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Old 07-07-2013, 03:26 PM
 
1,454 posts, read 748,062 times
Reputation: 1148
Default Thinking About Becoming A Real Estate Agent But Don't Know Where To Start

Sorry if this is a common thread topic. I was looking for a newbie board for such questions but did not see one so I appreciate your patience.

I am entering "mid life" and have been in sales my entire career. But it may be time I re-invent myself. Several friends who are in real estate insist I'd be great at it and have been encouraging me to give it a shot.

I understand that the first hurdle people need to overcome is the lack of a paycheck for 6 months or longer. Trust me we've prepared about as well as you can prepare for that, my job has been iffy for a while now, and we'll be OK for up to a year or so before we start cashing out things we don't want to cash out.

First step I would think would be to get certified (I live in Maryland), then comes the big decision on which agency to pick I assume. From what I know you are mentored by a broker who takes a percent for his/her time. I'm fine with that and I understand brokers like working with new agents. Is this true? Will I actually interview several and chose a broker or will I be lucky to find one willing to spend time with a guy like me?

My other concern is limiting my overhead. It's my understanding that the big guys like Long and Foster charge their agents a monthly "desk fee" or whatever in addition to a higher take on the commissions. This is to absorb the cost of their advertising etc. But with the internet I'm thinking the industry has changed and Long and Foster's edge over the smaller, local companies may not be worth the out of pocket expense for a new agent. But I may be wrong here, advice requested.

In addition is there any form of pay intern program where I can learn while earning a small check? Or is that more of an administrative duty that won't be realistic for a person trying to become an agent?

Finally in scanning this board it seems like the general consensus is to take the classwork online to avoid wasting time hearing meaningless questions. Are there good schools or bad ones to look out for, understanding this may be a regional question.

Thanks in advance. This is a scary time but also very exciting. You gotta be happy and I am simply not happy.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: South Metro Denver for 25 years
8,585 posts, read 18,727,491 times
Reputation: 4311
read "the millionaire real estate agent" by Gary Keller- then shadow one of your friends for a weekend.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
17,652 posts, read 16,455,542 times
Reputation: 16501
And I would not take my classes on line.
I wanted to be able to ask those silly questions to someone with experience.

There are many good threads on here about starting.
I also had a Mid Life career change with RE and never looked back.

There is so much to learn to make you an expert and that is what people want to hire.

Never stop your education.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:38 PM
 
335 posts, read 298,467 times
Reputation: 406
there are several great threads on here about this subject where you can get a lot of info. But You should do a internship at a Real Estate Company while you are in school. I did one and they are paying for my exam and if i pass they may hire me.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:35 AM
 
4,249 posts, read 2,225,908 times
Reputation: 1776
I think you can find them at the bottom of a cracker jack box lol.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Louisville KY Metro area
4,758 posts, read 7,944,593 times
Reputation: 1889
Just remember, what works for me, or John, or Jane, may not work for you. Never ever lose sight of the fact that this is your journey.

That being said, listen to opinions, learn from other peoples' experiences, and investigate. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Real estate is a business. Operate and act like such. If you don't deal well with accounting, learn. Never ever join a broker because they have great social events in the office. None is just as bad, but culture is at every brand.

Never ever join a firm on the first office visit. Ask questions, especially if you don't understand the broker's compensation package. It may be complicated but pay you more than anyone else's.

Brand name real estate firms do make it easier for newbies. Several brands teach that branding doesn't matter, that it is your personal brand that matters. Yes, your personal brand does matter, but it can take months and even years to achieve saturation.

Always remember that 50% of something is far more than 100% of nothing.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:21 AM
 
240 posts, read 288,753 times
Reputation: 138
Default Just Finished RE School..No Spring Chicken!

OP..I recently retired after a 30 year career in banking and am in my early 60's. Soon discovered that I can not stay home watching TV with my tenured retired spouse So I decided with my experience in finance and sales I would look into becoming an agent. Fearing that I would be a big fish out of the water I did not secure any broker relationships just in case I changed my mind. Yes it is costly for the choice.

Personally I would NOT take the RE Principals on line. It was very challenging for me even thought I had previously possessed security and insurance licenses in younger years.

I was the oldest student in the class outside of my wonderful instructor. I failed the national part and passed my state the first time. On the second pass I had success and graduated out of school. Now on to the tests that count, I studied for a solid three days and passed both the first time soon after RE school ended.

Now with confidence, license in hand I can take my time and go shopping for a home to hang my shingle. I have found though waiting until later in the year could subject me to paying more in fees to get started. ie..MLS etc is not prorated therefore I might have to pay it twice which is not cheap. The 2014 dues are renewal in December.

In closing I found preparing flash cards for each chapter very helpful in addition to purchasing Real Estate License Exams for Dummies was a great study tool. The school text I purchased made my eyes glaze over...I finished my course in 3.5 weeks though. Adapt a consistent studying habit early on...you will be thankful later.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:29 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 2,388,356 times
Reputation: 1959
Agree with tomocox that its your journey.

Choosing class or online is something you have to decide based on what you know about yourself and how you learn best.

First, study and pass your state exam. Ignore all other questions until that has happened. Within days of passing you will be deluged with postcards and letters from agencies all saying they are the most awesomest agency out there. Ignore them or interview with them. Their highest priority is getting money out of you so decide carefully which way you want to go.

Remember that you can jump ship at any time. So if you go to a broker that actually does offer excellent training and hand holding for less commission at the start, you can always leave and fly on your own when ready, and if you feel you can create your own following without a big name behind you.

You have sales experience, but to my knowledge its more of actually creating leads and a base, over time, that is the keys to success, unless you're in a really hot market.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:16 PM
 
1,454 posts, read 748,062 times
Reputation: 1148
Thanks for the last few posts, this is EXACTLY why I came to this board. I am confused on the RE Principals class and the national test. I was under the impression that I only needed to pass the MD tests (legal and the other one) to be licensed here.

As for the school with a full time job I'm trying to determine the benefits of taking it slowly online vs the commitment of a classroom. I'm concerned if I take it online it will take 3 months of Saturdays and by the time the test rolls around I'll have forgotten what I learned at the beginning.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,595 posts, read 2,267,278 times
Reputation: 959
I worked for long and foster in Baltimore before moving to my current position. My branch didn't charge desk fees but most start at a flat 50/50 split. Depending on your production and confidence, you could 'buy' your way up to higher splits and be reimbursed if you hit those hurdles.

I don't know if its like that across the board but I generally enjoyed my time with LNF. Once you become seasoned though it gets hard to justify giving them such a high split.
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