I have a question that I'm sure every veteran real estate agent gets tired of answering but here goes.
I am very passionate about learning all I can about real estate investing, and in that process my wife has become interested in Real Estate as well. She currently works a full time job but has been researching what it takes to become a real estate agent.
Now I know being an agent is a profession, and not something you just pick up one day and start doing. I don't think she has any illusions about the time required, she knows she needs to find a broker to work with and market like crazy.
Honestly, I think she has what it takes, she is a born seller, I am a bit worried about how much she will enjoy the nuts and bolts of contracts, financing terms, etc, but I think she'll be good at that too.
What do you think about online real estate agent courses like californialicense.com? I can already anticipate the cons of an online course but, its low cost and convenient, now with that comes downsides I'm sure... but is it a legitimate way to become an agent?
Also, is it realistic to think it may be possible to start part time as a beginner?
Currently she's thinking about setting up a few short face to face meetings with small local brokers, and telling them that she would like to be a part of growing their business, and will be taking her exam soon, and thinks she could add some value etc.and see if their are any possibilities there. We may be reaching a bit here, but it didnt seem like a bad idea to me.
Any advice? Thank you so much for the feedback you guys. We're excited!
Part time is how everyone should start. Industry drop out rate is huge. Almost 90% don't do it longer then a year.
"Originally posted by @Trevor Lohman:
Now I know being an agent is a profession, and not something you just pick up one day and start doing.
Like James said, most people should start part-time. Very few people do well at first. But to be honest, I hate to repeat this in every thread but what is her goal?
Real estate IS something that people just pick up one day and start doing. That's why so few people stick with it long term. For a lot of careers you need to be in college for 4+ years while to be an agent in some states you can do it in 1 week.
Yes, she can do it part time but make sure it's something she wants to do long term and not just a hobby she'll get bored with after 6 months.
Real estate investing and real estate as a profession are very different things.
You have regular investors that use the services of others, investors who get licensed to find their own deals to buy and sell, and investors who like doing their own deals but also enjoy helping other clients close deals as a profession who are brokers / agents.
If she wants to do it full time figure out the yearly nut that has to be made.
If she makes 50k a year at her job then she needs to break down for her area how many sales with a split she would need to reach that per year.
If just part time she needs to define part time. What kind of real estate business does she want to do?? How will that conflict with time demands of her current job??
Generally is she is doing residential you would need 6 months reserves to start. So if 50k a year to quit her job 25,000 in savings to get going on closing deals. Even if you land things right out of the gate it takes months to close.
Honestly having agents as a brokerage isn't all it's cracked up to be especially the part timers.
Part time is a good way to start I believe for reasons that have already been stated. I myself just got my license in Salem Oregon and am trying to use the broker license to funnel my own investments.
In terms of the online classes that is exactly what I did with Onlineed and passed the first time without a problem within one month. Just do your due diligence and make sure that the agency offering the class is solid because not all courses are made equally.
In terms of going for a smaller brokerage that's exactly what I did and believe that works well for the part time broker with way lower split and desk fees than big box companies.
Also, her having a license will more than pay for itself even if it does not produce much in the first year by allowing you to list/buy your investment properties without paying a commission.
I just got my license here in Florida after taking an online course.
I was able to complete the course in my free time within a month.
However, I'd say that the course covered only about 40-50% of what was on the actual exam. There were a lot of questions that would've had me lost if I were new to real estate. Like @Ian Griffin said, just make sure to do your due diligence on the course before buying.
I think part-time is the way to start as well.
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All states are different for what you need to learn and what you will actually apply. From what I learned in NJ RE school I will only use about 15% of if it and that is a number my teacher gave my in the class. So far I disagree, I only use about 5% of it. I wish I had the option to get licensed online. If you can learn enough to pass the class in a virtual environment I suggest you do it.
Welcome. Time to build the foundation below for you and your wife.
Someone on you team has to be an agent just doesn't have to be you or your wife. There is nothing wrong with her taking the training whether she becomes licensed or not the knowledge is good.
This is a people business I would prefer a classroom where I can ask questions and meet and speak with everyone there.
Your profession should be a source of all the private money you will need.
Check out the Start Here page http://www.biggerpockets.com/starthere
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 50 past ones to catch up on.
Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses,The Book on Estimating ReHab Costshttp://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook
Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Speak to everyone here that has a license for their real estate see how it is working for them.
Brandon Turner did a great article you can access here
The Real Estate Agent's Ultimate Guide to Working with Investorshttp://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/08/24/real-estate-agents-working-with-investors/
I think it is a great idea for your wife to do that! You have received great advice on here so far, but I want to add another FYI item:
If you are doing RE deals and your wife is your buying or selling agent, you must disclose your relationship in your transactions. Inform all parties involved that you two are married. States are mostly concerned about protecting the public. Full disclosure is a must....use transparency in all your deals. This is to not only protect the public, but to keep you out of court as well.
I got my required RE education from an online school and would highly recommend that route if possible. I also made sure the school I would choose was the most reputable one with a great track record and many recommendations from agents who got their schooling through that particular school. Not all online schools are great, so do a little research and get referrals before you choose!
Good luck to you and your wife!
Hi there Trevor,
Here are my tips/suggestions/opinions:
I started out as a Part Time Real Estate agent. I did my class in a classroom, but many do it online; it will still be legit. Real Estate Part-time is going to be very hard. Your wife must be very well connected now and be able to build rapport really well with customers so that they stay loyal to her. In the market here in Florida, homes will come and go on a daily basis, so when a house goes on the market, one has to be ready to show as soon as the client is available.
Managing her time and dedication to a client is really going to be key in her success part time.
My best suggestion is that you save up/get enough money so that she can go full time. Once I started full time, I learned something every day; new strategies on talking with customers, key questions, strategies on making offers, etc. (the list goes on)
I'm currently with Remax, which is the biggest name in Real Estate, and I believe that being with this company has definitely helped my success with the training that is provided by my office and also the atmosphere that I'm around. Everyone is always willing to help. Finding a good office that fits her personality and people that are willing to help will be great for her.
My last tip/suggestion to her is to be as proactive as possible. Try to find out as much as you can on your own, but when she has a doubt, she needs to have someone there (brokerage) to answer.
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