2020 was highly unusual year due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost every industry, including real estate, was greatly impacted. However, as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues and the real estate market revives, the uncertainty brought by the pandemic is dwindling. This brings new opportunities as well as challenges for real estate agents in 2021.
Being an agent is one of the most lucrative real estate careers. With the right strategies, new real estate agents can make a lot of money. S, if you’ve been wondering how to get started in real estate as a new agent in 2021, here’s a guide to help you get started on the right foot and build a successful career.
1. Get to Know the Local Licensing Requirements
The first step of how to get started in real estate as an agent is to learn how to get a license. You should have a good understanding of your state’s licensing requirements. It’s illegal to work as a real estate agent without a valid license. In the US housing market you are required to be a licensed real estate agent to represent people who want to buy property or sell property.
However, you should keep in mind that requirements to get a real estate license vary from one state to another. These include requirements for age, formal education, nationality, background check, etc. While there are some eligibility requirements that are common in different states, you shouldn’t assume they are all the same. You’ll need to meet all the local licensing requirements for you to qualify to become a real agent in your state.
You can find the eligibility requirements and other important information from the real estate commission website for your state.
Here you can find out how to get your real estate license in 2021 in our step-by-step guide.
2. Sign Up for a Pre-Licensing Course
Regardless of the state you are in, you’ll need to take a pre-licensing course from an approved real estate licensing school. You’ll be required to take real estate classes that total a set minimum number of hours, which varies by state.
Before you select a real estate pre-licensing school to join, do your due diligence. Apart from ensuring that the school is approved, compare the quality of learning materials, cost, and overall reputation. With the current pandemic, you should consider schools that offer online real estate license courses and support. Take some time to shop around and find one that fits your schedule, budget, and preferred learning style. You need to be well prepared before you sit for your exams.
3. Sit for the Real Estate Licensing Exam
On completion of the required pre-licensing real estate school coursework, you can register to sit to take the real estate licensing exam and apply for your real estate license. Costs for real estate exam registration and real estate license application differ from state to state. Therefore, be sure to check all the details so that you know what exactly to expect.
Make sure you prepare fully for the exam to avoid having to do a retake. It can not only be frustrating but will also delay your progress. Remember, rules regarding retakes vary from state to state and may not be in your favor.
4. Choose Your Brokerage Carefully
Once you have passed the real estate exam, you are well on your way to becoming a real estate agent. Another crucial part of how to get started in real estate as a new agent that is remaining is joining a real estate brokerage.
As a new agent, most states typically require you to find a real estate broker to sponsor you for at least two years before you are allowed to work with property buyers and sellers, whether you focus on homeowner or real estate investor clients.
The real estate company will provide support services you need to run your real estate business. It will also oversee all your real estate transactions and ensure that they are within the state guidelines. You will get the hands-on training and experience you need to be a successful agent.
It’s advisable that you review multiple brokers in your area to find the one that is the best fit for you. Some of the things you should consider when choosing a sponsoring broker include:
- Brokerage size and reputation
- Commission split
- Mentoring and training opportunities offered
- Proximity to your real estate market niche
- Technology use
5. Consider Becoming a Realtor
While the words “real estate agent” and “realtor” are usually used interchangeably in everyday language, they technically have different meanings. For you to become a real estate agent or a realtor, you’ll need to have taken a pre-licensing course as per the state’s requirements and passed the real estate licensing exam, thereby acquiring the real estate license certificate from the state. Basically, both represent property buyers and property sellers in real estate transactions.
However, how to become a realtor is a bit more complicated. You have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As a realtor, you are expected to subscribe to a strict code of ethics.
So, why should you consider getting a realtor license? While it’s not required to become a realtor, it will give you more credibility than being an ordinary real estate agent. You’ll gain access to different benefits that will help you grow your real estate business. This includes discount educational programs, limited real estate marketing resources, and more.
6. Enhance Your Real Estate Knowledge
One of the most important real estate tips for new agents is to enhance their real estate knowledge. There’s a lot you need to learn to become a successful agent. This includes the current local housing market trends, how to generate leads, how to find clients, how to close deals, etc. New agents need to spend a significant amount of time learning in order to boost confidence and build their client’s trust.
There are several free and paid resources with information on how to get started in real estate as a new agent. Consider reading real estate articles online, online courses, books for areal estate agents, podcasts, YouTube real estate videos, etc. To begin with, you can check out the Mashvisor real estate blog for agents.
7. Have a Real Estate Marketing Plan
Another important aspect of how to get started as a new agent is knowing how to get leads. To grow your real estate agency, you need to generate enough leads regularly. To achieve this, you need to develop a solid marketing plan.
Consider establishing multiple lead generation channels that work for you. However, not all types of marketing are the same in terms of cost and results. As a beginner real estate agent, you should focus on inexpensive real estate marketing strategies that provide good results. Many people are still working remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that most buyers and sellers will rely on the internet to find and sell property. Therefore, it would be wise for new real estate agents to focus on digital marketing.
Here are some lead generation strategies to consider:
Build a Website
Having your own real estate agent website is one of the best ways to promote your brand and generate leads. Share SEO-based blogs that provide sellers and buyers with useful information about buying and selling property. This may include updates about local market conditions and properties for sale.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media marketing is a excellent, low-cost strategy to increase your visibility as a new real estate agent. Make sure your social media profiles are professional, consistent, interactive, and providing information that is useful to property buyers and sellers. Paid real estate ads on Facebook and other social media platforms can also generate great results for beginner agents.
Leverage Real Estate Websites like Mashvisor
Some real estate websites like Mashvisor help agents to find qualified leads with the click of a button. With Mashvisor’s Mashboard, new real estate agents can easily find home investors that are ready to buy. The tool also helps real estate agents to recommend the ideal investment property for their clients.
Furthermore, claiming your profile on the Mashvisor real estate agent directories helps you get additional exposure to qualified leads consisting of rental property investors, at no cost. As a beginner agent, you might want to consider working with real estate investors rather than homeowners as this means more qualified leads, clients who are ready to close fast, and repeat business.
How to Get Started in Real Estate in 2021: The Bottom Line
If you’ve been thinking of how to get started in real estate as a new agent, you now know what is required of you. However, you have to take action. Knowing everything about how to become a real estate agent won’t really help you if you don’t put the knowledge into practice. If you avoid time-wasting habits and maintain a strong work ethic, you’ll achieve your goals.