Are you interested in an exciting career, where you can meet lots of people, have the potential for high earnings and determine your own career path? Then consider becoming a real estate agent.
Here are some guidelines to get you started.
First, visit several real estate offices and arrange interviews with the brokers. Find out what that broker might expect of you as an agent and what you can expect of the broker. Make sure the broker offers you a supportive business environment.
At this point, you may want to decide what type of career to pursue in real estate. Residential sales is the most common specialty and involves working one-on-one with people to help them buy and sell homes.
But there are many other specialties. You could become a residential leasing agent and help the owners of apartments, condominiums and houses find tenants. You could choose commercial sales as your specialty, helping individuals and companies buy and sell office buildings, industrial facilities, warehouses, store space, apartment complexes, nursing homes and other non-residential buildings. Or you could specialize in commercial leasing, finding tenants for various types of non-residential properties. Additionally, you could specialize in corporate relocations, working in a brokerage or for a relocation company to help transferred employees find homes in one community and sell their homes in another.
Each of those specialties, in turn, offers dozens of opportunities in various market niches. Say you want to be a residential sales agent, for example. You might decide to further specialize by helping Ohioans find vacation homes in the Mid-Atlantic states. Or you might become the local expert in the condo market. Just be sure that the brokerage with which you associate offers support for the specialty you choose.
Once you've chosen a particular broker to act as your sponsor -- all real estate salespeople must work under the supervision of a sponsoring broker -- then find a reputable, high-quality college where you can take the 120 classroom hours required to earn a real estate license.
After you finish the classes, study to prepare for the real estate license examination. Call the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing at 614/466-4100 to find out about test times, locations and application.
When you pass your examination and receive your license, take the next step and join the highly regarded local, state and national association of REALTORS. Members of the local, state and national associations are the only real estate licensees authorized to call themselves REALTORS and use the widely recognized REALTOR "R" logo on their business cards and other materials. REALTORS agree to abide by a strict Code of Ethics.
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