Real Estate is a fascinating business. Real Estate as a business  and industry also is vast and offers unlimited opportunities for those who are success driven and who are willing to put in the time and effort to make it work.

Real estate is one of the very few things where someone with little to nothing to invest – other than time and determination – can truly begin to build wealth rather quickly, and help many other people all along their way.

It has long been a path to wealth and a preserver and protector of wealth already obtained in other ways too. People use real estate to generate wealth and they use it to protect wealth too.

In this post we are going to talk about quite a few real estate related income production opportunities – including real estate investing and real estate as an agent.

Lets start out with talking about what it takes to become a real estate agent and how agents can make money.

Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Real Estate agents are required to work under the supervision of a real estate broker. They must obtain a license issued by the state where they wish to operate.

Specifics do vary somewhat by state but in general you will probably need to take a mandatory principles course consisting of a specific number of hours and topics and obtain both the time in the course and a passing grade for the course. These courses can typically be taken online or in a live classroom.

Cost vary from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars and anywhere from about a couple of weeks to a month or so to complete the courses and learn the information well enough to be able to take the actual licensure exams. There is a national and state specific exam and it is typically taken on a computer and monitored by a proctor. Many test centers will notify you immediately as soon as you hit the final button whether you passed or failed.

Once you successfully pass the course exams – then you get to go take your actual license exams. This is usually conducted by a contracted company that specializes in conducting exams such as these and many other similar license exams as may be required by each state.

In Virginia, as an example – once you have completed the the course and its exams – they make a computer entry that notifies the testing company that you are then eligible to sit for the actual exams.

To do that you log on to the test centers site, create an account, schedule a test date, time and location and pay a fee. Then you will get a confirmation email, confirming the date and time. At the appointed date and time you arrive for your test (leave home early and be aware of parking options near there) and check in with the staff.

They will likely check your clothing, ears, hands, etc. to make sure you don’t have any obvious ways to cheat on the test available. All your personal effects will be placed in a lockable bag or lock box of some type. You will be issued a notepad or sheet of some type (paper or electronic) and a simple calculator to use.

If you wear glasses you will be allowed to take these in with you – but likely nothing else.

The license exams are timed and you will need to work relatively quickly so you do not run out of time. My method has always been to quickly answer all the questions I am almost certain about – and flag any I have no idea on. Then I work through process of elimination on those by eliminating the answers I am almost certain are incorrect. That usually leaves just two possible answers and then I take which ever one “looks” most right to me.

Often your mind knows which one is right from your studies even though your conscious mind may not fully recognize it. So its kind of like a hunch or intuition – but the true reason is that deep down your mind recognizes it as being correct. Sounds a little strange, I know – but for me it has always worked very well and I have usually scored very well on first attempts pretty much passing on key exams on the first attempt.

However you do it – STUDY.

Put in the time and effort and make sure that you study and that you go through your practice tests and exams several times and consistently get passing scores easily. When you can consistently get good scores then it is time to take your final course exams – keep studying and then schedule and take your real estate salespersons license exams. Do that and you should pass easily on your first attempt too.

Caution!

Many people think they are just going to skim over the information and then wing it – and that almost always ends in failure!

Don’t let that happen to you –¬† put in the time and work and pass on your first try.

Selecting a Brokerage to Affiliate With

Agents must work under the supervision of a sponsoring real estate broker.

This is required by regulations and you can not simply go out on your own – not yet (that requires a few years experience, more courses and exams and it is another story for another post another day) . You have to choose a broker and initiate onboarding with that brokerage to get your license active.

Choose your broker carefully!

The broker you choose will impact many things from what you can earn to what kind of training, coaching, mentoring and support you can get there. This ranges from very little to quite a lot and all in between.

Be aware of how you earn your money.

Most real estate agents are independent contractors basically – and that means that while the broker is responsible for overing compliance with regulations and other aspects of their business, the broker does not exert the same type of control over the agents as it or another type business would over employees.

Contractors are in essence Рfrom a practical standpoint  Рin business for themselves, whether they realize that of not. The way agents make money is helping buyers and sellers buy and sell real estate.

When they do that successfully they earn a fee (commission) which is actually paid to the broker and the broker then pays the agent (contractor) their percentage of it based on their contract with the agent. These things are covered in real estate courses and in books and other places, and it is essential that you learn how this works before you enter the industry.

How much do agents make?

That is all over the board – like most other “business owners” and some earn well over six figures per year while many others earn less than a low wage entry level job. Some earn nothing at all and quit after a few months of trying. That is often highly affected by the level of training, coaching, mentoring and support a new agents gets or doesn’t get.

Keep that in mind when you choose your broker and sponsor.

While principles of real estate courses will teach you the principles of real estate – they most often teach little to nothing of how to actually make money with that license once you get it.

Getting a real estate license and making money with it are two very different thigs.

Real Estate Investing

Unlike the highly regulated world of real estate agents – becoming an investor does NOT require any kind of special license, training or other credential.

What it does require though is specialized knowledge, skills and action.

So the good news is you don’t need a license to get started, but you definitely need some training, coaching and support if you want o be successful as a real estate investor.

I bought my first investment property when I was only in my early 20’s – and as best I can recall I think I was actually 20 at the time I found the property and put it under contract. I kept it for a little over a year or so and made good money with it – which is what has started my lifelong love of real estate.

Since then my wife and I have owned and sold many homes.

You can become a real estate investor if you like – all you need is the right information, support and the will to actually do it!

Even better you can become BOTH a Real Estate Investor and a Real Estate Agent…

Want to learn more?

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Thanks for reading and hope to see you again soon.