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Become A Realtor

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Working As A Realtor

  • Getting Information
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $58,250

    Average Salary

What Does A Realtor Do

A Realtor is a person who acts as an agent for the sale and purchase of buildings and land. They help people sell or rent property.

How To Become A Realtor

Real estate brokers and sales agents need at least a high school diploma. Both brokers and sales agents must be licensed. To become licensed, candidates typically must complete a number of real estate courses and pass a licensing exam. 

Education

Real estate brokers and sales agents must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Although most brokers and agents must take state-accredited prelicensing courses to become licensed, some states may waive this requirement if the candidate has taken college courses in real estate. 

As the real estate market becomes more competitive and complex, some employers are preferring to hire candidates with college courses or a college degree. Some community colleges, colleges, and universities offer courses in real estate. Some offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in real estate, and many others offer certificate programs. Courses in finance, business administration, economics, and law also can be useful.

Brokers intending to open their own company often take business courses, such as marketing and accounting. 

In addition to offering prelicensing courses, many real estate associations have courses and professional development programs for both beginners and experienced agents. These courses cover a variety of topics, such as real estate fundamentals, real estate law, and mortgage financing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states and the District of Columbia, real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most have similar basic requirements:

Candidates must:

  • be 18 years old
  • complete a number of real estate courses
  • pass an exam

Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a background check. Licenses typically are not transferable among states. However, some states have reciprocity agreements and will accept licenses issued by some other states. 

To obtain a broker’s license, individuals generally need 1 to 3 years of experience as a licensed sales agent. They also must take additional formal training courses. In some states, a bachelor’s degree may be substituted in place of some experience or training requirements. 

State licenses typically must be renewed every 2 to 4 years. In most states, brokers and agents must complete continuing education courses to renew their license. To verify exact licensing requirements, prospective brokers and agents should contact the real estate licensing commission of the state in which they wish to work.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

To get a broker’s license in most states, real estate brokers must have experience working as a licensed real estate sales agent. Requirements vary by state, but most require 1 to 3 years of experience. 

Training

Real estate sales agents improve their skills through practice and repetition. Because of the sales environment and the complexity of real estate deals, new agents typically observe and work closely with more senior agents. In addition, some of the larger real estate companies provide formal classroom training for new agents as a way to gain knowledge and experience, while others provide training to employees studying for their real estate licensing exam.

Advancement

Sales agents who earn their broker’s license may open their own offices. 

Important Qualities

Business skills. Because most brokers are self-employed, they must manage every aspect of their business. This task includes reaching out to prospective clients, handling their finances, and advertising their services.

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are essential for real estate brokers and sales agents, because they spend much of their time interacting with clients and customers. To attract and keep clients, they must be pleasant, enthusiastic, and trustworthy. 

Organizational skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents must be able to work independently, managing their own time and organizing, planning, and prioritizing their work.

Problem-solving skills. Real estate brokers and sales agents need to be able to quickly (sometimes immediately) address concerns clients or potential customers may have with a property. They also mediate negotiations between seller and buyer.

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Realtor Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    59.8%
  • Male

    38.5%
  • Unknown

    1.8%

Ethnicity

  • White

    81.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    10.1%
  • Asian

    6.5%
  • Unknown

    1.6%
  • Black or African American

    0.5%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    60.9%
  • French

    9.4%
  • German

    5.2%
  • Italian

    3.5%
  • Portuguese

    3.5%
  • Mandarin

    2.2%
  • Russian

    2.2%
  • Chinese

    1.6%
  • Korean

    1.4%
  • Japanese

    1.4%
  • Arabic

    1.4%
  • Vietnamese

    1.1%
  • Greek

    1.1%
  • Tagalog

    1.0%
  • Carrier

    1.0%
  • Polish

    0.8%
  • Swedish

    0.6%
  • Hawaiian

    0.6%
  • Hindi

    0.5%
  • Dutch

    0.5%
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Top Skills for A Realtor

ResidentialRealEstateProspectiveBuyersRealEstateSalesOpenHousesMortgageLendersCustomerServiceComparativeMarketAnalysisPurchaseAgreementsResidentialPropertiesRealEstateTransactionsCurrentMarketConditionsMLSTitleCompaniesEscrowCompaniesRealEstateMarketPropertyClosingsRepresentationContractsRealPropertyRealEstateAgentsRealEstateContracts

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Top Realtor Skills

  1. Residential Real Estate
  2. Prospective Buyers
  3. Real Estate Sales
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Closed over $3 million in residential real estate - 1997 and 1998.
  • Coordinated appointments with prospective buyers to showcase houses and plots.
  • Closed and funded over $3,000,000 in annual residential/commercial real estate sales.
  • Promote sales of properties through advertisements, open houses, and participation in multiple listing services.
  • Develop networks of attorneys, mortgage lenders, and contractors to whom clients may be referred.

Top Realtor Employers

Realtor Videos

What it takes to be a successful Realtor

CAREER PROFILE - Realtor

A Day in the Life of a Realtor...typical, not so typical

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