Become a REALTOR

become a real estate agent

So you want to be a REALTOR®? 

Read on to learn how you can become a real estate agent and enjoy a rewarding career in real estate!

Succeeding in Real Estate

As with any new skill, practice makes perfect.

As a new REALTOR® you will need to “learn the ropes.” This means gathering as much knowledge as you can from your brokerage and your real estate classes. The most successful real estate agents usually have a coach or mentor who helps them reach their goals. Your broker should be willing to provide you with the constant support you will need in the beginning. So choose your brokerage carefully. Keller Williams is the number one real estate company in the U.S. and there is a reason we are #1. We provide tons of resources and world class technology tools for new agents. No other brokerage can compete with what KW offers its agents.

Ultimately, your success is in your hands. If you do the work, you will reap the benefits of your labor.

Working with Buyers vs. Sellers

There are two sides of a residential real estate transactions — the buyer side and the seller side. Nearly all real estate transactions have two agents, one representing the buyer and one representing the seller. While you can represent both, called Dual Agency, most brokerages do not allow it and some states forbid dual agency as well. 

Working with buyers vs. sellers are very different experiences. If you love working with people, enjoy touring homes, like to get out of the house, and have a lot of patience, you may be a great Buyer’s Agent. When working with buyers, an agent needs to be flexible, available, and patient. It can take 10 or even 20 or more home tours before your client finds one they fall in love with. While this can seem like a lot, it also gives new agents the opportunity to learn and grow as a new agent. However, there will be times when your client will decide after shopping around that they want to wait to buy. So you do not get paid for your time. Keep in mind, though, there will be other times when your client may buy the first home they see. So it all balances out!

Working with a homeowner who wants to sell their home requires a different set of skills. You’ll need to be able to effectively market their home including holding open houses, broker’s open houses, and promoting their home online. You will also need to be able to pull market comparables to help the owner determine how much their home is worth. This is not simply looking at recently sold homes. It requires some digging and comparing based on multiple variables to come up with an accurate value assessment. If you overestimate the value of a property, it could cost the homeowner valuable time and it could cost you a lost sale.

Lead Generation

I think most real estate agents would agree that the most challenging part about being a REALTOR® – at least in the first year – is lead generation. Where do you get your clients from?

New agents usually expect their family and friends to support their new career and use them as their agent. However, you may find this not to be the case. Most people who are looking to buy or sell real estate want an experienced agent to handle the transaction for them. You may find your friends and family feel the same, no matter how much they love you. 

In addition to expecting your friends and family to help you get your new career off the ground, think of other creative ways to generate leads. Some of these may be:

  • Door Knocking (still very effective, but check the do not knock registry first)
  • Join your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Farming (targeting a specific neighborhood)
  • Facebook Advertising (affordable)
  • Flea Markets and other Community Events
  • Sponsor an Information Workshop

In addition to the above suggestions, there are other ways to generate business. Some will cost money but the payoff is oftentimes worth the investment.

How Much Does a REALTOR® Make?

When an agent gets paid, it’s not a small thing. Real estate commission is a percentage of the sale price of the home. Most of the time, the commission paid on your side of the transaction is 3% of the first $100k and then 2% thereafter. BUT — that doesn’t all go into your pocket. You will share your commission with your broker. Keller Williams has a few options, with the most traditional split being 70% to the agent and 30% to the broker. You can also choose the 80% plan. And, if your sales are high enough, you can earn 100% of your commission.

Let’s break this down based on the most conservative plan:

Home sells for $200,000.

Commission is $5,000.

70% of $5,000, or $3,500.

Keller Williams also collects a 6% royalty fee. So you will also subtract $300, leaving your net commission at $3,200.

This may seem like a lot of money until you begin deducting your expenses. Even so, a successful real estate agent can enjoy a nice income.

After KW gets $18,000 from you in a year, you have “capped” and now earn 100% of your commission!

Because real estate agents get paid a percentage of the home sale in commission, it’s important that your clients feel they are benefiting from your service. It’s imperative that you identify your value proposition (what do you provide that makes your client’s investment worth it?) and make sure you provide 5-star service to each and every client you serve.

How To Get Started

First things first, you have to take the necessary classes in order to sit for your real estate exam. Check with the Ohio Division of Real Estate to see what training centers are authorized to provide classes. Most people take their classes at Hondros College. Hondros also has a great crammer course to prepare you to pass your State exam!

Before signing up for your classes, read over this document to see what all is required to become a REALTOR® in Ohio. One of the things you will see on the list is that you have to choose your broker before sitting for your exam. If you would like to work at my brokerage – Keller Williams Elevate – or any of the local Keller Williams offices in Cleveland, Ohio, complete this form to get started and I will connect you with someone who will be able to answer your questions and tell you how to sign up!

Good luck in your new career!