Do you want to learn how to become a real estate agent? Is your dream ambition to have a career that gives you autonomy and provides financial security? This can be a fun and exciting business filled with opportunities for ambitious, hardworking individuals. It's a rewarding career because you are helping people with the "American Dream" of owning their own home.
The median income for all real estate agents is approximately $56,400/year (2022) with the top 32 percent of all real estate agents earning over $100,000/yr. Even the top 6 percent of NEWBIE agents can earn between $100,000-200,000 annually!
However, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Real estate agents are not employees at brokerage offices; they are self-employed, small business owners. This isn’t a job…it’s a business. So at the beginning of your real estate career, you will have many things to do in order to set up your new business. Make sure you get COMPLETE and THOROUGH real estate training if you want to become a successful real estate agent.
We're here to help you!
To learn EXACTLY what you need to do after getting your real estate license, download this detailed guide. These are the skills, systems, and activities you need to do as a newly licensed real estate agent...in order of priority. These are the things to build a SUCCESSFUL real estate career and to MAKE MONEY as a real estate agent as quickly as possible.
"My Broker Will Train Me On All the Essentials"
Fact: Brokerages do not have Training Departments. This is a "sink-or-swim" industry. Some brokers provide some training, but most will expect you to be pro-active and do your own self-study and on-the-job training. In other words, you're gonna have to figure this out on your own.
If you are just starting out on your real estate career, then you are probably wondering what it will cost to get your real estate license. These fees vary from state to state. You may find information on these costs on local real estate schools’ websites or your state’s real estate licensing organization website. A helpful place to start is an Internet search for “how much cost real estate agent in YOURSTATE” where YOURSTATE is the name of the state where you plan to work.
You should also plan the monthly business expenses you will have in your new career. You will have to investigate some of these fees to know their exact cost, and you will refine these numbers when you write your business plan. The median business expense amount for real estate agents (in 2021) was approximately $4250/year…or $354/mth. So if you have no idea what your business expenses will be, use a total of $400/mth as a starting point.
Each state has different "mandatory education" requirements, so the length of time it takes to get your real estate license will vary. Usually you can finish your mandatory education and pass your exam within 2-4 months. This depends on how much time you spend on taking classes, and how quickly you finish them, and then pass the exam.
Once you get your real estate license, it may take 6 months before you start getting clients and Closing transactions...and that's if you're lucky. Most people don't understand that there are a lot of systems, tools, training, and knowledge to acquire IN ADDITION TO getting your license. For starters, there are a lot of computer systems to learn: online contracts system, online signature system, MLS system, appointment scheduler, and possibly a broker-based system for compliance, commissions, and marketing.
Plus, you have lots of internal systems to set up for your real estate business: Communications, filing, expense and income tracking, budgeting, safety, and more.
Not to mention all the tools you need to create to manage and run transactions: Listing presentation, buyer presentation, buyer transaction forms, seller transaction forms, and more.
We can help get you started with the JumpStart Toolkit which has 35 downloadable and customizable resources for you to use to run your business.
If you want to get on the fast-track, then start going through the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents training course simultaneously while you are going through your mandatory education. That way you will have most of your tools and systems set up by the time you get your license and sign with a brokerage. This will shorten the amount of time it takes to become a successful, money-making real estate agent. Otherwise, you will have to do these after you start at a brokerage. But whether you begin JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents before you get your license or after, it is the fastest way to success!
The top 12 percent of experienced real estate agents (with over 15 years experience) earn $250,000 or more. However the median income (we don’t get paid salaries…we’re typically 1099 Independent Contractors) for experienced agents is $75,000.
Only the top 3 percent of agents with 3 to 5 years experience earn $250,000 and only 1 percent of newbie agents (with 2 years or less experience) earn that amount.
The overall median gross income for all REALTORS in 2020 was $43,300/yr but that’s BEFORE expenses and taxes.
Below is a chart in the “JumpStart for Real Estate Agents” workbook.
The “National Association of Members 2019 Member Profile” provides detailed information including income:
Number of transactions:
First, your state will require a certain amount of mandatory education in order for you to learn the state laws and how to fill-out legal contracts. This training will be what you need to pass the real estate exam and get your license. You can do an Internet search for "real estate schools YOURCITY" to find out where to take these classes.
Then, after you get your real estate license, you need to set up your new real estate business. The most concise training for this stage of your career is the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents online training course. This is a hands-on course that will teach you IMPORTANT topics that you probably won't learn anywhere else like:
BONUS: The JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents online training course also provides over 35 downloadable resources including a customizable Listing Presentation, Buyer's Presentation, and all the spreadsheets and transaction forms you will need in your Real Estate Agent Toolkit.
After you finish the JumpStart training course, then you will be ready to start working with clients. You will want to add a few more lead generation systems to your business (so take additional training courses on your next chosen Lead Gen Strategy) and also start taking advanced training on salemanship, sales scripts, negotiation skills, creating CMAs, etc.
Approximately 98 percent of all real estate agents are “straight commission” agents working as 1099 Independent Contractors. This is why real estate agents are considered to be small business owners.
Different real estate brokers offer different types of compensation plans, for paying sales commissions, as shown below.
37% Fixed commission split
23% Graduated commission split (increases with productions)
15% Capped commission split (rises to 100% after a predetermined threshold)
14% 100% commission
1% Salary plus share of profits/production bonus
1% Commission plus share of profits
1% Share of profits only
2% Salary only
Source: NAR 2021 Member Profile
Chapter 1 in the JumpStart for Real Estate Agents workbook explains the different compensation plans in detail and teaches you how each one will effect your income. This is very important to understand BEFORE you interview and select a brokerage!
There are various things to consider when choosing a broker:
All real estate agents are unique individuals. What's important to Joe may not be important to Jane. What Shelly needs in a broker may be different than what Mark needs in a broker. So the first step in choosing the best broker for you is identifying your criteria...the things that are most important to you.
You need to choose the best broker for YOU. Learn how to use the "Broker Decision Analysis."
Most new real estate agents want to know if they should start out as a part-time or full-time real estate agent. Answer: It depends on your situation. But consider this…even if you had a client today, it will be at least 6 weeks before you will get paid. It takes time to find a home (or home buyer, if you are representing the seller), plus time to negotiate the contract, plus 5-7 weeks to obtain financing; so real estate transactions can take a couple of months to pay off.
Plus, there is A LOT to do as you start your real estate career and it’s very difficult to jump-in and start acquiring and handling clients immediately. Many agents get lost in the process of setting up their business and lead generation systems (Stages 2-3) and end up quitting the business, or running out of money, before they make it to Stage 4. Or they jump into Stage 4 without the preparation they should have done in Stages 2-3 and have to go backwards to fix/create their systems.
STAGES OF A REAL ESTATE CAREER
Stage 1: Get License
You can do this phase while keeping your day job.
Stage 2: Start Up Business
You can do this phase while keeping your day job. Go through all the tasks in the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook, including signing with a broker.
Stage 3: Set Up Lead Generation Systems
You can set up a preliminary Prospecting system and a full Internet Marketing System before going full-time. Just don’t implement these systems until you are ready to take leads.
Stage 4: Work with Clients
By this stage you should have completed all the tasks in Stages 1-3 and be ready to work full-time as a real estate agent.
You can obtain a real estate license and sign-up with a broker without quitting your day job. Just because you sign up with a broker does not mean that you will start getting clients right away. As long as you have another source of income, you can work through the tasks of Stages 1-3 before you become a dedicated, full-time agent (Stage 4).
Choose Part-Time if:
Choose Full-Time if:
Start with the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook because it includes THE MOST IMPORTANT info and tasks for new real estate agents. It is a compilation of the author's 12 years of real estate experience and the fastest way to become a successful, money-making real estate agent. If you follow the instructions and do all the activities in this workbook, then you will jump ahead of your competition and become a successful real estate agent sooner, rather than later. It takes most agents at least 2 years to acquire the tools, systems, and knowledge that you will get in a matter of weeks with the JumpStart workbook.
Then you should read other real estate books to help you in your career. Below is a list of recommended books to read, in order of priority. It may take you all year to read these…that’s okay. You don’t actually have to read all of them, but most newbie agents like to have a reading list. Beware that some information in these books may be outdated because they are older books, but they still offer some helpful insights.
One major problem with most real estate agents is that they are always changing direction every time they hear about something new. Don’t let these books get you off track. First, you need to lay the proper foundation and then you can modify, add, and enhance your techniques and strategies. So when you read or hear about an idea that you would like to implement, write a note in the back of your JumpStart workbook so you can keep track of those ideas without getting off-track.
Computer skills. You will look up properties, list properties, schedule appointments, write contracts, track your contacts, and more on a computer and a smart phone.
Project management skills. Being a real estate agent is as much about managing the transaction process of buying or selling a home than it is about actually selling.
Pleasant personality. You must be able to get people to “know, like, and trust” you in order to obtain clients.
Professionalism and confidence. You must be able to deal with many different people in each transaction and maintain a professional attitude while doing so. Confidence will help you attract clients and manage transactions effectively.
Knowledge of homes and home ownership. People expect you to know a lot about what you sell. So if you are selling houses, then you’d better have at least a basic knowledge of building materials, quality of construction, repair and remodeling costs, building methods, decorating, common defects, home maintenance, etc.
Intelligence. This is a difficult career and you are a self-employed business owner. You will need enough intelligence to plan and manage your business as well as help clients through the buying and selling process.
Effective problem-solving skills. No two transactions are ever the same. You can be in this business for 20 years and still learn something new every day. It is critical that you are able to solve problems effectively in order to manage your transactions, keep your clients satisfied, and be successful.
Effective negotiation skills. Since you are helping clients buy and sell houses, you will need to have effective negotiation skills. There are many books and courses that can teach you this skill.
Ability to deal with emotional drama. There will be many ups and downs in your real estate career. One day your clients are singing your praises and the next day they are irritated with you about something beyond your control. One quarter you are making lots of money and the next quarter your leads have dried up. This career is a roller coaster and you need the emotional stamina to endure.
Ability to write. You will frequently correspond with other real estate agents and clients via email. In addition, in today’s Internet-based world, you may find it necessary to write relevant posts on social media sites. So you will need at least a basic ability to write in this business.
Financial support for 6 months. It takes most new real estate agents at least 6 months to start earning a living in this business. Be prepared! If you don’t have a spouse or partner to support you for 6 months, then you will need a large savings. Otherwise, you should keep your day job until you get your license and finish all the tasks in the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook.
Ability to get along with all types of personalities. Every transaction involves at least 8 different parties or more (buyer, buyer’s agent, seller, seller’s agent, escrow officer, loan officer, inspector, appraiser, insurance agent, broker, compliance manager, contractors, etc.) so you will need to be able to get along with all types of personalities and persuade them to help you get to the Closing table.
Ability to thrive in chaos with an unpredictable schedule. A real estate career is unpredictable…you never know when a client is going to call you to go tour houses or when a client will choose to write an offer on a house. You will need to be able to deal with this lifestyle and manage your time effectively.
Focus and consistency. If you don’t create a plan and stick with it, and consistently do the tasks required to generate leads, then you will not be successful. Changing your strategy on a monthly or weekly basis means you will never accomplish your goals.
MOST IMPORTANT SKILL: Ability to generate your own leads!
Here are a few important tips as you begin your real estate career:
One thing that most people don’t understand about being a real estate agent: You are a self-employed business owner and you will have to obtain your own clients. Unlike corporations who provide their sales force with customer leads, most brokers will not provide you with leads to support your business. You are not (typically) an employee of the broker…you are a 1099 Independent Contractor.
This means you will have to generate your own leads and convert those leads into clients. How will you do that? It isn’t as easy as it sounds! If you are inexperienced, relatively new in town, shy, not involved in your local schools or community, or don’t know many people, then you may have a hard time finding clients. However, if you know a lot of people and are very involved (and respected) in your local schools and community, then you will have an easier time acquiring clients.
The JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook will help you analyze your market and create a business plan and marketing strategy. Even introverted real estate agents can be successful in this business, if they choose the right marketing strategy for their market and their personality. Just understand, up front, that this is the most challenging aspect of the business and be prepared to handle it.
I see it all the time...new real estate agents looking for the magic formula, the one thing that will make them a success. I guess new agents are no different from the rest of the world. Everyone is looking for the one pill to make them skinny, or the one scheme that will make them rich. No one seems to want to do the hard work it takes to make money or get in shape.
Most new real estate agents need help in choosing the right brokerage. I often see their posts on social media, asking for opinions regarding Broker A vs. Broker B.
While it may be good to get other agents' opinions, I think new real estate agents need to understand that there is no such thing as the "perfect brokerage." What you should focus on is signing up with the perfect broker for you. Here's what I mean...
One of the most important skills you need as a real estate agents is the ability to do an ACCURATE Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine a home's value for your clients. This fast & easy method will impress your clients and build your reputation as a real estate expert.
To be a successful real estate agent, you need an effective business strategy. One that will direct your efforts and keep you on track in achieving your goals...instead of wasting time “chasing rabbits down the wrong rabbit holes,” and changing direction every other week. (A common problem in our industry.)
Most training in real estate (after you get your license) is focused on lead generation. Lead generation IS important, but what new agents truly need FIRST is to build their CREDIBILITY by developing their real estate knowledge. THEN their lead generation activities will be more effective.
It doesn't take years...we'll show you how.
The numbers change all the time, but generally there are between 1.5 and 2 million Realtors in the United States. Studies show that approximately 87 percent of new agents will not be successful, in the long run, and here’s why:
1. Poor training. You're not going to learn the day-to-day systems needed to be a successful real estate agent in your mandatory training classes. And most brokers don't provide COMPLETE and EFFECTVE training for new agents either. So it's up to you to get the best training course for new agents, but when you "don't know" how to do something, then you don't know if the training you're getting is good or not.
2. Not having a plan. This is a very difficult and complicated business. Most real estate agents try to figure it out as they go and spend several years doing so. Our training products are designed to help you develop an effective business plan, so you will achieve success more quickly and easily than if you try to “wing it” on your own.
3. Getting off-track. The “shiny new idea syndrome” is very hard to avoid in this business. Every class you attend, book you read, and agent you talk to will give you new ideas that could derail you from your business plan. Without focus, it will take you three-times as long to achieve success. Make sure that you implement the basics in the JumpStart for Real Estate Agents workbook first—to build a strong foundation. THEN you can start adding all your new, shiny ideas.
4. Not knowing “your numbers.” As a business owner, you simply cannot skip budgeting, forecasting, goal setting, and keeping track of your income and expenses. Most real estate agents are “people persons” who do not effectively manage their cash flow. This is one of the top reasons that all types of small businesses fail…not just real estate agents.
5. Self-doubt. As a new real estate agent, you “know that you don’t know.” You lack confidence and doubt yourself because you know that you don’t have the knowledge (yet!) to be truly helpful to your clients. However, if you follow the JumpStart for Real Estate Agents workbook, then you will gather the right tools and develop the knowledge and confidence you need to be successful.
6. Lack of self-motivation. As a self-employed business owner, you will not have a boss or supervisor to motivate you to do your job. YOU are your own boss and YOU will have to motivate yourself to do the work to accomplish your goals. Make sure you set up effective, motivating habits at the beginning of your career to achieve success.
7. Fear of prospecting. Being hesitant to sell yourself to potential clients will keep you from obtaining clients. If you are extroverted, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, introverts will need to learn to step outside of their comfort zone and actually talk to people! The book, Sell With Soul by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn is excellent for introverted agents.
8. Lack of follow-up. You must put the proper systems in place and manage the leads that you generate effectively. The JumpStart for Real Estate Agents workbook will help you create those initial systems to ensure that you convert as many leads into clients as possible.
9. Laziness. If you aren’t willing to work hard in this business, don’t expect to be successful. It may be relatively easy to get your real estate license, but running a successful real estate business is not easy and takes a lot of hard work.
We know you have a lot of costs when starting your real estate business, but that money is wasted if you don't succeed before your savings runs out. The sooner you start earning a living, the quicker the payoff. So you have a choice: Waste time trying to figure this all out for yourself --OR -- let us show you the fastest path to success. We're here to build your success!
Are you a struggling real estate agent? You came into the real estate world with high expectations, and you really thought you “had what it takes” to be a successful real estate agent, but you just aren’t seeing the financial results that you want.
Real estate agents need a lot of "tools" in their "toolkit." But if you're a new real estate agent you don't know ALL the tools that you need and you don't know HOW to create them.