So, you’d like to become a real estate agent? The first thing you should focus on is obtaining your real estate license for the state where you plan to work. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but in all states, you’ll need to obtain a license before you start working as an agent.
Obtaining licensing offers many tangible benefits in your profession. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the benefits of having a real estate license.
Does Having a Real Estate License Make You a REALTOR®?
Having a real estate license doesn’t automatically make you a REALTOR®. Obtaining a real estate license allows you to work as a real estate agent, but only real estate agents who have gone on to become members of National Association of REALTOR® (NAR) call themselves a REALTOR®.
Real estate agents are professionally licensed by the state in which they operate to help individuals purchase, sell, or rent real estate. Each state has its own education, examination and/or experience requirements before obtaining licensing.
By becoming a REALTOR®, a real estate agent agrees to subscribe to NAR’s Code of Ethics. This is designed to help real estate agents uphold industry and quality standards and ensure that clients and customers are always given the best service possible when they hire an agent who is a REALTOR®.
Professional and Financial Benefits of a Real Estate License
Having a real estate license can give you a professional advantage. If you’re pursuing a career in real estate or if you’re planning on investing, then a real estate license can help. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of a real estate license.
It’s Required by Law
First up, you need to have a real estate license. A real estate license is required by law if you’re operating as a real estate agent or broker. Once you secure a license, clients who work with you know you’ve met education requirements that enable you to serve them according to the law.
It Gives You Professional Credibility
Having a real estate license also gives you a great deal of professional credibility. Once you get a real estate license, you can approach clients with confidence and work on establishing your first client relationships. A license is also a step toward becoming a REALTOR®, which will open the door to new clients and opportunities to advance your skills, and allow you to grow professionally.
It Can Give You MLS Access
A multiple listing service(MLS) is a marketplace of up-to-date listing information in an area.
Through the MLS, real estate agents and brokers share information on properties they’ve listed with other agents. Listing a property on the MLS helps boost exposure for maximized visibility of homes for sale, and makes it easier to close sales by making it easier to find a buyer. For buyers, seeing properties as soon as they become available is tremendously valuable, especially in a competitive market.
If you join one or more MLS, you’ll have fast access to properties that have just been listed, which can be invaluable when helping a buyer find a property they’d like to purchase. It’s also easier to focus on specific areas or neighborhoods when using an MLS.
It Allows You to Earn Commission
Operating as a licensed real estate agent gives you the chance to earn a commission. In most states, an unlicensed person cannot receive a commission from a real estate transaction.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), real estate brokers and sales agents in 2021 earned a median income of $48,770 per year. Agents operating in higher-cost areas and those with more experience tend to make significantly more than the median.
When you have a real estate license, you can often represent commercial and residential real estate, although some states may require separate licensing. Commission checks for commercial properties tend to be considerably larger than for residential real estate. However, closing commercial transactions usually requires more time—and work.
It Helps You Save Money If You Sell Property Yourself
Many real estate agents invest in real estate themselves. Getting your real estate license could be smart if you’re closing deals yourself. You’ll be able to save on commissions on your own personal deals if you’re acting as your own real estate agent, which can add up if you’re doing multiple deals per year.
Benefits of Becoming a REALTOR®
If you become a REALTOR®, you’ll also gain access to extensive professional development learning opportunities available through NAR. To maintain your real estate license, you may be required to complete a certain amount of education every year, depending on your state.
National Association of REALTORS® offers plenty of courses you can take to improve your skills or gain additional knowledge on what it takes to be a successful agent. REALTORS® can also be part of the C2EX program. Short for Commitment to Excellence, this NAR program is designed to help REALTORS® elevate their skills, strengths, and standards.
Access to More Clients
Becoming a REALTOR® could send more clients through your door. REALTORS® are listed in a national directory, which means you may have clients reach out as a result.
Opportunities for Professional Networking and Mentorship
Becoming a REALTOR® also gives you access to the largest national network of REALTORS®. Since you may decide to work as an independent contractor, connecting with other agents in the space can be invaluable.
National Association of REALTORS® promotes mentoring among members, which means you’ll gain access to mentoring opportunities early in your career. Later, you could join NAR’s mentorship program as a mentor yourself.
What a Real Estate License May Mean for You
As you can see, if you’re thinking of becoming a real estate agent, then earning your license is the best place to start. Getting a real estate license allows you to start operating as a real estate agent in your state, gives you access to the MLS, and provides you with the certification required to begin taking steps toward becoming a REALTOR®. Licensing means that you’re officially on your way to an exciting career as a real estate agent.