How to Get a Real Estate Broker License

There are three types of professionals who operate in the real estate markets to sell property on commission. These are salesperson, licensed brokers and realtors. There is a subtle difference between the three, but on the whole, it can be said that a broker is a more credited and recognized professional, as the real estate broker license is granted by the Department of Real Estate or the Department of Licenses of the said state.

A license is granted only after an applicant goes through a certain coursework and a licensing exam. In the following paragraphs a brief overview of the licensing exam course work and the advantages of taking up the licensing procedure has been described.

Getting the License

The United States being a Federal system, the affairs that are related to real estates come under the jurisdiction of the state governments. All the state governments have a Department of Real Estate, that governs all issues relating to real estate.

Thus, in case, if you are interested in real estate as a career prospect, you can visit the official websites of the said departments. The broker license is of course, governed by these departments. The conception of license was introduced in order to cater to the governance of the real estate markets, sales and purchases.

From the governance point of view, the big problem with real estate investments is that the area of land that is in existence is limited whereas the population is ever-increasing. Thus the need or demand for land is always on the rise, whereas, the availability tends to be limited. This has of course led to prices shoot up and remain high. Such conditions have increased the complexity of the real estate market, which has prompted governments to introduce authorization for real estate professionals.

Since state governments control the licensing procedures and governance, you will have licenses that will differ as per states, such as California broker license, New York broker license. Though some specified applicant requirements differ from state to state, there are some general and common requisites that need to be fulfilled to become a licensed real estate broker:

  • The primary requirement is that the broker needs to be an adult (at least 18 years of age) and should be a citizen of United States and a resident of the said state, though some states allow out-of-state applicants.
  • Most of the states require from the candidates to have at least 2 years of experience of real estate transactions within preceding 5 years.
  • Applicants need to complete 8 statuary courses which generally include, Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate, Advanced Real Estate Finance, Advanced Real Estate Appraisal, Business Law, Computer Applications in Real Estate, Common Interest Developments, Escrow, Legal Aspects of Real Estate, Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending, Real Estate Practice, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Appraisal, Real Estate Economics or Accounting, Real Estate Principles, Property Management and Real Estate Office Administration. In some states a classroom coursework worth 30 to 90 hours is also required.
  • In some states, real estate attorneys or certain college graduates with related degrees are granted exemptions in the coursework.
  • In certain cases, the coursework is divided into groups or semesters, and the classroom coursework is to be taken up at certain credited institutes of higher learning.

There are a considerable number of advantages of taking up the broker license. For example a licensed broker is authorized to prepare contracts and leases, do residential appraisals, prepare certain sales documents, do a comparative market analysis, charge customers on an hourly basis and also hire sub-brokers, realtors and salesperson. Basically, a license gives you more recognition when you conduct a real estate deal or real estate negotiations.

The basic advantage of the license is a genuine recognition in the real estate market, not to mention a really good real estate broker salary. Note that the coursework that is involved in obtaining a broker’s license is not exactly simple, and a lot of hard work has to be put into the coursework in order to clear the exam.

Advertising Ideas for Realtors

Being a realtor is not a difficult task, if you have an ability to convince, persuade, and close down a sale. However, in order to be seen by customers as the best realtor from the entire lot, marketing is necessary. Hence, the need for advertising. Let us have a look at some interesting ideas to advertise your properties.

Website

Creating a website for your firm is one of the great ideas and is a popular advertising technique. You can make it informative and attractive while still keeping it professional. Provide sufficient details about properties and update the website regularly. Add a section to invite questions from potential clients and also give complete contact details. You could have a comment box, wherein your previous customers can comment on their experience, or can share articles on the same. Ensure that your website is regularly updated and also see to it that you reply promptly to any queries raised.

Publicize

Publicize the name of your firm by distributing leaflets. Mention some famous properties which you have sold successfully that people can easily recall. Mention about any additional service like housecleaning service, or lawn service you will be able to provide at some discounted rates. Think of other innovative ways to attract more clients to your firm. Not only are leaflets cheap advertising idea, but they are also effective as you can cover lots of ground by distributing leaflets.

Yellow Pages

Yellow pages is another most popular idea. Ensure that you have a big page, all to yourself, in the yellow pages. There too, you can mention some of the additional services that you can provide. This will certainly give you the edge in comparison with your competitors. The advertisement in yellow pages should be professional, at the same time, it should be more appealing.

Magazines

You can place advertisements in home decorating magazines and interior decorating magazines. Place them at strategic positions so that they can grab the reader’s attention. You can ask previous clients to say something about your firm and the services offered by your firm. These testimonials from your clients will be of great help in boosting your prospective client list.

Fairs

Property exhibitions, small and big community fairs are very common and can be some of the best places to let people know about your firm and the services it provides. Stalls at a fair can be one of the popular ideas. Book a stall and ask all the people who visit your stall, to give you their email id’s, so that you can keep them informed about your listings. Also collect their business cards, if possible. This will help you in making your own database. You can later keep on increasing the database with continual contacts with these people, and by asking them for more references.

Malls

Mall is a place where you will find many people. Set up a stall at a strategic location and distribute leaflets and business cards to people. This is a good way of increasing your database. If you go on a weekend, or in the evenings, you will be able to access more people. This could become a free advertising idea or if you are required to pay money, it will be minimal.

Other Websites

In addition to having your own website, you could also enlist the name of your firm on some other websites which help in advertising. Such sites can help you to increase the number of prospective customers, as they reach out to a lot of people at the same time. Ensure that all your contact details are updated regularly.

One can even consider ‘word of mouth’ publicity which always helps. Request your customers to mention your name to their friends and family, who are looking out for properties. You could go to some charity or fundraising event and drop in your business card. One thing that you need to do is to keep your database updated and ensure that all your customers get the same kind of treatment, in order to be successful at home selling.

Leasing Agent Job Description

Leasing agents perform an important task of finding lessees for the landlords. But is that all they do? Here’s a detailed article on what a lease agent does.

Leasing Agent Job Profile

So while the principal task of the leasing agent remains ensuring that a homeowner or landlord’s piece of land does not lie unused, there’s more to the job. They usually operate as free agents, unattached to any company. They work on a commission basis and help bring a homeowner and a lessee together and strike a deal between the two. They provide a range of services to the lease giver, and charge commensurately for the services.

Finding Lessees
The leasing agent needs to be pretty well connected and have a good network. It is his job to offer his services to both parties, the lease giver on one hand and the lessee on the other. The leasing agent maintains a record of his clients, what are the exact dimensions of the land to be leased and on the other hand, what are the requirements of the lessee. By matching the two, the leasing agent ensures that the two parties meet and reach a mutually agreeable arrangement to lease the land.

Screening the Applicants
Often the landlords have a busy schedule, therefore they pay the leasing agent for screening the applicants. The agents may also offer the service of doing a background check on the applicants, making sure that their financial position is stable and there is no reason why the applicant, if given the lease to the land, will come up with any sort of trouble while making the periodical payments. They may also go so far as to do a check for any criminal records.

Drawing Up the Lease Papers
The leasing agent if qualified to do so, can also offer to draw up the papers for lease. The papers are basically the contract agreement, between the lease giver agreeing to lease the property for a period of time, and the lessee agreeing to pay the periodical amounts that the lease demands. Sometimes he is also required to be the custodian of these legal documents.

Feedback
Since the leasing agent works as a proxy and interface for both the lease giver and the lessee, it is also part of their job to communicate any details from either party to the other.

Leasing Agent’s Salary

While discussing career opportunities it is pretty important to know the how much you’re going to get paid for it. A leasing agent works on a commission basis, and his remuneration is largely based on the number and size of the deal, and the amount of activities he chooses to undertake along with leasing.

One who provides a whole range of services will get paid a lot more than someone who simply ensures that the lease giver meets the lessee and ends his work there. By size of the deal, I mean that a leasing agent who trades prime property worth a higher amount will be paid more as the commission, which is largely calculated as a percentage of the deal finalized.

Having said that, the national average salary for leasing agent can be estimated to be around USD 47,051 annually. The job of a leasing agent can be highly remunerative, if you work in the right area for the right people, and strike the right deal at the right time.

Leasing Consultant Job Description

Have you ever had the need of leasing a shop for business purposes or an apartment for residential purposes? In this search, you might have come across a real estate professional who may have shown you the property of your choice. That person can be a leasing consultant. You must remember what had transpired between you two during the transaction you were interlocked in.

Who is a Leasing Consultant?

A leasing consultant is a person whose job is similar to that of a sales professional. He may work in a variety of fields where sales are required to be generated. However, the real estate sector is one field wherein the services of a leasing consultant are most required. If you are thinking about the their job description, the main duties are to show real estate to prospective clients for renting and after the deal is done, to make sure the customers are satisfied with the deal and the aftereffects.

Job Description of a Leasing Consultant

A leasing consultant in a real estate sector is required to conduct a search for attracting customers to the real estate property that is available with him to be rented out. He has to manage all aspects of real estate marketing. He has to schedule appointments for showing the property to potential customers. He is supposed to greet customers and show them all aspects of the real estate to be given on lease. A leasing consultant also has to discuss with the potential customers regarding their requirements and property preferences. He has to clarify any doubts relating to the houses, apartments, or shops shown.

Leasing consultants need to have a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the real estate field in the market, such as leasing rates and location specifications. Before showing the property, he has to make sure that it is ready to be shown to prospective clients. He has to carry out all the responsibilities and formalities for leasing a particular property to the customer. He has to do a background check on the potential customers regarding if there is a risk in dealing with them. Real estate negotiations is also a very significant task that he needs to perform.

After the leasing deal is done, he has to explain to the customers all the community policies and procedures. Another important duty is to collect the security deposit, rent, and other charges required for residing at that particular place. Leasing consultants also have to ensure that the current customer do not face problems in their daily living regarding the rented real estate. They have to maintain healthy relations with the clients in order to get more business through references.

A leasing consultant has to handle complaints and issues regarding any conflicts between two customers if they are neighbors and are sharing the same walls, ceiling, floors, etc. He has to take all necessary steps to make sure the resident customers are comfortable in their living. In few cases, leasing consultants are also handed over the responsibility of overseeing and managing other real estate staff or housekeeping professionals.

This was just a short explanation on the job description of a leasing consultant. The duties and tasks that a they have to perform varies largely from the field of employment and the situation to attract business. In order to become a leasing consultant you are required to have good communication, knowledge of sales and marketing, persuasive, problem solving, and customer service skills.

How Much Money do Real Estate Agents Make

Generally, real estate agents work for real estate brokers, who act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of real estate. Real estate, that includes land and all permanent fixtures on the land, can be classified as residential or commercial. The classification depends on whether or not the property generates income. Commercial properties are income generating properties, while residential ones are meant for occupation by the owner as his primary residence. In order to become a real estate agent, a person needs to be at least 18 years of age and should have graduated from high school. Moreover, he needs to complete 75-80 hours of course work and obtain a license. He can act as buyer’s or seller’s agent.

Monetary Earning

Agents Dealing in Residential Properties

The price of real estate is affected by both local and economic factors. When the market is booming, an agent can make oodles of money. A seller’s agent makes money through commissions, which are determined as a percentage of the sales price. So when the prices appreciate, the seller’s agent stands to gain in the form of huge commissions. Since the current market is not a sellers market, it would behoove us to take a look at the payment structure for a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent is entrusted with the task of scouting for suitable properties, either residential or commercial, and getting a good deal for the buyer. A good deal would mean a low purchase price. The current market is a buyers market, since property prices are at an all time low. A buyer’s agent is generally paid a percentage of the purchase price or listed price as commission. Sometimes in addition to receiving a percentage of the purchase price, he is also entitled to a percentage of the difference between the listed price and the purchase price. In addition to this, he is paid an hourly fee and promotional expenses. It’s evident that a seller’s agent earns much more than a buyer’s agent, since the latter will stand to lose in the event of the buyer getting a good deal.

Agents Dealing in Commercial Properties

These agents earn commission on the sale and purchase of land and commercial real estate. The commissions, for both residential and commercial real estate, are negotiated in a similar manner. In case of rental apartments, the agent is paid a rental commission by the real estate company responsible for renting out homes and apartments.

Broker Price Opinion (BPO)

Agents can also earn money by offering their opinion on the worth of the property to lending institutions. A fixed fee is paid for it.

Other Ways of Earning

Some states allow agents to appraise properties. In this case, they earn an appraisal fee. Experienced professionals can also earn by conducting seminars and training sessions.

When times are good, average salaries can be as high as $65,270. In fact, a really good agent can earn more than $100,000 a year. However, the median pay for these professionals in 2012 was $41,990 only.

Basis on Which They Make Money

In case of residential properties, an oversupply has resulted in pulling down the prices of homes. Many people are preferring renting to owning, since they are unable to afford the mortgage payments. In this situation, commercial real estate agents can earn commissions by bringing together landlords and tenants. It is a good time for business owners to invest in commercial properties, since they can acquire property at a really cheaper price. However, buying a commercial property is much more complicated than investing in a residential property. This is because, unlike residential deals, commercial ones do not require mandatory disclosures. Hence, a commercial real estate agent’s services are indispensable. Thus, a commercial type agent can hope to earn much more than an agent specializing in residential properties. However, the deals are generally complicated and time-consuming and involve huge sums of money. Consequently, a commercial type agent is paid more, but at less frequent intervals.

Requirements to Become a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is an individual who helps one, either to buy a home or stay as a tenant. He even assists people who need to lease their apartment or house, for other people to live in. Estate agents have knowledge about residential areas which are always in demand for residency, and the cost of living in those areas too.

A person needs to have some prerequisites before entering into the field. He needs to be strong in general knowledge, well aware of the market situations, acquainted with the real estate field and have strong convincing skills to win the deal. He also needs to be business-minded, as there is a very tough competition between other experienced agents in the same sector.

The invention of telecommunications and the Internet technology has proven to be very beneficial to the real estate field. It enables the agents to easily obtain information about estates and properties, to contribute to their businesses. They have a large database of information about houses, flats, bungalows, land, properties, etc. which are to be rented out or sold.

If a client wants to buy or sell a property, he approaches the agent, who then with the knowledge and information helps him to choose the right property or choose the right customer, according to his requirements. The responsibilities include showing properties, providing information about estates, sorting out properties for sale, meeting potential customers, or studying the real estate market. They may be required to work for more than 40 hours per week, either in office or on the field.

A potential candidate would need to have friendly behavior, problem-solving capabilities, a confident personality, and organizational skills. However, only these requirements are not sufficient to become a realtor. One obligatorily needs to be licensed from the respective state, where he would be working.

Preparing and submitting attractive resumes won’t do much to show your skills. Each state in the US has different requirements for one to become a licensed realty agent. First of all, you need to own a high school diploma, and be over 18 years of age. If there are any criminal records and reports against you, it can be very hard for you to get a license.

You need to undertake a pre-licensing course from any real estate school, which would lead you to obtain a license. In a majority of the states, it is compulsory to attend classes first, one just can’t skip them and take the exams directly. The coursework will teach you about several sections of the real estate field; such as legal, financial, property appraisals, and real estate moral philosophy. After thorough preparation, you can take the exam. You would need to utilize your ‘math’ and ‘stats’ skills for the financial, and property appraisals section, and creative and logical thinking for the legal and ethics section. The course fees may depend upon the school and state which you’re taking the course from.

In a majority of states, you are required to have an agreement with a broker, before you take the exam. After you successfully complete the test and obtain the license, you are supposed to send your license to the broker and complete all the contract formalities, as you are not allowed to start your work independently. A ‘broker’ is an entity, whom you’d be working under, so you need to find one whom you are fine in working with. It’s recommended that you at least consult with three brokers from different companies for the contract.

These are the steps that will help you become a real estate agent. But if you truly need to be strong and well-known in the realty market, you need to have a state license, know all legal rules, regulation and formalities; and also have the much-needed experience in the same field.