Many lucrative careers require higher education, like a bachelor’s degree. These are often barriers to entry for those who want to earn enough to enjoy financial freedom or support their growing families. Many people don’t have the time or resources to work their way to a master’s degree like an MBA just to feel secure.
Some young people want to start working full-time or part-time as soon as they can. Luckily, in most states, the licensing process can start at 18 years of age.
A successful real estate agent has the potential to make a substantial salary. Many agents make their own schedules and work on their own terms. Their salaries are only limited by their productivity and success in their local markets. For many real estate agents, that limit is fairly high.
If you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent, here’s what you need to know about educational requirements and barriers to entry. You’ll be surprised at how simple it can be to land a successful real estate career.
What Are the Educational Requirements?
Real estate agents do not need a college degree or even an associate’s degree. A high school diploma or a GED is the only prerequisite for obtaining a real estate license. If you don’t have a GED, or general educational development certificate, you can obtain one in about three months.
Previously, GEDs could only be obtained by attending scheduled in-person classes and proctored exams. Some states have changed their coursework requirements and allow learners to obtain their GEDs exclusively through online courses for a very affordable price.
Should I Get a College Degree?
You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent, but some agents find these degrees helpful. Studying marketing, architecture, business management, accounting, photography, economics, or even web design may come in handy.
Since you won’t be working directly in those fields, you can choose to obtain individual course certifications for relevant areas of interest. These certificate programs are usually less expensive. Plus, you’ll be able to tackle those classroom hours at your own pace.
Your clients might appreciate that you took the time to learn more about aspects of the real estate industry that will be particularly helpful to them as they’re attempting to buy or sell a property.
Sometimes, simply “having an eye” or great natural senses is more than enough. If you inherently have a knack for architecture or design, displaying your knowledge and using it to impress potential clients is completely free. These skill sets won’t take up any more of your time with educational requirements or courses.
What Are the Real Estate License Requirements?
Real estate is treated more like an expert trade. You’ll have to take a real estate course prior to obtaining a real estate license. Every state has its own requirements for obtaining a real estate license. But, expect to take about 60 hours worth of course material before you’re eligible for licensure.
Real estate schools are an excellent starting point for teaching you the fundamentals of real estate law, zoning, mortgage banking, analyzing real estate markets, reviewing contracts, and how appraisals are conducted. A single 60-hour course isn’t extensive enough to help real estate professionals develop a mastery of what’s to come.
That’s why new real estate agents are required to work under a licensed real estate broker. Agents will learn finer details in practice when working underneath their broker, who acts as a boss and a mentor during the agent’s first few years on the job.
Over time, real estate agents who earn their broker license can become real estate brokers who are able to self-manage and work independently.
Experience is the main educational tool in the real estate industry. Real estate agents with serious ambition voluntarily seek additional education to help them compete in their local market.
These additional courses and credentials make them rising stars above the agents who only sought to complete the bare minimum requirements for licensure.
What Skills Do You Need To Learn?
Although it may not be an official requirement like the real estate license exam, additional education is what will ultimately make or break your career as a real estate agent.
The best agents are the most knowledgeable people with the deepest understanding of the complexities of the industry, which can include residential property or commercial property.
There are many things a real estate agent needs to learn, and they’re all equally as important.
People need to clearly understand why they should be working with you instead of another agent. The most important way to illustrate that is by effectively marketing yourself.
Why are you the best person for a buyer or seller to count on when it comes to something as important and valuable as a property?
The property you’re selling is your product. Like any product, impeccable marketing is the key to helping people see its value.
You’ll need to create the perfect listing with beautiful photographs. Then, you must host engaging open houses that make people fall in love with the property. The more interested potential buyers you have, the more lucrative the selling price can be.
Negotiating Like an Expert
Real estate agents often hear the word “no.” This is mostly because buyers and sellers don’t understand what a real estate agent does to facilitate the purchase or sale of a property.
Successful agents have all the skills of traditional salespeople. They know how to counter these objections and develop strong professional relationships based on trust.
In addition to objections, there will also be times where real estate agents will be working with another party to complete a deal. Each party is acting in its own best interest. This makes negotiation and a strong code of ethics necessary skills for creating a situation where everyone feels satisfied upon completion of the deal.
Properties are a very special purchase. They aren’t like a latte or a salad that someone would purchase every day. Ideally, the right property should last a lifetime. Generating leads can be tricky, but successful real estate agents always know where to look for leads in their market.
Is There a School for Real Estate Agents?
Outside of the course that states require for industry licensure, there is no official school for real estate agents. However, there are valuable education resources, additional voluntary courses, and coaching programs designed to help real estate agents succeed in any market.
Harris Real Estate University offers a vast wealth of educational material specific to success in the real estate industry. Learners work one on one with a coach and have access to a massive learning library. Our library includes topics like lead generation tips and proven strategies designed to give agents a one-of-a-kind competitive advantage in their local markets.
Harris Real Estate University offers four different coaching programs with varying levels of intensity and accountability.
Experienced real estate agents can go for the fully immersive experience and work directly with real estate power couple and industry leaders Tim and Julie Harris for direct coaching. Beginners can ease their way in with daily semi-private coaching calls and self-managed learning through the robust library of resources.
Schedule a free call with a Harris certified coach to experience how coaching can help you achieve your goals.