This post was last modified on December 5, 2023.

Real estate agents play a critical role in connecting buyers and sellers in the property market. The job of a real estate agent can be challenging, but it can also be gratifying. If you are considering pursuing a career in real estate, one of the first things you may wonder is whether you need a degree to become a real estate agent.

While having a degree is not a requirement for this career, it can certainly be helpful. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about becoming a real estate agent, including the qualifications you need, how to obtain a real estate license, the skills required, and much more.

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Real Estate Agent?

The short answer is no. You don’t need a degree to become a real estate agent. However, having a college degree can increase your chances of being hired, as it shows dedication and commitment to learning. In addition, some colleges offer real estate courses that can provide you with relevant knowledge and skills. If you’re considering pursuing a degree in real estate, a finance, business, or economics degree is most pertinent to the industry.

What Are the Qualifications You Need to Be a Real Estate Agent?

To become a real estate agent in California, there are multiple eligibility requirements that must be met. We have covered this topic in detail in a recent blog post, How to Get a California Real Estate License.

General Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

  1. Learn More About the Real Estate Industry
    The first step in becoming a successful real estate agent is to gain knowledge about the property market. Familiarize yourself with the jargon used in the industry, such as closing costs, easement, escrow holder, and fair market value. Many of those terms are described on our Blog.
  1. Obtain a Driver’s License
    While not mandatory, obtaining a driver’s license is highly recommended. As a real estate agent, you’ll need to travel to various properties in your area. Having a car will make this task easier and more convenient.
  1. Look Into State Requirements
    To become a real estate salesperson in California, applicants must meet certain requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, honest, and completing three college-level courses. The courses include real estate principles, real estate practice, and one approved subject. Members of the California State Bar are exempt from course requirements. Courses must be completed at an accredited institution like Chamberlin Real Estate School, and be a minimum of 45 hours long.
  1. Obtain a Real Estate License
    Once you’ve met the requirements, the next step is to pass the state exam and apply for your license. We’ve written a blog post about one of the most common questions we hear: is the real estate exam hard?
  1. Find Work as a Real Estate Agent
    Getting a job as a realtor after obtaining a real estate license is relatively easy due to the commission-based nature of the job. Real estate agencies actively seek new agents to join their teams and may even reach out to you before you pass your state exam. However, it is essential to find a reputable agency that provides the necessary support and training for success.

Skills Required to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent

While no specific qualifications are required to pursue a career in real estate, there are particular skills that can increase your chances of success. Here are some of the essential skills that a real estate agent should have:

  • Communication Skills
    Real estate is a career that heavily relies on working with other people. As a real estate agent, you’ll need exceptional communication skills to work with buyers and sellers. Communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives is essential.
  • Negotiating Skills
    As an intermediary between buyers and sellers, real estate agents are asked to negotiate for them. Negotiating effectively is critical to ensuring your clients get the best deal possible. This includes finding the right property at the lowest possible price or helping sellers get the highest price.
  • Property Knowledge
    To be a successful real estate agent, you must develop significant real estate industry knowledge. This includes understanding the different types of properties available, their values, and financing options. You must also be familiar with the various regulations and laws that govern the industry, which you’ll learn about in your pre-license courses.
  • Mathematical Skills
    Math is an essential part of the real estate industry. Real estate agents must be able to work with data and house prices to help their clients make informed decisions. Therefore, putting in the work to understand basic real estate math is fundamental to success in this field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Difficult to Become a Real Estate Agent?

Becoming a real estate agent can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. It takes determination, patience, and time to become fully qualified. Even after obtaining your license, you must work hard to promote yourself and find clients.

Can a Business Management Degree Help with Real Estate?

Yes, a business management degree can be beneficial for a career in real estate. Business management degrees provide a wide range of skills, including finance, marketing, and management, all relevant to the real estate industry.

Final Thoughts

Real estate can be a fascinating and rewarding industry to work in. While a college degree is not required to become a real estate agent, having one can be helpful. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in real estate, the first step is to take the required courses, which can be purchased in a package to save money. Being equipped with the right skills and knowledge can help you succeed in this exciting field.

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