You just passed the state exam, and now you have your real estate license. At this point, you might be wondering, “I got my real estate license, now what?”
The license exam ensures that you know what you need to know to be a sales agent. But a real estate agent is more than just a salesperson.
As you know from your pre licensing course, the licensing exam is just the beginning. Now you have continuing education, marketing, and networking.
Let’s take a look at what to do after getting your license and how you can develop yourself into the best real estate salesperson you can.
Find a Brokerage or Sponsoring Broker
Before you actually get your license, you need a sponsoring broker. A broker is a firm that you will work under. Without a broker, your real estate license can’t be activated. You’re still “pending.”
You can finish your pre licensing education and even complete your licensing, but your license will be in an inactive status until you fulfill this licensing requirement. Once you get a broker, you’ll have an active license. You will need to continue your real estate education for your license renewal, too.
You will need to become a broker yourself if you want to work for yourself or if you want others with a real estate license to work under you. Until then, you’ll need to forfeit some of your commissions to your broker with every real estate transaction.
In return, however, they will help you build your business.
Make no mistake: You still need to be self-motivated. A broker won’t tell you what to do. But they will help you network, forward you clients, and give you advice.
Your choice of broker is going to be one of the singularly most important decisions you make after getting your real estate license. Take care to ensure that you get an employing broker with a culture that works well for you.
And if your ultimate plan is to get a broker license, there’s a lot you can learn from your principal broker.
Create a “Business Plan” For Yourself
Many Realtors make the mistake of thinking of themselves as “independent professionals” or “self-employed.”
While those things are both true, what you really are is a business.
You’re a business, and you’re the only employee.
You need to create a business plan. That includes a budget, strategy, and projections. You need to know exactly what you’re planning on, what your milestones are, and what you want your project revenue to be.
It’s not a disaster if you fall short of your own expectations. But you need to have metrics to track, or you won’t know whether you’re moving in the right direction.
Start Developing Your Marketing Strategy
How are you going to market? To begin with, you need a real estate agent website and professional social media accounts.
A good place to start is telling your family and friends that you’re finishing your real estate license.
Once you’ve done that, start handing out business cards. Think about how you want to brand yourself. When people think of you, what do you want to be the first thing on their mind?
You should start marketing even before you finish your license application. For instance, before you finish your Florida real estate license or Florida real estate exam, you should identify what real estate you want to market in Florida and start talking to everyone you know in the state.
Attend Seminars, Conferences, and Networking Events
After real estate school, your learning isn’t over!
Not only will there be real estate classes for continuing education, but you can also learn from others at seminars, conferences, and other networking events.
Networking is essential to growing your real estate career.
As a real estate agent, you’re always going to be learning new things. Your sponsoring brokerage can give you more information about the events you should be attending.
And, if you want to get a broker’s license someday, you may want to take a pre license course as you start to build your book. A sales associate must be constantly active, constantly meeting new people, and constantly improving their skills.
Work with Local Business Owners and Community Groups
Being a real estate agent and building a real estate career means being self-motivated.
Your real estate brokerage will help you with your licensure. But everything beyond attaining that license following your license examination is going to be up to you.
That means you need to take it upon yourself to learn more about the local real estate industry. Interface with small business owners. Join community groups.
Let people know that you’re a Realtor. Let them know what services you can offer.
Foster Your Personal Relationships with Clients
The real estate industry is a highly personal one.
Consider this. Most people know nothing about real estate. They don’t know what makes a “good agent” a good agent. Your leads can’t tell that you’re a good agent. They won’t even know how well you did in your prelicensing course.
What people can tell is how much they trust you. If you build trust and relationships, not only will they want to work with you, but they’ll want to refer others to you.
Connect with people regularly. Check-in on social media. Visit local businesses that you’ve established relationships with. Send small gifts during the holidays and cards to celebrate birthdays. This personal touch will matter.
Determine Your Specialization
After you’ve been in the business for a while, you should start to figure out what you want to do.
Do you want to work for a property manager? Do you want to primarily be a listing agent, or a buyer’s agent? Or do you want to build your book until you can run your own firm?
Your specialization will change the shape of your career to come, so it’s worth it to think about this early. But you may need some time in the industry before you start to really see what you want to do.
Talk to Your Managing Broker for Help
If there are areas in which you feel you need to improve — or areas that confuse you — you can always talk to your managing broker for help.
The broker relationship doesn’t just go one way. They get a cut out of every transaction, and they’re needed to fulfill your active license requirements by license law.
But in return for holding your real estate license, they should also be able to provide you with help. They should be able to introduce you to potential clients, let you know what your next steps should be, and support your career.
If your broker isn’t doing these things, you may want to move your real estate license to another broker. Your broker cannot hold your license against your will. It’s always in your best interest to move your real estate license to a broker that will help.
Find a Great Mentor
Your mentor might be with your real estate broker. Or it may not. It may just be someone that you meet through seminars or conferences. What’s important is that you have someone advising you.
A successful real estate career doesn’t just emerge overnight. And you don’t know what you don’t know. The problem with developing a real estate career is that you get very little guidance after you receive your real estate license.
By working with a mentor, you can find out more about what you might not expect. You can get advice about specific situations. And you can hopefully head off potential challenges or dangers before they become problematic.
FAQs on “I Got My Real Estate License, Now What?”
How much money can a new real estate agent expect to make?
A real estate agent makes as much money as they are willing to work for, which makes it very hard to say. Most real estate agents will make on average around $30,000 a year when they’re just starting out. But this is balanced by agents who are very successful and agents who only work part-time.
Your income will be highly variable depending on your marketing, the energy you put in, the number of hours you work, the number of clients you’re willing to take on, and (perhaps most importantly) your market. Understandably, more sought-after markets usually lead to real estate agents who make more.
What are the biggest mistakes a real estate agent may make?
Why do most people fail as agents? It’s because they don’t anticipate how much work being an agent takes.
Your school and license should be the easiest part of being an agent. Once you become an agent, you need to work very hard to build your books and build your business.
Don’t give up too soon. It takes time to nurture leads. If you give up too soon, you’ll have wasted all the time you spent on lead generation.
What’s the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is anyone who has a license to help people perform real estate transactions, both buying and selling. A Realtor is someone who is registered with the National Association of Realtors.
So, a Realtor is a real estate agent. But a real estate agent isn’t necessarily a Realtor. Nevertheless, these terms are usually used interchangeably. If you’ve become a real estate agent, it’s in your best interest to become a Realtor.
What skills should a real estate agent have?
A real estate agent must be confident and personable. They must be willing to work hard, and they must communicate well with people. Today, most real estate agents need to be relatively tech-savvy.
Apart from developing a self-motivated work ethic, real estate agents are going to need to market themselves confidently and compete with high-tech real estate platforms. An agent should work very well with other people.
Many real estate agents get their licenses simply to save on the costs of buying and selling their own personal properties. Go check out my article where I answer the question, can real estate agents buy their own listing.
What were some of the first things you did when you got your real estate license? Let me know in the comments below.
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