A Guide for Budding Entrepreneurs
If you want to be a rockstar agent, this guide is for you! We will take you through the entire process of becoming a licensed agent and give you sound steps to successfully launch your career.
No matter where in Texas you live, all aspiring real estate agents must take the required steps to obtain their agent license from Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). Although every agent begins this career path the same, each person’s destiny is different. According to the findings of several studies, on average, 85-90% of all real estate agents quit within their first five years. We are NOT attempting to discourage you, but we believe that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, this guide is for individuals who not only dream of becoming a real estate agent in Texas, but who are ready to create a solid plan to become a SUCCESSFUL agent.
6 Steps to Getting Your Texas Real Estate License
Step 1: Take Qualifying Education Courses
In order to qualify for your Texas Real Estate License, you must first complete 180 hours of qualifying education (QE) courses. TREC requires you to take six courses of QE with an approved provider. A simple Google search will lead you to many real estate licensing providers in Texas, but how do you choose? Many applicants make their decisions based on program cost alone, but all courses are not created equal. We suggest you check thepass rates of each education provider. Doing so will help to ensure that you will be properly prepared to pass the difficult exam.
Step 2: File Your Application Online
After you have completed your courses, you willfile your new agent application online. Choose first time applicant and follow all prompts. Note: You will need your course completion certificates for this step.
Step 3: Prepare for the Exam
While you are waiting for TREC to review your application, it’s a good idea to take the state exam prep course offered by your education provider. Taking the prep class and mock exams will give you a good idea of whether you are ready for the real exam or not.
Step 4: Take the Exam
Once TREC has provided you with an eligibility letter, sign up to take the exam at a Pearson VUE Testing Center. Your eligibility notice will include instructions for how to schedule the exam and how to obtain the Candidate Handbook.
Step 5: Get Fingerprinted
Before TREC will issue your license, they require each real estate license applicant be fingerprinted and pass a background check.
Step 6: Obtain a Sponsor
Now that you’ve passed the exam, you hold an Inactive Agent License. Find a Sponsoring Broker and submit the Sponsoring Broker form to TREC to become an Active Real Estate Sales Agent.
Now that you’re licensed, it’s time to launch your real estate business!
What To Do After Getting Your Texas Real Estate License
Find a Broker
Now that you’ve obtained your license, you need to find the right brokerage agency. You will have many options to choose from, but it is important you select an agency that is supportive of new agents. There are many considerations to think over before making your final decision, but for now, it will be helpful for you to get to know other agents in your area. Ask them about their brokers and their opinions about which agencies give the best continuing education and ongoing support to new licensees.
Think Like an Entrepreneur
To be a successful real estate agent in Texas, you’ve got to think like an entrepreneur. You are not an employee. While that independence brings about a refreshing breath of freedom, it also carries a sobering reality; that is, your business won’t grow unless YOU build it. You have got to put pen to pad and set goals here and now. Write out the steps to accomplish those goals, then get to work smashing them!
Diversify Your Income
Since you’re thinking like an entrepreneur, you want to begin brainstorming ways to subsidize your income without taking your attention away from your work as a real estate agent.
Here are a couple business ideas you can consider as ways to make extra money and industry connections at the same time:
Property Tax Appeals
If you’re familiar with property taxes in Texas, you know that they can be a source of frustration for many homeowners. The county assesses an appraised value to residential and commercial properties by using one or more systematic methods. These methods are impersonal and the resulting values are often inflated. This gives entrepreneurial minds an opportunity to create solutions for homeowners for a fee, of course. Do a little research to find out what it takes to help homeowners with property tax appeals in your county.
New Home Photo Shoots
Younger and older millennials are Insta-crazed! A part of the social media phenomena is using photos to document big and small life events. Moving into a new home or leaving an old one is an insta-worthy event that may provide a nice stream of residual income for saavy new real estate agents. If you’re great at taking photos, this could be a good option for you. Even if you’re not the best photographer, partner with a professional one. In exchange for referral fees, you can send interested customers their way.
Invest in Your Real Estate Business
A part of thinking like an entrepreneur requires you to invest in your own business. This is one of the most important investments you will ever make. Remember, at the beginning of this guide we mentioned how many new agents walked away from the real estate business? That’s because many new licensees don’t set realistic expectations, plans or budgets beforehand. Well, you are not going to do that! Anticipate the following expenses as some of the early financial investments you will make in your new career.
- -Business Cards
- -NAR (and HAR) membership dues
- -Marketing Materials
93% of all home buyers begin their searches online (NAR), so you don’t have to spend tons of money on printed materials. Those products tend to get lost in mail piles, which is not where your potential customers are spending hours in their day. They are, however, using their laptops and mobile devices to look for homes (and agents). So, how do you reach them?
Build Your Brand Online with Digital Marketing
Because so many of your future clients are online shopping, performing Google searches, and connecting with friends on social media, isn’t it smart to meet them there?
Use these online tools to connect with new clients:
- -Social Media Profiles
- -Websites Branded in YOUR Image
- -Digital Marketing Services
It’s an option to use just one of those tools, but to improve your chances of success, you need a plan that incorporates all three. Take a look at our blog called, “Connecting with New Clients: 4 Digital Marketing Tools for Realtors” for a more in-depth look at how you should use digital marketing to grow your real estate business.
You now have a realistic plan to succeed in your career in real estate. Every phase of the process to become a great real estate agent in Texas will require you to invest your time, money and enthusiasm. Knowing the sacrifice and effort it takes is half of what you need to become the amazing agent you’ve dream you would be. Now, go make that dream your reality!