Congratulations! You’ve passed your real estate exam. As a new addition to the large network of real estate professionals currently working to aid buyers and sellers through the process, there are a few logical next steps to take after completing your exam.
Just as the exam process itself differs slightly based on the state in which you are licensed, the next steps to getting work can also depend on the nuances of the market you’re looking to enter.
Nevertheless, there are some basic steps that most real estate professionals would agree are the most beneficial way to start your career off on the right foot.
6 steps to take after you pass your real estate exam
Not sure what to do now that you’ve passed this major hurdle? Here are some next steps to follow to get your real estate career up and running.
Step 1: Find a sponsoring broker who is a good fit
In real estate, brokers are almost always agents with years of experience and a broker’s license. When you’re just getting started in your career, it helps to tap into the knowledge and network of someone who has worked in the region in which you’re looking to do real estate transactions. You can think of a broker as both your partner and your boss, as they’ll help you maneuver through the beginning of your journey as a real estate agent in exchange for a commission split. The price of the properties being bought or sold through a brokerage determines the commission amount, but usually, brokers calculate their cut based off of a flat fee or commission split.
Here’s the difference.
Flat Fee: This is usually determined on a monthly basis and requires that you pay a broker a set fee for their services.
Commission Split: The percentages depend on individual agreements, but a 70/30 split is common. This means that you would keep 70% of commission as the agent and hand over 30% to the broker.
Step 2: Engage in professional real estate organizations
There are countless professional organizations within real estate that can help real estate professionals connect, network and increase their knowledge of the field. A simple Google search can usually yield a plethora of state-wide real estate organizations to become a part of and there are a few national organizations to consider as well.
You can choose to become a member of an organization based around the type of property you’re looking to sell, as well as the region. For example, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) has a global investment emphasis that other organizations might not have.
Consider what is important to you as a real estate agent, and look for organizations based around that. Here are some reputable organizations to get you started.
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
- National Association of Realtors (NAR)
- National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
- Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
Step 3: Build your professional profile
There’s never a better time than the present to start building your professional profile. Creating a website, social media presence, getting professional portraits taken and attending local events to establish a rapport with residents of a given city are all great steps to take. Small details like having business cards with you can show potential clients that you are prepared and organized.
If you aren’t inclined toward social media, there are people who can help! Consider employing the help of a social media expert who can help you build your online presence. There are a lot of freelancers looking for work in the world of digital design, and websites like UpWork or Freelancer can help you connect with experienced designers and social media experts.
Step 4: Set a timeline for yourself
In real estate, if you’re not selling property, you’re not making money. As you’re getting started in your career, it can be beneficial to set a timeline for the things you’d like to accomplish. Whether you choose to outline your ideal first five years or would rather keep things shorter term by planning the first year of your professional career, creating a timeline can be a good way to keep yourself accountable for success.
Free Report: Download our Voice of the Real Estate Agent report for actionable insights from real estate agents across the country.
Step 5: Budget for future plans
As you see the trajectory of your career goals unfold, it’s a good idea to start budgeting accordingly. Based on the kind of real estate you’re looking to get involved in, consider what your projected annual revenue would be. After you’ve established an ideal salary, think about the work environment that would make you most comfortable. Are you planning to work from home? Is a luxe office space in visions of your future? Do you plan to eventually have a real estate assistant? These are all factors that influence how you should structure your budget.
Some professional budgeting apps that can help you through the process include QuickBooks and Wave.
Step 6: Seek advice from other real estate professionals
Every real estate professional has their own journey through the industry, but it can help to get advice from people with more experience. Seeking out individuals with knowledge of the specific market or real estate niche in which you’re planning to work can help you catch idiosyncrasies of the market that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. Everyone learns as they put education to practice, but it usually doesn’t hurt to get some advice from someone who has already ironed out their way of doing business. Find someone whose work you admire and ask them to lunch or coffee. Odds are, they will be flattered that you want to pick their brain and agree to give you any help they can with your new career.
Now that you have some tips for starting a real estate career, be confident in your abilities to become successful. You’ve already completed the biggest step, passing your real estate exam, and are on your way to a fruitful career.