What To Do After Getting a Real Estate License

Best-in-Class Training for Real Estate Agents!

How to Become a SUCCESSFUL Real Estate Agent

It's One Thing to Get a Real Estate License
It's Another Thing to Become a Money-Making Real Estate Agent

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!

What To Do After Getting a Real Estate License

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. 

#1 Industry Myth

"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. 

Frequently Asked Questions for New Real Estate Agents

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 thJumpStart 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:

  • Budgeting and ACCURATE income forecasting
  • How compensation plans work and how they effect your income
  • How to set up your day-to-day systems including: Communications, income and expense tracking, managing client files, managing vendor contacts, learning other real estate laws (like Fair Housing), setting up your safety plan, etc.
  • How to learn about houses and your local market to build your credibility
  • How to analyze your market and choose a PROFITABLE target market
  • How to write an effective Business Plan to keep your career on track and make money SOONER
  • How to set up your Internet Platform to attract your target market and help you generate business
  • Details on setting up your first lead generation system (Prospecting) including the best Daily Checklist so you're running your business correctly

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

7%     Other

--------------------------

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:

  • Type of Broker
  • Compensation plan
  • Broker-required fees
  • Reputation, culture, facilities
  • Training provided
  • and more!

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:

  • You want to get your business set up first, before quitting your day job. You can do most of the activities in the  JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook without being a full-time agent. This will give you headstart for when you DO go full-time.

—Or—

  • You don’t have another source of income for at least 6 months AND…
    • You have flexible work hours and can make calls to clients, lenders, title companies, etc. during 9-5 work hours.
    • You have the energy to work with clients after working at your full-time job.
    • You can find a broker who is okay with your part-time strategy.

Choose Full-Time if:

  • You have another source of income.

—Or—

  • You have at least 6 months of savings.

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.

  • How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate  - Darryl Davis
  • Rules for Real Estate Success  - Cesario Perez
  • Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies - Dirk Zeller
  • Effective Real Estate Sales & Marketing - Rosenauer & Mayfield
  • Sell With Soul - Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
  • If You’re Not Having Fun Selling Real Estate, You’re Not Doing It Right - Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
  • 21 Things I Wish My Broker Had Told Me - Frank Cook
  • How to Become a Million Dollar Real Estate Agent In Your First Year - Susan Smith Alvis
  • Your First Year in Real Estate - Dirk Zeller
  • Prospect With Soul - Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide, Success as a Real Estate Agent - Marilyn Sullivan
  • The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent - Daniel James Lesniak
  • Mastering the Art of Selling Real Estate - Tom Hopkins
  • Your Successful Real Estate Career - Kenneth W Edwards
  • The Millionaire Real Estate Agent - Gary Keller

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:

  1. Get the best training course. Don't waste YEARS trying to figure this out for yourself. You don't know what you don't know! Check out the JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents online training course and get the BEST START to this career.
  2. Don’t obsess on choosing a broker. The JumpStart workbook will show you a great way for choosing a broker, but if you change your mind, it’s really no big deal to switch brokers.
  3. Sign with a broker, even if you are not ready to go full-time yet. Legally, you need to “hang your hat” somewhere to get access to the MLS and other real estate memberships. You don’t have to start working full-time when you sign up with a broker. Just let your broker know that you have some things you want to do first before working full time.
  4. Don’t start taking sales training classes too soon. Before you can start working effectively with clients, you need to lay the proper foundation. Focus on getting through the  JumpStart for New Real Estate Agents workbook before you start “working your database” and attending broker sales training. Don’t “put the cart before the horse.”
  5. Learn to take control of your time. Set a rule on your phone so that it only rings between noon and 7:00 p.m. each day. Also turn off email, text, and social media notifications…you do not need to be notified every time you get an email or text. Set specific times of the day when you check your email and phone. Don’t let others control your time and daily agenda! Learn to take control of your time.
  6. Stay focused on your plan. You have to figure out what works for you and your personality, style, goals, and market. Just because something worked for some agent in another market, doesn’t mean it will (or won’t) work for you in your market. Stay focused on your business plan and don’t get sidetracked on the latest gimmick or new technology.
  7. Become the local area expert. Your clients will expect you to know you’re a lot about your area—the neighborhoods, schools, amenities, sales numbers, PROs and CONs, etc. Start driving the area and learning your neighborhoods.
  8. Don’t worry that “it’s all about the listings.” As a new real estate agent, it may be easier and less expensive to find buyer-clients than it is to find seller-clients. Always remember that a large percentage of home buyers are home sellers too.
  9. Set up a business Google account and use that Gmail email address for your real estate business. Do not use your personal email account. Also be prepared to get a lot of spam on this account.
  10. Be ruthless about marking unsolicited email as spam and unsubscribing. People don’t have the right to spam you just because you’re a real estate agent. That goes for other real estate agents who want to share their listings with you. (Duh…that’s what the MLS is for!) You’re email inbox is going to get out of control if you don’t actively unsubscribe from unwanted email. If the sender doesn’t provide an easy Unsubscribe link, then mark it as spam.
  11. Get a Google Voice phone number to forward to your cell phone. Use this number for all your business advertising and accounts. Do not advertise your real cell phone number.
  12. Do not worry about getting a designation in your first year, since less than 2% consumers care about designations. Focus on laying a strong foundation of the basics first.
  13. Don’t depend on your Sphere of Influence (people you already know) to be your only source of leads. Develop at least one other effective lead generating system (besides Prospecting) to generate leads because the people you already know may also know several other real estate agents and may not want to work with you, for a while, because they know you are inexperienced. Also, friends and family may not want you to know their financial situation or may not want to risk damaging the relationship through a business transaction.
  14. Find a lender or two that you can depend on. Qualifying buyers financially is a lender's job…so is creating a Closing cost estimates. Know a couple of lenders who you can recommend to your clients at the beginning of a transaction.
  15. Learn how to do screenshots. You need to be able to send clients information quickly and easily. The best way is to send screenshots from your smart phone or computer. SnagIt (by TechSmith) is the screenshot program recommended for computers. For your smart phone, do an Internet search for “how to capture screenshot on iphone 12” (for example).
  16. Get the JumpStart Toolkit for Real Estate Agents. This training workbook explains THE MOST IMPORTANT tasks for setting up your real estate business.

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.

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9 Reasons Why 87% Real Estate Agents Fail

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.

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