So you’ve learned about the flexibility and financial freedom afforded by a career in real estate, and you’ve decided you’re ready to make the switch from your current job to your new real estate career.
But how, exactly, do you make this transition?
In this step-by-step guide to transitioning to a real estate career, we’re providing a clear path to take you from your current position to your future life in the exciting real estate industry.
You’re just five steps away from launching your new real estate career.
1. Choose a Real Estate Career Path
Do you want to be a real estate agent to help people buy and sell homes? Or maybe you'd rather be a property manager where you can serve the rental market? If you have management experience in your current career, you might even want to become a real estate broker who manages other agents. That’s one of the reasons real estate makes a great second (or third!) career: there are so many career paths within the industry.
Consider your preferences and the skills you’ve gained to this point to decide which path you want to pursue. This will help you focus your studies and your job search.
But you should also know that your decision doesn’t have to be final. Once you have your real estate license, you’re free to explore different jobs within the industry.
2. Take Your Pre-License Real Estate Course(s)
While you don’t need a college degree to get a real estate license, you do need to complete your state-required real estate course(s).
With today’s online real estate courses, it’s easier than ever to complete your coursework quickly and conveniently. And, since you don’t have to travel to a physical real estate school for designated class times, you can fit your studies into your current schedule, even if you’re still working your current job. You might study on your lunch break, during evenings, or on weekends.
3. Create a Financial Plan
If you plan to be in a sales position (as a real estate agent, for example), you’ll probably be paid on commission. This means you earn a percentage of the sales price when you close a deal. And this means it could be a few months before you earn your first paycheck. Even if you sell a house in your first week, the contract period usually takes 30-60 days to close, so you need to have a plan for supporting yourself until you’re earning consistent income.
There are a few options available:
Use your savings to cover necessities until you’re up and running.
Lean on your partner to be the “breadwinner” while you get your new career started.
Start your real estate career in a job that pays salaries or hourly wages. Leasing agents who work for property management firms, for example, typically earn a modest wage plus bonuses for signed leases.
Continue working in your current job while building a client base in real estate part-time.
Leave your current job, but take on a part-time job to supplement your real estate income. Just choose your part-time work carefully; you want locals to see you as a real estate professional, so taking a job in retail or food service could undermine your new image.
4. Start Networking and Searching for a Broker
Real estate is all about relationships, so networking is crucial for your success as a new agent. You’ll want to start building relationships with potential buyers, sellers, and renters, but you’ll also want to get to know other agents and brokers.
When you get your real estate license, you’ll need to “hang your license” with a broker. This broker will be responsible for reviewing your work and making sure you’re properly representing your clients and meeting all legal requirements. But you don’t have to wait until you get your license to choose your broker. You can start interviewing brokers at any point.
5. Take the Leap
When you’re done with your real estate courses, you can take the state exam to get your real estate license. And, once you have your real estate license, you’re officially able to start working on behalf of buyers, sellers, renters, and landlords.
Whether you decide to transition to real estate slowly over time or fully and immediately upon getting your license is entirely up to you. Either way, make sure you’re well-prepared for your first year in the business by reading this guide to surviving your first year of real estate. A year from now, your career, and your life, will be transformed.
Start Transiting to a Career in Real Estate Today
Are you ready to make the move to your new real estate career? Enroll in your online real estate course today, and you’ll be on your way.