate agents and ask if you can shadow them during property showings, negotiations, and closings. This hands-on experience is invaluable when it comes to understanding the day-to-day workings of the field.
  • Increase your marketing prowess: Learn how to market homes effectively and provide excellent customer service.
  • Develop your personal brand: Your personal brand sets you apart from other real estate agents and influences how clients perceive you. Invest in a personal website and social media pages and develop a content marketing campaign.
  • Work on developing your network: Networking is an indispensable component of success in real estate. Establishing and nurturing relationships with fellow industry professionals can lead to referrals and collaboration opportunities.
  • Attend real estate events: Participate in real estate conferences, seminars, and local events. These gatherings provide an excellent opportunity to meet other agents, lenders, inspectors, and more.

Become a REALTOR® Today with Colibri

Becoming a REALTOR® can bring personal fulfillment and financial rewards. You can thrive in this dynamic and ever-evolving field with the proper education, experience, and skills. If you’re ready to embark on a career in real estate, Colibri Real Estate School can help you take the first step. With our comprehensive real estate pre-licensing courses, exam prep, and post-licensing education, we’ll be there every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more or to kickstart your career.