I have a 2 part question: I want to get into real estate investing, specifically buy-and-hold rental properties and I'm considering taking real estate license classes to do so. I was originally going to just get myself an agent but now I'm wondering if it would be beneficial for me to learn how to be an agent and get licensed? So, my biggest question is would this be worth doing as an investor?
The second part is that I've been looking into this a bit and have found online classes I can take that are based in Massachusetts. Does anyone know if I can take these courses and get licensed in Massachusetts even though I am a Connecticut resident? (CT doesn't offer online licensing classes and the MA course requires 20 less hours) I believe CT offers license reciprocity so I think as long as I pass the MA exam and get licensed I can apply for the license in CT without having to take more classes as well as the CT exam. I'm just not sure if I can take the MA classes to begin with.
To answer the first part of your question, I think it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the laws and process that a real estate agent is going through to help an investor close a deal. I personally took the classes to get a license and was planning on actually completing my license, (though never did because I moved to CA), in MA for a few reasons.
1) The cost was low, I think I only paid about $400 for the course.
2) The time commitment was low, you only need to complete 40 hours of instruction.
3) If I wanted to get a license, I could do so and hang it with a broker simply to help myself with my own process of accessing the MLS and being more self sufficient.
Having completed the course I can tell you that you will learn nuances to real estate that you didn't already know. You will also learn to appreciate when a real estate agent is actually doing their job correctly, vs the large number of agents who just show up and do the bare minimum.
What prompted me to take the course was that my first agent was not very good, but I couldn't actually truly assess and understand that without knowing myself, now I can confidently say that she wasn't very good, (lucky me, lol).
Short Answer: There's not a glaring reason I can think of to not educate yourself on it, even if just for education's sake.
I can't provide info on the 2nd part as I'm just not as familiar with specific MA to CT reciprocity and requirements.
Lots of good info on license reciprocity between CT and MA on this recent forum thread:
- Do you need to be licensed to start investing? No
- Will it help? Absolutely
My advice is start with your 10 year goals and work your way backwards, if you see yourself becoming an agent part of that plan, then commit. But there is a lot of work/money involved to becoming and keeping up the license. It doesn't make you any "better" of an investor, education and experience do.
If you decided to then take the course in Mass. Lots of fun, I paid $135 bucks for two weekends, CT is reciprocal.
For the 1st part of your question I can speak from personal experience: it was a HUGE help for myself to get licensed, get involved with some deals, experience first-hand the process from search to closing before purchasing my first multi-family. I can say I would not have had the confidence to purchase my MF had I not started out as an agent.
Aside from experience & confidence, you gain access to the MLS which is the most reliable database (in my opinion) for running comps in your state. You just need to be careful to disclose your intent to sellers if you're acting interchangeably as both an agent and investor. 100% smart move to get licensed first.
Thanks everyone for your input, it was very helpful. I'm wondering now if I do get licensed would I be able to just represent myself in my deals and not be a full time agent for other people, or would I still have to partner with a broker or become a broker myself? Also, does it even make sense to just represent myself when considering the yearly costs and fees related to having a real estate license?
I just switched to eXp Realty for a few reasons.
- It allows me to represent my own brand without being a broker. I just have to communicate that I am powered by eXp realty.
- Passive income.
- You can and will be able to represent yourself as a licensed agent. You have to hang your license under a broker in CT.
- You have to weigh out the risk, the cost, and the time involved with becoming a broker.
From my experience and conversations with Brokers, becoming one sounds like a huge burden. Again, I am just speaking from my conversations.(This brings you back to the post above, know your goals) My ultimate goal is passive income streams, everything else is a distraction or a means to an end. Right now I am using my income from being a realtor to place it into passive income investments. Plus I also love helping people become financially free, flip houses, and talking investing strategies when it comes to commerical real estate.
There is nothing passive about being an agent besides revenue shares and possibly referrals.
I'm not up to speed in MA to CT reciprocity. With that said I am getting my license now (in NY) to mainly help my own investing. Luckily I have a broker/realtor who will let me work under his company. I very well may not list and sell my own homes and use him to do it, but finding and buying will be my own venture.
I also see a benefit to work as an agent for others as time permits. It may not be for everyone, but I sold most of my flips by myself and feel I could do so for others with my license.
My vote is get it, assuming MA license works in CT.