Starting out in Virginia

7 Replies

Wow, so much information here! What a great resource! 

After doing much of my reading throughout the site, I feel like it might be a good idea to get my Real Estate License first. I'm still Active Duty military until January of 2015 and I'm on a great shore duty right now with plenty of 'off' time. 

So, a few questions in regards to this:

1.) Do you have any recommendations on schools and such for Virginia Real Estate Licensure? I'd prefer online since there are still those late days where the military demands my presence, and they never seem to be predictable which makes scheduling classes difficult. I live in Virginia Beach, if that helps.

2.) What is usually the process after Real Estate School? I read something here about having to be 'sponsored' by a broker before I can practice real estate. How likely are any sponsoring brokers to be willing to take on a 'brand new' agent? I heard also that there are some brokerages that will sponsor you as long as you'll pay the $3000 a year or whatever they ask, is this a common thing?

3.) What kind of company should I be looking to work at if I want to really focus on investing? I'd love to be as close to actual real estate investing as possible. It would be great to learn for a bit as an agent working with investors.

4.) What have the best 'investor friendly' real estate agents you've worked with done differently from your average agent? What can I do personally to ensure investors really want to work with me and make the relationship mutually beneficial? I am in no way selfish, and have an abundance mindset so I'd love to work with investors that are the same.

I think that's enough for now. Obviously more to follow. Thanks for reading, and taking the time to respond if you do!

I have a recommendation for which school to go to in Virginia Beach: Long & Foster. I attended the live classroom instruction from Long & Foster in Virginia Beach, and I took the day class. There was at least one military person in my class, and when he had to miss the day class due to scheduling issues, he was able to attend the night class. They apparently don't mind if you switch back and forth because some of the night people would show up in the day time classes. The day class instructor, Dexter Godfrey, was great. He focused on teaching what you need to know to pass the state test, and I did pass both required state tests on my first try. 

The Long & Foster website ( ) lists online instruction also, but I can't comment on it because I know nothing about it. If you take the live class sign up early. I didn't and the class was full, so I had to wait for the next one. BTW, they had the lowest price classroom instruction I could find in the area.

I went to Alpha College of Real Estate who offers online & classroom (day & evening) classes. If you take the in classroom course, representatives from local RE Agencies sometimes come in and speak about that particular brokerage trying to recruit new agents.

The process is to take the classes, schedule & pay for the state exam (various locations & times), backround check & fingerprinting.

You can start interviewing with the brokers of your choice to "hang your license". Many RE Companies have various charges (desk, administrative fee), which you would have to factor into your budget of your monthly operating costs.

Sponsoring brokers sometimes pay or reimburse you for the cost of your classes after working with them for a certain amount of time.

Personally, I preferred to take the in classroom training in order to network with other "newbies" which would be a part of your network in starting out.

Since being a former Realtor from NY and being in a huge brokerage firm, I wanted to be with a smaller company to get more of hands on training, and questions I may have had in getting started here. Some of the larger companies have over 30 agents which I felt I could "get lost"

@Micheal Waldrup  

Welcome. Thanks for your service. A buddy just closed on 242 units while deployed. Time to build the foundation below.

Check out the Start Here page

Check out BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner's Guide - A fantastic free book that walks through many of the key topics of real estate investing.

Check out the free BiggerPockets Podcast - A weekly podcast with interviews and a ton of great advice. And you get the benefit of having over 70 past ones to catch up on.

Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses,The Book on Estimating ReHab Costs

Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and all the cash buyers (rehabbers) you will need.

Good read The Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Guide to Working with Investors

You might consider Niche or Specialized Housing like student housing, vacation rentals or military housing. Rents can be 2-4 times more. Remember you don't have to own a property to control it.

Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over

Good luck


Thanks everyone for the answers! I will be sure to check out both of those schooling options, very much appreciated.  @Andrea M.  - I really like the thoughts you had on a built-in network with the in person class. Great idea. 

@Glenn J.   - Thanks for the recommendation, I will check them out.

I'll be sure to post here what I end up going with for others to see.

Anyone else have thoughts on the other questions? 

Account Closed Got around to reading a couple of the resources you pointed out. Great stuff. Thanks so much for responding!

Hi Michael!

I did my education through Moseley. I started the class online but realized that for me personally it was a little hard to stay focused and retain the information. Halfway through, I upgraded to the classroom course and that was much better. The instructors were knowledgeable and entertaining and it just held my attention much better than the online course. You are probably much better than I in terms of having the discipline to sit down and read read read until you are sure you absorbed the information but just wanted to give my two cents - I definitely think the classroom course is worth it. The online requirement is 60 hours in VA but the actual classroom course was only 8 4 hour sessions; so it only ended up being 32 hrs (they assume you will study on your own time which counts towards the requirement). Either way, I definitely recommend Moseley since I passed the exam on the first try.

In regards to brokers.. I could be totally wrong, but I don't think a broker would 'turn you down' if you wanted to hang a license with them, no matter if you are experienced or not. When it comes down to it, they aren't losing anything by applying for a license on your behalf but instead only have money to gain from any monthly fees they charge, and obviously when you start selling properties. There are many different brokers out there with their own fee structure but personally I found Samson Properties will work best for me. They have a fixed (and very low, in comparison to others) transaction fee and in exchange they ask that you recommend their title company to your clients. Not sure if they operate down in VA Beach right now but I do know they plan to open a couple new offices in VA. Might be worth checking out.

Hope this helps!


Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.