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Realtor Career Guide

Are you a salesperson at heart? Is communication one of your strong suits? Are you self-motivated and willing to work independently? If so, becoming a realtor could be the perfect fit for you. Realtors use their market knowledge and resourcefulness to make the commercial or residential property buying and selling process as smooth as possible for all parties involved. A realtor’s responsibilities include researching available listings, scheduling showing times, and overseeing negotiations between the client and the buyer or seller.

Sample job description

[Your company name] is in the market for passionate realtors. Our realtors use their experience to find buyers and sellers of properties that meet our clients’ criteria. Whether you’ve outgrown your old house, looking to buy your dream home, or in need of a commercial property for your business, our agents are prepared to hold a client’s hand every step of the way. If you have three years or more as an experienced realtor, and you feel that you could be an asset within our company, contact us today to apply.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop marketing plans for customers
  • Collect information from clients in order to find a property that fits their needs as best as possible
  • Stay on top of listings and present them to clients in a timely manner
  • Showcase listings that have been assigned to you
  • Help clients navigate their financial situations through closing

Education and experience

  • High school diploma
  • Must be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
  • Must pass licensing examinations
  • Three years experience in sales

Required skills and qualifications

  • Superb negotiating skills for working with clients and other realtors
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Extensive promotional and marketing skills
  • Thorough knowledge of the local real estate market
  • Excellent people skills 

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in real estate or other related field
  • Additional real estate related certifications
  • Previous experience working in both commercial and personal real estate
  • Familiarity with legal real estate documents 
  • Knowledge of how the buying and selling process works

Typical work environment

Realtors have their own offices where they handle paperwork and meetings with clients, but the majority of their time is spent out in the field, prepping and showing houses, scoping out potential property for buyers, and joining clients at closings. Some realtors might even have home offices. It is a common occurrence that a realtor is self-employed, but some also work for a realty company. No matter if a realtor works for themselves or a company, all real estate agents spend a lot of time around people. They have to be comfortable working with others and being 100% honest with clients, existing and potential.

Typical hours

Real estate sales agents work very unusual hours but usually are able to set their own schedules. They typically spend an extensive amount of work hours in the field prepping and showing houses to customers and also scoping out potential properties for clients they have in mind.

Available certifications

Here are a few of the additional certifications that can be helpful to a real estate agent:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR). The ABR, presented by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), requires documentation of five completed transactions in which you acted solely as a buyer representative. You must be in good standing with the REBAC and the NAR. Candidates must also pass the exam with a score of 80% or higher. 
  • Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). The ALC requires successful completion of a 104-hour LANDU education program, a significant amount of high volume experience, and candidates must strictly follow the code of conduct. Applicants must hold a current real estate license and have at least two years of experience. Candidates must submit a portfolio and must be in good standing with the NAR. 
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). The CCM is an accreditation for commercial real estate covering core courses, such as financial analysis, market analysis, negotiations training, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and ethics. Candidates have to have worked in the commercial real estate industry for a minimum of two years and must submit a portfolio of qualifying experience. There is a six-hour comprehensive exam, and candidates must have a passing score of 70% or higher. They must also be in good standing with the CCIM Institute and the NAR.

Career path

The first step to becoming a real estate agent would be to take a real estate pre-licensing course. Upon course completion, take the real estate licensing exam. Once you have passed your licensing exam, you can activate your real estate license and join a brokerage or work for yourself. Then comes the fun part, helping your customers find the properties, homes, or commercial properties of their dreams. Certifications and continuing education along the way is a great idea to further your career.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 41-9022

2020 Employment408,900
Projected Employment in 2030425,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 4% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift16,900 increase

Due to the fast-growing real estate market, there will always be a need for real estate agents. Although the latest advances in technology might bring the need for adaptation, realtors are still a vital necessity in the real estate world. People want to deal with a live person when handling a big change like the sale or purchase of a commercial or residential property. Technological advances, such as virtual home tours, machine learning and ROI calculation, big data and personalized recommendations, start ups, blockchain, and buying and selling platforms will require realtors to stay on top of these advances in order to best utilize them for their customers’ benefit.