CONSIDERING A CAREER IN REAL ESTATE?
Do I have the right personality?
A successful REALTOR® is both a "people person" as well as detail-oriented and organized. You need to be self-motivated because in reality you'll be managing your own business. Therefore, it's vital you can stick to your goals, stay focused, manage your time, handle various responsibilities and keep a positive attitude. There are many ups and downs every day in this business so keeping a level head and a sense of purpose will make all the difference.
Do I have enough time to devote to this?
Just like every career path, it requires dedication to achieve any measure of success. If you are starting part-time and plan to work your way into full-time, be prepared to spend many waking hours marketing yourself, prospecting and educating yourself about a myriad of issues. Make sure you have enough flexibility to be available for education, contract writing, showings and appointments. Although this juggling act may be tough to accomplish, many successful Agents have done it... but with heavy doses of fortitude, commitment and support on the home front. When starting part-time, it's wise to set a goal for the date you plan to transition to full-time status.
Can I place the needs of others above my own?
You'll be working with people who are making the greatest single financial investment of a lifetime. Not only is their financial future on the line, but the happiness and well-being of their families are at stake. Their needs must always be foremost in your mind and in your actions. There is tremendous satisfaction when you know you helped people achieve the American Dream of home ownership. It's this sense of pride that gives many agents fortitude and long-term career satisfaction. When you unselfishly champion the cause of others, the natural by-product is a healthy income and a successful career. Becoming a REALTOR® means you promise to uphold the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Do I have the financial resources?
Working on 100% commission can be somewhat daunting until you establish yourself. There are startup costs for school, licensing, affiliations, education and personal marketing. If you are starting full-time, the most common recommendation is to be sure you can sustain your living expenses plus business costs for up to six or nine months. Short-term success happens for some but developing a steady stream of income can take time. Starting part-time requires a real investment too, so be ready for what might occur.
Ready, Set, Go! Getting started:
1. In most cases, the best first step is to interview with area real estate companies to determine who you will affiliate with.
State law requires you to begin licensing as a Salesperson who works under someone with a Broker's license for at least two years. Most Agents stay affiliated with a brokerage in this way for their entire career as opposed to striking out on their own.
Who to call? You might know a REALTOR® who can recommend a company or perhaps you've seen For Sale signs around your area from companies that impressed you. Some brokerages have "Career Seminars" or they will meet with you for a personal interview.
You can search online for offices and simply call to arrange an interview with the Managing Broker so you can talk about the future there, their expectations, the benefits to a newcomer, and their philosophy and style of doing business. They can explain the exact costs involved in getting started and what it means to be affiliated with Heartland Multiple Listing Service and your support organization, Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS®.
2. You'll attend a licensing course and then pass the state examination.
Your license comes from the Real Estate Commission in your state (the governmental regulatory agency). After you complete the course work and pass the exam (that's done in person, not online), you can start processing the paperwork to have your license issued. The length of time from starting school to having a license in hand is usually around 90 days.
Various state-accredited license schools offer the required course work and the list includes independent schools as well as private schools operated by individual real estate companies. There are online programs too. Following are links to two independent license schools in the Kansas City metro area but always ask your future Broker what they recommend.
Career Education Systems
Real Estate Express
The law requires that you obtain a license in your resident state first. Most Agents pursue licenses for both Kansas and Missouri and you may apply for the second one after additional schooling and testing. Having both licenses is mandatory depending on your anticipated market area because you must be licensed in any state where you want to do business.
4. You have your license. Now what? This is when you will join Heartland Multiple Listing Service and the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS®. There is an Orientation course for both organizations that will help assimilate you. Then you'll have the right to use the registered trademark of REALTOR® as you join the ranks of more than one million people who hold that title. With your membership in place you'll start marketing yourself, meeting fellow Agents, listing and showing homes, attending office and REALTOR® functions, and building a satisfying career in one of America's most important industries.
Welcome aboard! Remember that KCRAR is here to help!