How to Become a Real Estate Agent: From…

How to Become a Real Estate Agent: From Novice to Negotiator in 7 Steps

If you thrive on people interaction, have a knack for all things property, and seek an exciting career, real estate might just be your perfect fit. In this guide, we'll map out your journey to becoming a licensed real estate agent, whether you're starting fresh or eyeing a career switch.

Let's explore the path to get you there, covering everything from education and licensing to building a thriving client base.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

Real estate agents are the matchmakers of the property world. They connect sellers with eager buyers, guiding clients through the twists and turns of real estate transactions. Whether it's listing homes, marketing to attract buyers, or negotiating the best deal, they're the pros who make it all happen.

On the buyer's side, they're the treasure hunters, scouring the market for dream homes, providing market insights, and ensuring smooth purchases. Beyond the paperwork and inspections, real estate agents build client relationships, keep tabs on market trends, and always have your back in the fast-paced world of real estate.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

To be a good real estate agent, you need excellent communication and negotiation skills, in-depth market knowledge, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to providing exceptional service to your clients. You’ll also need to follow the steps below:

Research, Research, Research

The first step in becoming a real estate agent is to research the real estate industry, market trends, and the specific requirements and regulations in your area. This research helps you understand the industry's dynamics, the local real estate market's conditions, and the legal and licensing requirements you must fulfill.

It's essential to have a solid foundation of knowledge before proceeding with the formal education and licensing process to ensure you're well-prepared for a successful career in real estate.

Some ways to approach research are through:

  • Government Websites. Visit your state or country's official real estate regulatory agency website for licensing requirements and regulations.
  • Local Real Estate Associations. Check with local real estate associations for market trends and educational resources.
  • Industry Publications. Subscribe to real estate magazines and publications for updates on market trends and best practices
  • Mentorship. Consider seeking mentorship from an experienced real estate agent. A mentor can offer guidance, answer questions, and provide firsthand knowledge about the industry and local market conditions.

Meet Basic Eligibility Requirements

After researching, the next step involves ensuring that you meet basic eligibility requirements for becoming a real estate agent. These vary by location, but they typically include the following:


Most regions require aspiring real estate agents to be at least 18 or 19 years old. It's crucial to verify the specific age requirement in your state or country.


The minimum education requirement for real estate agents typically includes a high school diploma or its equivalent. In most regions, this level of education is sufficient to meet the baseline educational criteria for pursuing a career as a real estate agent. However, many agents also hold a bachelor's degree, which can provide a competitive advantage in the field.

Relevant degrees for a career in real estate include business administration, finance, economics, marketing, and specialized real estate programs, though many successful professionals come from diverse educational backgrounds.

Check out our extensive study program database to explore exciting programs relevant to your career in real estate.

Legal Residency or Citizenship

In many regions, you must be a legal resident or citizen of the country or state where you plan to work as an agent. This requirement ensures that individuals who represent clients in real estate transactions are legally authorized to do so within a specific jurisdiction.

Background Check

Real estate agencies often conduct background checks when you're becoming an agent. They do this to make sure you have a clean record and meet their standards for integrity, which is crucial for protecting clients and the public during real estate deals.

The exact details of the background check, including what it covers and any factors that could disqualify an applicant, may vary by location and are typically determined by the local real estate regulatory authority.

Complete Pre-License Education

Pre-license education involves enrolling in state-approved courses designed to impart essential knowledge and skills crucial for success in the real estate industry. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including property law, contracts, ethics, financing, and agency relationships. Depending on your location, pre-license education may be offered in various formats, such as in-person classes, online courses, or a combination of both.

Throughout your studies, you'll have access to course materials, practice exams, and interactive learning experiences to solidify your understanding. Successful completion of the coursework, often culminating in a final exam, is a prerequisite for moving forward to the next critical step: taking the state licensing exam.

To find state-approved pre-license real estate courses, contact your state's real estate regulatory authority, check with local schools, search online, ask for recommendations, and verify course providers' accreditation and curriculum alignment with your state's requirements.

Take a Real Estate License Exam

A real estate license exam evaluates your knowledge of real estate laws, regulations, ethics, and industry practices. The specifics of the exam, including its content and format, can vary depending on your location. However, passing the exam demonstrates your readiness to serve clients in property transactions and is a significant step toward obtaining your real estate license.

It's essential to prepare thoroughly, as success in the exam is a key requirement for starting your real estate career. You can find more information about the real estate license exam and its requirements by contacting your state or country's real estate regulatory authority.

Receive Your Real Estate Agent License

Once you have successfully completed your pre-license education and passed the real estate license exam, you'll need to submit a license application to your state or country's real estate regulatory authority. This application typically includes details about your education, exam results, and background information.

There is usually a fee associated with obtaining your real estate license. Make sure to pay this fee as part of your application process. Depending on your location, there may be additional requirements to fulfill. These can include fingerprinting, proof of insurance, or completing a certain number of supervised transactions.

It's important to note that you may also have to renew your real estate agent license after a period of time, which often involves completing continuing education courses and paying renewal fees.

Join a Real Estate Firm

Joining a real estate firm is a pivotal step after acquiring your real estate license, impacting your career trajectory, income potential, and the property types you handle. When making this decision, several crucial aspects should guide you. Firstly, think about location, as the firm's geographical focus should align with your target market.

Additionally, consider the firm's size, culture, and tech resources, ensuring they complement your preferences and work style. Training opportunities are essential to stay updated, and you should closely examine the commission structure, including the percentage you earn, fee arrangements, and commission dispute protocols.

Don't overlook the contract details either. These include how long you'll be with the firm, any fees you'll have to cover, rules about competing with the firm, and how they handle things like advertising and dealing with clients. It's also smart to get advice from experienced agents before diving into your real estate career.

Start Building Your Client Base

Now, the exciting part begins. You can finally reap the rewards of your journey toward becoming a real estate agent by starting to build your client base. This phase is all about establishing your presence in the real estate market and attracting clients who will entrust you with their property needs.

Here are a few tips that can help you establish and expand your client base as a new real estate agent:

  • Leverage Your Network. Utilize your personal and professional connections to inform them about your real estate services and let them know you're open for business.
  • Effective Online Presence. Develop a professional website and maintain active social media profiles to showcase your listings and demonstrate your expertise effectively.
  • Attend Local Events. Attend local real estate events, community gatherings, and networking meetings to connect with potential clients and establish your presence in the local market.
  • Online Advertising. Invest in targeted online advertising campaigns, using platforms like Facebook and Google Ads, to reach your desired audience effectively.
  • Client Referrals. Encourage satisfied clients to refer friends and family to your services; word-of-mouth referrals can be a powerful source of new business.
  • Specialization. Consider specializing in a specific niche within the real estate market, such as luxury homes or commercial properties, to distinguish yourself from competitors.
  • Market Insights. Share valuable market insights and property information through blog posts or social media updates to establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert in the field.

As you venture into the exciting real estate field, remember that your persistence and dedication will be your greatest assets. You've got the steps in your pocket now, from learning the ropes to getting your license and finding clients. So, go out there, build your reputation, and make your mark in the industry. Best of luck!