Thinking Of A Career Change? Real Estate Is The Way To Go.

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Becoming a real estate agent was one of the best decisions I ever made. Real estate has provided me with a great income, a flexible schedule and incredible investment opportunities, and there are many ways to make money as a real estate agent, or a Realtor, but it can be difficult to become an agent. Here is a great article on how much money real estate agents can make.

How hard is it to get your Real Estate license?

If you are thinking of getting your real estate license, you want to consider how hard it is to get your license. Texas is one of the more difficult states to get your license in; I have had my license for over 4 years and while it was not incredibly difficult for me to get my license, things have become even more difficult over the last few years as licensing requirements have changed in the number of hours of education required.

How long does it take to get your Real Estate license?

In Texas you must take 210 hours of Real Estate education before you can take the Texas real estate exam. That is over five weeks of classes if you went to school full-time for 40 hours a week! Most people don’t have the time to devote 40 hours a week to real estate school, and neither did I. It took me 3 months to take the classes and pass my real estate licensing test because had a full-time job and was forced to take classes after work and on the weekends. In Texas you need 210 hours of education, while in California just three courses are needed.

What do you have to do to become a real estate agent?

There is more to getting your real estate license than taking classes and passing a test. Real Estate is a highly regulated industry and here are some of the other requirements in Texas.

  • You must pass a background test, which involves being fingerprinted.
  • You must pass tests and quizzes to go along with the 210 hours of education you take. The education required for a Texas real estate license is not a walk through the park.
  • You must hang your license with a broker once you pass the exam and the background check to activate your license. Each brokerage has different costs; some take part of your commissions and some charge base fees.
  • You must buy E and O insurance and most likely will want to become a Realtor, join a local board and join local multiple listing service (MLS). It is not cheap to become an agent.
  • Once you have your license (in Texas) you must take 60 hours of continuing education (SAE) within the first 12 months of licensure, and 15 hours every two years thereafter in order to keep your real estate license active.

How hard are real estate classes?

You can take the real estate courses online or in person in a school. I took the classes on weekends because I learn better in a classroom environment. In my experience, taking real estate classes online is extremely boring since staring at a computer for 210 hours is not easy to do. I would take the classes in person if it fits your lifestyle, online is good for flexibility of hours, but that’s about it. The material is pretty dry, so it’s exhausting reading that much on a computer screen for that long, plus you get the input of an instructor that has “Been There, Done That.”

The material that is covered in the classes is very dry. If you are hoping to learn how to invest in real estate or learn advanced techniques in selling homes, think again! The material is about technical laws, rules, settlement sheets and case history. Very little is covered on material that will help people sell houses or help you personally invest in real estate. The material is meant to keep people from going to jail for committing fraud or misleading buyers and sellers, not to actually help you succeed.

For more information on how to become a great real estate agent, my suggested reading is: Gary Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

How hard is the Texas real estate test?

The Texas real estate test is not easy! I passed it the first time myself even though I thought I would breeze through it easier than what I did. Many of the questions on the Texas test are very tricky with double negatives and wording meant to trick the test takers. There is also a ton of memorization needed and you need to be able to do math for the settlement sheets! The test itself takes up to four hours, is conducted in a high security test center and you aren’t allowed to bring notes.

How much does it cost to get your Real Estate license?

In Texas, the real estate courses vary widely in cost. Some online schools cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while classroom school courses can run into the thousands. I personally attended Champions School of Real Estate in Coppell (which has since closed its doors).  The exam itself costs $65 and you must also pay an accredited company or a law enforcement office to fingerprint you. Once you get your license you will have continued costs like board dues, MLS dues, operating expenses and fees or commission splits to pay your broker.

Conclusion

If you want to become a real estate agent, make sure you research what is involved in your state. Some states have easier requirements than others, but it is difficult to get your license in most places. It costs a lot of money to become a real estate agent, but it is well worth it in my opinion. Becoming a real estate agent allowed me a better opportunity to get involved with my daughters’ extracurricular activities and spend more time with her overall. I consider this the main bonus on top of the incredible income you can earn from real estate.

Contact me with any questions about becoming an agent, (214) 609-7123, or jtrump@kw.com

 

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